Stewart with historic series lead coming into 30th High Point National

May 24, 2006 7:46am

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 24, 2006) -- James Stewart comes to the 30th Annual Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National this Sunday, May 28 in Mt. Morris, Pa., fresh from his first Toyota AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF victory last weekend in Sacramento.

Stewart’s win in Sacramento was historic in many respects – it ended Ricky Carmichael’s 27-race win streak, the longest winning streak in AMA Motocross history; it marked Kawasaki’s first AMA Motocross class victory since 2001; and finally, it is the first time someone other that Ricky Carmichael has led the series in five years.

Frenchman Sebastian Tortelli was the last rider in May of 2001 to lead the championship before Carmichael’s victory at Southwick, Mass., in June of that year began his record reign atop the series standings.

"It was a hard fought win,” Stewart said of his 1-2 moto finish that gave him the overall victory at Hangtown last Sunday. “Ricky rode great and to be the rider to stop his streak is unbelievable. I’m so pumped about this season. I think we’re going to have some great battles. Hopefully I can start a streak of my own.”

Stewart won at Mt. Morris in the Motocross Lites class (then called 125 class) in 2004.

Even though Carmichael lost his first overall in 27 nationals, he seemed upbeat about how he closed out Hangtown with a dominating victory in a wet second moto.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve lost an overall,” said Carmichael, the six-time AMA Motocross champion who rides for Suzuki. I’m happy with the way I rode in the second moto. I’m looking forward to getting back east and riding on tracks like Mt. Morris.”

He added that he agrees with Stewart that it’s going to be a battle. Carmichael has a four-race winning streak in the AMA Motocross class at High Point Raceway.

Yamaha’s Chad Reed scored a third overall in the season opener. The Australian is looking for his first victory in the premier class at Mt. Morris. Reed won the Motocross Lites class at Mt. Morris in 2002.

David Vuillemin showed surprising speed in the series opener on his Motoworld Yamaha. Vuillemin is a proven winner at Mt. Morris, having won there in 2000 and 2001.

Defending Mt. Morris Motocross Lites winner Mike Alessi brings his series lead with him for the Memorial Weekend event. The Red Bull KTM ace won both motos at Hangtown and is hoping to extend his series lead this weekend.

“I did a lot better than I expected,” Alessi said of his round one win. “I know I can do well at Mt. Morris, so my win at Hangtown gives me even more confidence going to the tracks I like. It’s too early to tell how the championship is going to work out. I just want to ride smart all year.”

Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy teammates Brett Metcalfe and Andrew McFarlane are tied for second in the Motocross Lites class standings coming into High Point.

The The Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National Presented by Anderson & Strudwick will be televised on OLN. The Motocross Championship class will be shown on June 3 s 6:00 pm Eastern, Motocross Lites on June 5 at 4:00 pm.

For ticket information call (304) 284-0084 or visit the website

WHAT: 30th Annual Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point National, round two of the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF.

WHERE: High Point Raceway, located just north of Morgantown, W. Va., take I-79 to Exit 1 (Mount Morris) then go east 3 miles to the gate.

WHEN: May 28, 2006

COURSE: 1.2 miles (approx), hard pack dirt and clay.

2005 WINNERS:  AMA Motocross: Ricky Carmichael (Suzuki). AMA Motocross Lites: Mike Alessi (KTM).

SCHEDULE: Saturday (May 27) - Pro practice, 1:00-3:25 pm., Pre-qualifiers 3:45 pm.; Sunday (May 28) - Practice, 9:00-10:30 am. Qualifying, 10:45 am. Opening Ceremonies, 12:30 pm. Final events start at 1:00 pm with two 30-minute, plus two lap motos for each class.

TICKETS: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday $50 adult, Kids 6-12 $35, 6yrs. & under free. Saturday and Sunday $40, kids 6-12 $25 6yrs & under free. Sunday only $30, $15 for kids 6-12, 6yrs & under free. Five dollars off advance tickets available at area dealers.