AMA-SX: Reed ends Stewart’s streak

Rivals tied for points lead

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 02, 2009
Chad Reed put an end to James Stewart’s winning streak with a victory in round nine of the AMA Supercross Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. on Feb. 28.

The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider’s first victory of the year ended Stewart’s winning streak at seven. It also ended the Yamaha team’s winning streak at nine, a run that, ironically, began with Reed’s previous victory in the 2008 season finale when he was a member of Stewart’s current team, San Manuel Yamaha team.

“Getting this first win is really, really awesome. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki team has been great and I’m happy to get this win for those guys,” says Reed. “I went into the season feeling really strong at the beginning of the year and then I went through a phase where I just wasn’t riding as good as I thought that I could. But the team and I’ve been able to make some progress, and this weekend I was able to put myself into a good position – be at the right place at the right time. It was awesome to be in a position to win.”

The win also put a stop to eight consecutive second-place finishes for Reed. Over that period, Reed often found himself well back of the leaders at the start of the race before making his way to the front again but was never able to unseat Stewart.

Reed avoided making the same mistake in Indianapolis, grabbing the holeshot and leading the first 13 laps. Stewart took the lead on lap 13 and looked ready to keep it until a crash on lap 16 gave Reed the opportunity to pass.

“I knew that if I had a good start I could give myself a chance,” says Reed. “James (Stewart) has been riding awesome, and I want to take that next step. He made a mistake and I was there to capitalize and regain the lead.”

Stewart made another error early in the race, crashing on the second lap. The crash forced Stewart to imitate his rival and stage his own comeback. The second accident however sealed his fate.

“I almost fell in the same place in practice, but then (on lap 16) I just came through there and lost the front end,” says Stewart. “I definitely wasn’t riding over my head at all; I just made a small bobble and went down.”

Stewart finished second to maintain a share of the championship lead with Reed at 199 points, but with a 7-1 edge in wins. Reed’s teammate Mike Alessi finished third for his first podium position of the season.

Austin Stroupe won the Eastern Region AMA Supercross Lites race in Indianapolis for Monster Energy Kawasaki. Stroupe took the lead on lap two with an aggressive pass on teammate and holeshot winner Christophe Pourcel. The pair maintained that order for the rest of the 15-lap race, finishing ten seconds ahead of third place finisher Nico Izzi of Rockstar Makita Suzuki.

The win was Stroupe’s first of the year and second of his career. Pourcel’s runner-up finish extended his lead in the championship standings to 10 points over Izzi.

The 2009 AMA Supercross season continues March 7 at Daytona International Speedway on a course designed by all-time AMA Supercross and Motocross National wins leader Ricky Carmichael.