STEWART LOOKS TO BE RIDER TO BEAT AT PONTIAC SUPERCROSS AMA 125 East Supercross title also to be decided PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 5, 2005) -- After dominating in his first THQ AMA Supercross Series win last weekend in Dallas, Kawasaki's ...
STEWART LOOKS TO BE RIDER TO BEAT AT PONTIAC SUPERCROSS
AMA 125 East Supercross title also to be decided
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 5, 2005) -- After dominating in his first THQ AMA Supercross Series win last weekend in Dallas, Kawasaki's James "Bubba" Stewart is considered by many the favorite to win this weekend's race on Saturday, April 9, at the Silverdome in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac, Mich. Attention will also shine brightly on the series finale of the AMA 125 East Supercross Series.
Three riders still have a shot at the 125 East title with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Grant Langston leading Red Bull KTM's Josh Hansen by seven points. Suzuki's young gun Davi Millsaps is in contention for the title as well, just 10 points behind Langston.
Langston is one of the most versatile riders in AMA racing. The South African native already has a 125 Motocross World Championship, an AMA 125 Motocross Championship and an AMA Supermoto Unlimited title to his credit. He's now looking to add an AMA 125 Supercross title to his collection. He went a long way in securing the title by winning last weekend at Texas Stadium.
The Championship was close so I definitely wanted and needed the win in Dallas," Langston said. "The win gives me a little bit of a margin. I'll sleep a little better this week, but I know I still have to put in a good performance at Pontiac. Being with the new team and being able to practice with all of Kawasaki's riders really helped motivate me this year."
Josh Hansen and Davi Millsaps now need a little luck on their side to have a chance to catch Langston for the 125 East Championship. If Hansen can pull it off he will join his dad Donnie Hansen as the first father and son combo to win AMA Supercross titles. Millsaps is in his first full season of Supercross and the 17-year-old from Georgia said he's been happy with his performance this season. "I'll go into Pontiac and ride my own race," he said. "I've had a successful season regardless of what happens there."
While the 125 East title will be decided in Pontiac, four rounds still remain in the premier class. Three-time AMA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael comes into the race with a 31-point lead over defending champ and two-time Pontiac Supercross winner Chad Reed. Carmichael is hoping to get his first win at Pontiac since 2001 and give Suzuki its first victory at the event since 1983, but he remains focused on the big prize of his fourth AMA Supercross title.
"It's been frustrating to dominate the first half of the season and not be able to do it now," Carmichael admitted. "With the points lead I have to watch my back and not put myself in a position to have something bad happen. I want to run with Bubba and get some more wins, but I'm sort of in a tough position right now in my run for the title."
Reed's winning streak came to an end with a crash at Dallas last week. He managed to regroup and put his Yamaha on the podium with a third, but he lost ground in his charge to catch Carmichael in the standings. "At Dallas I came up on a lapped rider and hit his back tire," he said. "It was unfortunate, but those things happen. Now I have to get ready for Pontiac."
With Carmichael and Reed still in a championship battle the emergence of Bubba Stewart has opened a new chapter in the 2005 AMA Supercross season. Stewart became the first new winner of the series in over two years. And the buildup of the expectations for the all-time winningest 125 rider put intense pressure on him to win. "Everybody has been expecting a lot from me and I'm just so happy it (winning a 250 main) finally happened," Stewart said. "It took me three races to get my first win. For some reason I knew I was going to do it in Dallas. I felt really strong last weekend. I've got one under my belt. The pressure is off now and it's time to race."
Stewart sat out most of the first half of the season with a broken arm so he's not in the championship hunt. He admits that enables him to focus solely on winning, not needing to worry about the points chase.
"I'm looking forward to Pontiac," he said. "I won the 125 race there last year and I'd like to go there and win the big race."
Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Michigan motorcycle dealers, at the Silverdome Box Office, or charge by phone at 248-645-6666. The Silverdome also features a special Family Section. When ordering tickets through Ticketmaster, request Family Section for an alcohol-free family atmosphere.
he Pontiac Supercross will air nationally on ESPN2 on Sunday, April 10 starting at 5:00 p.m. EST.
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com. Accredited media outlets can also access AMA Pro Racing's online Press Room at www.amaproracing.com/pressroom.