When the gate dropped in the main event, Stewart shot into the lead, grabbing the Progressive Direct Holeshot with his Monster teammate, Tim Ferry, in tow. Team Honda’s Andrew Short ran third for a while, Kevin Windham was fourth, and Chad Reed was in fifth. While it was really good to see Ferry riding so well, and keeping James within striking distance, Bubba slowly inched away and went on to win his second consecutive Detroit main event, unchallenged.
And from what I can gather, it appears that James Stewart wins the race in the first two laps. After the gate drops, he wastes no time breaking away and opening up a lead. It’s pretty amazing to watch how fast he goes and how aggressive he rides. He’s dragging the rear brake up the face of jumps just so he doesn’t overshoot them. From there he sets his KX450F on cruise control, and the biggest obstacle from then on is safely navigating through the lapped riders, which sometimes provides the most excitement.
Stewart put in 20 consistent laps and took his 11th win of the season—giving him a comfortable 38-point lead over Chad Reed with two races left. Ferry hung on to finish third, with Windham fourth and Short finishing fifth for the second race in a row.
Short finished fifth again
The race for second place was very entertaining, and early on it looked like Tim Ferry had it wrapped up. “Red Dog” was riding well all night, even winning his heat race—the first for him this season. So while Reed was struggling to pass Short and Windham, Ferry maintained a nice lead over third place as he strived to keep up with his teammate. But after the halfway mark, Reed managed to slip into third and set his sights on Ferry. With five laps to go Reed put a textbook block pass on Tim, securing another second place finish.
But what a difference one year can make. Last season we went in to the final two races with a very close points battle—this year is a bit different. Nonetheless, don’t expect Reed to lie down. The San Manuel Yamaha rider has one win this season, and would like nothing more to end his season on a winning note. If not, it may be a long off-season back in Australia.