AMA-SX: 2011 Phoenix Results

Stewart back on top of the podium

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 17, 2011
James Stewart won his first AMA Supercross in over a year with a victory at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.

The San Manuel Yamaha rider finished ahead of Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto for the win, his first since the Anaheim I round on Jan. 9, 2010. Stewart fractured a wrist bone in last year’s Phoenix round so he was hoping for better luck in this year’s race.

Stewart took the holeshot ahead of Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham and defending champion Ryan Dungey of Rockstar Makita Suzuki but the race soon became a battle between him and Villopoto.

“The track was tough and really slick tonight, it was so easy to over-ride it,” says Stewart. “I wanted a good start and with the holeshot I then did my own race. I was confident and Ryan [Villopoto] rode really well, we were both pushing the limits of traction out there and it was cat-and-mouse for a little while. It has been a long time since I won a race so this feels good. I just need to keep getting the starts and ride smart.”

James Stewart AMA Supercross San Manuel Yamaha

Villopoto put out a strong effort coming on the heels of his win a week earlier in Anaheim, but a fall on lap nine gave Stewart the lead for good.

“That section has been tough all night,” says Villopoto. “(All the riders) were pushing the limit on it all night and it got me. I was pushing James (Stewart) and waiting for a mistake, but I ended up being the one (to make one). I still was able to do what I came here to do and leave with some valuable points.”

American Honda rookie Trey Canard beat Chad Reed by just over two seconds for his first podium in the premiere class.

“I'm really happy to score a podium finish so early in the season but I'm not necessarily happy with the way I rode tonight,” says Canard. “There were a couple of sections that I just didn't nail and with the level of talent in this competition, I can't be messing sections up. The American Honda Racing team had my bike dialed in and my lap times were pretty good. I'm sure that as the season goes on and as I gain more experience in the Supercross class I will improve."

Trey Canard American Honda AMA Supercross

Villopoto holds on to the lead in the championship standings with 47 points, just ahead of Stewart’s 45 points. Dungey and Canard are next with 38 points. The 2011 AMA Supercross season continues Jan. 22 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.