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Stewart Battles With Neck Injury at Unadilla

Team Suzuki Press Office – August 12. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart bounced back from a fairly-severe crash and neck-injury early last week to give a commendable performance at round 10 of the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championships at the Unadilla National in New Berlin, New York on Saturday.

In the first moto, Stewart focused his efforts on getting the most out of himself and his RM-Z450. He got a decent start and was running in a podium position by the end of lap one. Although his neck pain increased as the moto progressed, he still battled until the moto’s end and finished third. Because of the pain, however, Stewart opted out of the podium ceremony and went back to his motorhome to recover.

“Last Monday, I had a pretty big crash and messed up my neck pretty good,” said Stewart. “I came in to Unadilla pretty sore and that’s why my times were off a little bit all day. In the first moto, I got an OK start and made some passes on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. I got up to third and was closing in on second, but I could feel my neck tightening up really bad. By the end of the race, I was barely holding on.”

After regrouping, Stewart lined up for moto two. Unfortunately, he got a poor start and was almost last off the gate. Going into the second turn, he encountered a group of riders stopped on the track and had nowhere to go. The result was a crash that reinjured his already hurt neck. Stewart retired for the day and finished 11th overall.

“I felt like I recovered pretty good after the first moto,” said Stewart. “I felt like I could still get top five, but I got a bad start in the second moto and I was almost dead last going in the first corner. In the second corner… I don’t know if there was a pile-up but something happened and the guys in front of me were stopped and I ran into them. I went over the handlebars and landed on my neck again. I did my best; I felt like even though I was sore in the first moto, I still rode pretty good. Hopefully nothing is seriously wrong, but I’ll go back and get checked out.”

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next race is penultimate round 11 of the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championships on Saturday, August 17th, at the Utah National in Tooele, Utah.

2013 Unadilla MX 450 Results:

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
2. Justin Barcia (Honda)
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
4. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
5. Josh Grant (Yamaha)
6. Andrew Short (KTM)
7. Brett Metcalfe (Kawasaki)
8. Broc Tickle (RCH Suzuki)
9. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
10. Phil Nicoletti (Yamaha)