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San Francisco: Round five preview

Stewart Carries Three-Race Win Streak into AT&T Park Saturday Night AURORA, Ill. (January 26, 2009) -- Team San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., brings a three-race win streak to San Francisco this Saturday night as the ...

Stewart Carries Three-Race Win Streak into AT&T Park Saturday Night

AURORA, Ill. (January 26, 2009) -- Team San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., brings a three-race win streak to San Francisco this Saturday night as the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to AT&T Park. Stewart, the 2006 winner in San Francisco, trails defending AMA Supercross class champion and current points leader Chad Reed, of Tampa, Fla., by nine points. In the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class championship, Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., carries a two-race win streak and the championship points lead into AT&T Park. Fans can take advantage of several discounts that are now available, including a $10-off coupon from participating Big O Tire locations, $40 off with purchase of the Fan Four Pack at participating Jack in the Box locations and free Extreme Value ticket vouchers are available at OTD Cycle Sports.

Last Saturday night at Houston's Reliant Stadium, Stewart picked up that third consecutive race win before 48,277 fans and moved into second place in overall points standings. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., started the AMA Supercross class main event with the holeshot with 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.

By the end of lap one Stewart moved into second place and set his eyes on Villopoto who held down the lead. Villopoto didn't make it easy for Stewart to take over the lead, but on lap three thee Yamaha rider moved into the number-one position and rode on to victory. Further back in the pack Reed was working his way into the lead and by lap 12 he moved into second place where he finished. 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.

"It was tough for me this weekend, I don't know why, so to get second is awesome. It was really a struggle all weekend. I didn't have the groove and I was pushing it, and I fell a few times in practice, so it wasn't for lack of trying. I'm happy that we didn't lose any ground this weekend, even though we struggled a bit."

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.

"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."

At last year's race in San Francisco, Reed won his third race of the season despite a rain-soaked track in front of 37,322 fans. In the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class, Jason Lawrence, of Carlsbad, Calif., won the first Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class race of his career.

In the AMA Supercross class main event last year Honda's Kevin Windham, of Centerville, Miss., opened up a lead on lap one while Reed started to work his way through the pack after a bad start. While leading Millsaps threw away the lead on lap six and Reed moved into the lead. Windham finished second and Millsaps finished third.

"I did make some mistakes out there tonight, and I was able to get a little luck," said Reed last year. "I am happy to come back after the bad start I had. I am looking forward to racing on a dry track next weekend in Anaheim."

Supercross made its debut at AT&T Park back on January 23, 2003 when Carmichael won the AMA Supercross class and Stewart won the AMA Supercross Lites class. Carmichael holds the record for the most wins at AT&T Park with three. In the AMA Supercross Lites class, Nathan Ramsey is the only rider to earn two wins in San Francisco.

The AMA Supercross class will air on CBS Sports on Sunday, February 1 at Noon EST and the Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites class race will also air on SPEED on Sunday, February 1 at Noon EST.

-credit: SupercrossOnline.com

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Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Windham , Chad Reed , Josh Hill , Mike Alessi , Christophe Pourcel , Ryan Dungey , Ryan Villopoto