AMA-SX: Stewart wins in Houston

Reed battles back to maintain lead

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 26, 2009
San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart won his third race in a row at the fourth round of the AMA Supercross series, Jan. 25 in Houston, Texas.

Despite his efforts, Stewart moved only three points closer to series leader Chad Reed who battled back from an early setback to finish second before 43,000 fans at Reliant Stadium.

Going through the first turn, Reed was bumped and pushed wide, dropping him out of the top ten. Reed’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mike Alessi emerged from the corner with the holeshot.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto took the lead before the end of the first lap and held onto it until Stewart began to challenge on lap three. Stewart took the lead for good the following lap.

“The bike was definitely better this weekend,” says Stewart. “I just felt more comfortable when we first got here, and we changed some stuff, and it’s coming along. I think it was definitely a better weekend for me, and I’m just going to try and keep on improving and see what happens.”

James Stewart extended his AMA Supercross winning streak to three in Houston.Meanwhile, Reed recovered from his early difficulties and, much like he did a week earlier at the second Anaheim race, worked his way back up to the leaders. A mistake by Villopoto on lap 13 gave Reed an opening to move into second place. Reed held on the rest of the race for his third consecutive runner-up finish and fourth podium position of the season.

“Those first few laps were really tough. I had to be smart and keep it up. It was tough racing tonight,” says Reed. “James Stewart is riding great and I wish I could get better starts to make it better for the fans.”

Villopoto came in third to earn the 2008 AMA National Motocross Lites champion his first career big-bore podium spot.

Reed maintains his lead in the standings with 86 points. Stewart moves into a tie for second with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Josh Grant with 77 points.

The 2009 AMA Supercross series continues Jan. 31 in San Francisco, Calif. at AT&T Park.