Team Suzuki Press Office – January 6. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart was in top-form at Saturday’s season-opening round of AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, charging from mid-pack to challenging for the lead in the closing stages.
Although Stewart suffered a spectacular high-speed get-off – and was unable to finish the race – the incident occurred after he’d turned in 16 flawless laps and was preparing to take the lead on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450.
“This weekend was just the first round,” said Stewart. “Definitely, I didn’t want to go out like that, but at the same time, I felt like this was the best I’ve been riding in years and this was the best I’ve felt on a motorcycle in years, so I’m confident and healthy; and I feel good on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450.”
The much-anticipated Anaheim event started out on a positive note with Stewart posting the fastest lap times in the first 450 class practice session. In his heat race, he got the holeshot and led the first few laps before finishing second. In the 20-lap Main Event, Stewart overcame a poor start and worked his way through the field and into the top five. He captured the ‘Progressive Pass of the Race’ award when overtaking third position and then moved into the runner-up spot. Unfortunately, he went down in one of two gnarly whoop-sections as he was about to make a bid for the lead with just four laps remaining.
“All day went pretty good and I was able to get second in my heat race,” said Stewart. “In the Main Event, I was late off the gate and I was pretty far back. But I made my way up on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and it got better and better as the race went on. I felt stronger and stronger and my lap times started going down. I could see that I was starting to pick-it-up and make time on the guys up front. I went to make a pass in the whoops – they’d been taking people out all night – and I kind-of got caught out. But I’m happy, the Yoshimura Suzuki team stepped it up again and I’m really proud of my guys and where we are. And now we’re just going to continue to get better as we head to Phoenix.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next event is the second round of the 2014 AMA/ FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, January 11th, at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Anaheim 1 450 Supercross Results:
1. Ken Roczen (KTM)
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
3. Chad Reed (Kawasaki)
4. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
5. Justin Barcia (Honda)
6. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
7. Josh Grant (Yamaha)
8. Broc Tickle (RCH Suzuki)
9. Andrew Short (KTM)
10. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
17. James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2013 450 Supercross Standings: CLICK HERE