SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 28, 2006) – Kawasaki Racing Team enjoyed another
successful weekend on Saturday night as James Stewart won a mud-filled
battle at the fourth round of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series at
SBC Park in San Francisco. The win was Stewart’s fourth of the season,
including the World SX-GP rounds, and brought him to within two points
of fellow Floridian and points leader Ricky Carmichael. The win also
advanced Stewart into a four point lead over Carmichael in the Amp’d
Mobile World Supercross GP Series.
After consistent rain late in the day, the main events were shortened
following a single practice session to 8-laps for the Supercross Lites
class and 12-laps for the Supercross class. By race time, the rain
increased which made for very wet and muddy conditions and turned every
racer’s strategy into an issue of survival instead of racing.
Stewart began the rain-soaked evening by slipping and sliding his way
through the mud-laden track to win his heat race aboard his KX™450F.
“I’ve never raced at a track that’s this muddy,” Stewart said from the
podium. “It’s terrible out there and I’ve just got to stay up, it’s
going to be a tough long night.”
In the main event, Stewart launched his KX450F out of the gate and
quickly took over the lead by the end of lap one with Carmichael close
behind. As the pair pulled away from the rest of the field, the mud
took its toll on many riders, turning the track into a parking lot of
stuck and stalled motorcycles. By lap four, Stewart was able to
successfully navigate the deep ruts and lapped riders to gain a
four-second lead over Carmichael. By lap nine, Carmichael pulled to
within striking distance of Stewart and passed him with three laps
remaining. Stewart, undaunted by the lead change, rode with patience
and determination to pass Carmichael on the final lap and held on to
capture his fourth main event win for the season.
“The first few laps I was in my own world and thinking that I just
wanted to finish,” said Stewart during the post race press conference.
“I knew Carmichael was behind me. I could hear the crowd going crazy
and I didn’t know if he crashed or if he was right up on me. When he
got in front of me, I was thinking it was over. Then I caught back up
to him and ended up making it happen from there.”
Stewart’s teammate, Michael Byrne, punched his ticket to the main event
by winning his semi-qualifier. In the main event, Byrne got a good
start and had his Kawasaki KX450F running in the fifth position after
one lap. He slid into the fourth spot one lap later and would
eventually finish in that position behind race winner Stewart,
Carmichael and Nick Wey.
Byrne sits in fifth place in the standings with 58 points. Carmichael leads the series by 2 points over Stewart.
In the Supercross Lites class action, Team Monster/Pro
Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto won his heat race and carried the
momentum straight into the main event by grabbing the holeshot award
aboard his KX250F to start the eight-lap mud-fest. Unfortunately,
however, his lead was eliminated after a crash at the end of the
opening lap sent the 17-year-old rookie back in the pack. Villopoto’s
teammate, Grant Langston, endured a tough start and also crashed on the
lead lap. Both riders would regroup and were within the top-ten by the
halfway point, but the leaders were already way out front despite the
muddy conditions. As the checkered flag dropped, Villopoto would hold
on to capture sixth place while Langston, who crashed again, was forced
to accept a 15th place finish.
The Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series heads back to Angel Stadium in
Anaheim, Calif., next Saturday, February 4th, for the third of three
stops at the popular Southern California venue.