Stewart on the box again at packed Angel Stadium

7 Feb 2012

The second visit of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series (also an FIM World Championship) to Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Los Angeles saw JGRMX’s James Stewart collect his third podium trophy in a row by finishing second to Ryan Villopoto on Saturday night. A capacity crowd witnessed a Villopoto-Stewart-Chad Reed podium for what was the fifth round of seventeen.

It was an eventful evening for Stewart. While leading the first heat he mistimed a rhythm section and went down. In discomfort but electing to attempt the Last Chance Qualifying race the former champion made it through to the Main Event but without an ideal gate pick. Stewart dodged his way through the middle of the pack to reach title rival Reed and was able to demote the Australian but was then powerless to close up to the rear wheel of Villopoto.

“To get second tonight was actually pretty good considering how the heat race went and how beat up I feel right now,” he said. “It [the crash] knocked the wind out of me, and my ribs and my wrist, so I’ll be sore tomorrow, and probably Monday, but we’ll be back. It’s nothing we can’t handle, but I was just trying to get through the race from there."

"I didn’t get the greatest of starts and made some passes. I made my way up to third and ended up getting by Chad six or seven laps into the race. I was trying to salvage [something]. I felt like I could have gone a bit faster but I will take that. It was tough out there and definitely one of the toughest of the year!”

Stewart, whose victory last weekend in Oakland took him to 43 AMA SX career triumphs and means that the Floridian has stood on top of the podium every season for the past eight years, is now fourth in the standings and just 13 points (25 counts for a win) from Villopoto at the peak of the table. Team-mate Davi Millsaps was seventh in Los Angeles and holds ninth place in the points.

With Monster Energy Yamaha’s Zach Osborne now beginning to focus on his European programme Yamaha were best represented by Star Valli Racing’s Nico Izzi as the American took his YZ250F to fifth place in the West Coast Lites category.

The championship moves down to San Diego for round six next Saturday.

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