James Stewart Jr. injured in Phoenix practice crash; return date uncertain January 17, 2005 - Supercross fans at Bank One Ballpark were looking forward to seeing what has been hyped as the greatest Supercross season ever. After suffering ...
James Stewart Jr. injured in Phoenix practice crash; return date uncertain
January 17, 2005 - Supercross fans at Bank One Ballpark were looking forward to seeing what has been hyped as the greatest Supercross season ever. After suffering through the rain-filled mud bath at the season opener in Anaheim, everyone was poised to finally see 250 stalwarts Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, Jeremy McGrath and Kawasaki's rising star James Stewart battle it out under perfect conditions. This time, it appeared that the wait was over and the rain wasn't going to spoil anything.
But instead, it looks like fans will have to wait a little longer, and for Kawasaki fans patience may be a virtue.
Unfortunately, Team Kawasaki rider James Stewart suffered a fractured left forearm after crashing during the final practice for the second round of the THQ AMA Supercross series and was unable to compete. Stewart was treated and released by on-site physicians for further evaluation this week.
"Obviously, it is not what we wanted to happen," Kawasaki Director of Racing Bruce Stjernstrom said. "He looked like he was riding very much under control. His laps times were really good, and it looked like he was doing everything the right way. I just think it was an unfortunate racing situation that happened, and there's not much more to say about it really."
Stjernstrom did not speculate how long Stewart would be out, but did add, "He won't be at Anaheim (January 22) that much I can tell you." Prior to the crash, Stewart was riding in championship form. He piloted his powerful Kawasaki KX250 through the jumps and whoops to post the fastest lap time of the final 250 practice session at 51.281 seconds.
Stewart's teammate, Michael Byrne held his own during the 250 main event despite the added pressure of having to witness his teammate and friend getting hurt during practice. Byrne ended up in 8th following the first turn before falling in lap five where he then dropped to 15th. Byrne overcame the mishap and powered his Kawasaki KX250 back up to 11th before the checkered flag dropped. Carmichael led all 20 laps for the win. Byrne now sits in 10th for the THQ AMA overall point standings.
Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider and reigning 125 western regional champion, Ivan Tedesco, piloted his Kawasaki KX250F to the top spot during his qualifying heat. Tedesco looked strong all weekend and seemed very comfortable on the track. Following the heat it appeared as if Tedesco would back up his previous win in Phoenix from 2004. "We've been out here all week riding and having fun," said Tedesco, "The bike ran great, the track felt great, I'm just glad to come up with a win for the qualifier and hopefully carry it over to the main event."
Tedesco's words almost rang true but unfortunately time ran out for him in the 125 main event. Tedesco got out to a rough start when he was boxed out going into the first turn ending up in the 17th position. However, Tedesco's competitive nature and raw skill drove him to move up from 17th to 11th by the end of the first lap. The defending 125 champion then rallied to make up seven positions in the next eight laps, picking off opposing riders one-by-one.
Over halfway through the 125 main, Tedesco knew where he wanted to be and battled with Nathan Ramsey and Ryan Sipes over the next few laps to capture the 2nd position. Tedesco's luck improved when Ramsey crashed and couldn't get started leaving the door open to earn some well needed points. When the white flag waved Tedesco blasted his Kawasaki KX250F towards the finish but Broc Hepler had too much of a lead and won the 125 main. With the 2nd place finish and additional points, Tedesco is now tied with Ryan Sipes for the overall points lead.
"Broc got a great start," said Tedesco, who won the 2004 race. "As you can see, I am not happy about finishing second."
Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider and Tedesco's teammate Paul Carpenter wound up in the 12th position following the first turn of the 125 main event. He managed to gain momentum and advanced as high as 8th before a couple of unfortunate mishaps forced him to finish the evening in 20th.
The AMA THQ Supercross Series heads back to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., this Saturday for the third stop on the 16-race circuit.