Stewart Races to Third Consecutive Victory at Monster EnergyÂ® Supercross from Houston; Pourcel Opens Lites Eastern Regional Championship with Win HOUSTON, Texas (January 24, 2009) -- In his continued climb towards the top of the AMA Supercross...
Stewart Races to Third Consecutive Victory at Monster Energy® Supercross from Houston; Pourcel Opens Lites Eastern Regional Championship with Win
HOUSTON, Texas (January 24, 2009) -- In his continued climb towards the top of the AMA Supercross standings, Team San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., won his third straight Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race in front of 48,277 fans at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Chad Reed, of Dade City, Fla., retained his AMA Supercross class points lead with a runner-up effort. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel, of Corona, Calif., won his second career AMA Supercross Lites class race to open the Eastern Regional Championship.
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., led the AMA Supercross class through turn one, picking up the holeshot award. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., and Team Yamaha's Josh Hill, from Yoncalla, of Murrieta, Calif., followed in second and third respectively. Stewart was fourth while Reed found himself mired in eighth.
Stewart quickly made his move, taking over second position before the first lap was completed. From there, the Yamaha rider set his sights on race-leader Villopoto. On lap three, Stewart made his move, but Villopoto battled back. By the completion of the lap Stewart was in the lead for good. Reed made his move into the top three on lap 12, moving all the way up to second. The reigning champion made a run at the lead, but could not overcome the deficit. Villopoto held on to round out the podium in third.
"I felt good all day," said Stewart. "I knew it was going to come down to the start. I love it here in Texas so I would like to say thanks to all of (the fans). It was all good clean racing tonight, especially with Villopoto. I had a great line over in the whoops and it all just worked out tonight. Every week we get better and my San Manuel Yamaha is working great."
Despite having to wait yet another week to capture his first win of 2009, Reed still maintained the points lead after another valiant effort. He currently holds a nine point advantage over Stewart.
"That was tough those first few laps," explained Reed. "I had to be smart and keep it up. It was tough racing tonight. James (Stewart) is riding great and I wish I could get better starts to make it better for the fans. I want to thank my whole team at Rockstar/Makita Suzuki for everything they do. It was a good race for us."
Pourcel jumped out of the gate to win the holeshot award in the AMA Supercross Lites class main event with Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Nico Izzi, of Murrieta, Calif., and Yamaha Privateer Darryn Durham, of Wildomar, Calif., in tow.
Pourcel, a preseason favorite for the Eastern Regional crown, opened up an early lead, but Izzi and GEICO Powersports Honda's Brett Metcalfe, of Lake Elsinore, Calif. weren't far behind. On lap six, Metcalfe capitalized on an error by Izzi to take over second. While he closed in on Pourcel in the last few laps, he settled for second as the Frenchman led all 15 laps of the main event.
"It was a good race for me," said Pourcel. "I was able to win in the U.S. a few years ago and I did it again tonight. My team was behind me and helped a lot. I'd like to thank all of them and everyone else who has been there to help me."
The AMA Supercross class will air on SPEED at 1:00 p.m. EST and the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class race will also air on SPEED on 4:00 p.m. EST.