Stewart Still Perfect Halfway Through AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Villopoto Continues Dominance in AMA Motocross Lites at RedBud BUCHANAN, Mich. (July 6, 2008) -- Monster Energy Kawasaki's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., reached...
Stewart Still Perfect Halfway Through AMA Toyota Motocross Championship
Villopoto Continues Dominance in AMA Motocross Lites at RedBud
BUCHANAN, Mich. (July 6, 2008) -- Monster Energy Kawasaki's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., reached the halfway point in his quest for a perfect season in the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF. The series' point leader improved to 6-0 in overall victories for the season, while also extending his moto winning-streak to a perfect 12 races at the 35th Annual Monster Energy/Kawasaki Motocross National Presented by Scott USA from RedBud. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., grabbed first place in both of the AMA Motocross Lites motos to take his fifth overall victory.
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi, or Victorville, Calif., grabbed the opening BTOSports.com Holeshot Award, his seventh in a row, and led the opening lap before getting passed by Stewart, who gradually extended his lead throughout the moto. Alessi held on for second with Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short, of Smithville, Texas, in third.
In moto two, a hard crash by Alessi on the opening lap forced a red flag and restart of the race. When the gates dropped for the restart, Stewart took his third BTOSports.com Holeshot Award and never looked back. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tim Ferry, of Largo, Fla., finished second, while Short wrapped up second overall with a third-place run. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Michael Byrne posted a season-best third overall after a pair of fourth place moto results.
"My starts have been pretty good," said Stewart. "I got the holeshot today. It was hot and I think that separated (the competition) a little bit. I knew I needed to get a good start because Mike (Alessi) was definitely going to. (A perfect season) hasn't crossed my mind. It's not my goal. My goal is to win a championship. I just want to give myself the best opportunity to win. As long as I continue to get good starts and good gate picks I think that will help. Every year this track offers something different. There are a lot of good lines out there and when it gets rough I think it's actually safer."
In the opening AMA Motocross Lites moto, MDK/KTM's Ryan Sipes, of Vine Grove, Ky., grabbed his second BTOSports.com Holeshot Award of the season and parlayed the good start into a career-best third place finish. Villopoto came out of the first corner in the top five and quickly made passes to obtain the lead and remained unchallenged. Geico Powersports Honda's Trey Canard capitalized on a season-best start to finish second. In the final moto, Villopoto notched his fifth BTOSports.com Holeshot Award of the season to lead flag-to-flag en route to the overall win. Canard followed with back-to-back seconds while Martin Davalos put together moto results of sixth and third to land on his first-career overall podium.
"I've won some of the Triple Crown's before," stated Villopoto, who has won the opening two rounds of the three-race Monster Energy/Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross. "I've never won three in a row so it'd be nice to go to Steel City and wrap it up there. Once I saw how close Trey (Canard) was, I just put my head down and put in some quick laps. Three or four laps later I was about 19 seconds ahead. I figured he fell.
"Line selection is important. Some of the ruts are tricky. I probably ride the outside more than other people and it works for me. There is no chance I will ride a 450cc. I don't think I'd want to jump up and not have any idea of how well I could do. I'm sure I'd be a little off the pace and unable to ride two motos."
The Monster Energy/Kawasaki Motocross National Presented by Scott USA was round two of the three-race Monster Energy/Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross. After taking the overall victories at both High Point and RedBud, Stewart and Villopoto are eligible for the $25,000 bonus if they can win at Steel City on August 31.
Stewart currently holds a 79-point lead over Alessi in the AMA Motocross standings. In AMA Motocross Lites, Villopoto has a 95-point advantage over Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn.
SPEED will air the action from the AMA Motocross class on July 12 at 10 p.m. ET and the AMA Motocross Lites on July 15 at 2 p.m. ET. The AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF begins the second half of the 2008 season next weekend in Mechanicsville, Md. for the Monster Energy Budds Creek Motocross National.