AMA-SX: Stewart wins 7th in Atlanta

Poor start hinders Reed again

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 23, 2009
San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart extended his AMA Supercross winning streak to seven with a win at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 22.

The win gave Stewart sole possession of the points lead with 177, three points ahead of Rockstar Mikita Suzuki’s Chad Reed. Stewart has been undefeated since crashing out of the season opening race, Jan. 3 in Anaheim, Calif.

“Streaks are always meant to be broken, so I want to make it eight!” says Stewart. “I know Chad rides good every weekend, and I always have my hands full, so I’ll just go back and prepare. However to come out of Anaheim I 23 points back and now be three points in the lead, it definitely feels good.”

Chad Reed (left) has been on the podium all season but James Stewart (center) has been unstoppable.
Poor starts have forced Reed into playing catch-up in almost every race this season.

Stewart jumped ahead at the start to claim the holeshot ahead of Factory Yamaha rider Broc Hepler and Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi. Meanwhile, Reed had another slow start, dropping as far back as tenth before making his way once again through the pack. Reed passed Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto on lap 12 but was unable to catch Stewart. Reed finished second to Stewart for the seventh race in a row while Villopoto completed the podium in third.

“I just had to be patient,” says Reed. “Not much I could do though. I got by Ryan (Villopoto), made a mistake, and got by him again. It was a tough race. I just needed to keep pushing and as the laps went on wait for a mistake (from Ryan). I want to thank all the guys on Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. The bike was awesome tonight.”

Christophe Pourcel won the AMA Supercross Lites East race for Monster Energy Kawasaki. Pourcel’s teammate, Austin Stroupe took the holeshot and led the first nine laps before his engine started to stall. That gave Pourcel the chance to jump into the lead with Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi close behind. Pourcel would hold off Izzi to claim his second win of the year. KTM’s Martin Davalos rounded out the podium in third place.

“It was very fast in the beginning so I just rode my pace,” says Pourcel. “The track was difficult and a lot of riders were crashing so I just wanted to ride smart. I got my speed where I wanted it and Austin (Stroupe) stalled so I just built a big lead. Every week I’m thinking about the championship and two wins is a good way to start the season.”

The 2009 AMA Supercross season continues at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., Feb. 28.