The 2011 AMA Supercross series (also an FIM World Championship) got underway in front of a capacity crowd at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Los Angeles on Saturday with Yamaha LandM San Manuel rider James Stewart taking third position on his YZ450F.
The 25 year old Floridian was competing in his first Main Event for almost a year and the 2009 champion needed to exercise patience and caution in recovering from a mid-pack start to work his way onto the podium. “There were only two spots on the track where you could do it [overtake] and I was just trying to make sure I made clean passes,” he said. “You know, it’s hard; you get in one side of the track and just follow all the way from the sand section until you get back through the whoops. Overall I’m happy though. Coming from 17th to third, I think that’s pretty good and lets me know that I still have the speed. Get a couple good starts and I think we’ll be right there.”
While Stewart needed half of the twenty laps to reach the leading group and was then unable to shut-down the four-five second gap to defending number one Ryan Dungey and winner Ryan Villopoto other Yamaha riders such as Kyle Chisholm and Nick Wey found the difficult track even harder going as they placed 11th and 12th respectively. Stewart’s new team-mate, Kyle Regal, was 13th.
Nick Paluzzi was the highest runner on the YZ250F with ninth place in the first round of the West Coast SX Lites.
The second round of seventeen in the thrilling indoor-racing spectacle takes place next Saturday at Chase Field in Phoenix.