SEATTLE. (April 28, 2007) – Kawasaki’s James Stewart wrapped up two titles in dominating fashion on Saturday night at the Seattle round of Amp’d Mobile Supercross at Qwest Field. The 21-year old Haines City, Fla. native clinched the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP and Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series championships with his 12th race win of the season.
With the recent retirement of Suzuki Ricky Carmichael, the sport and its future, seemed to be passed along to Stewart on this night. And to Stewart’s credit, he has taken things in stride, both with the gracious manner in which he paid tribute to Carmichael’s retirement earlier in the season and his recent dominance of the sport, including five straight wins leading up to the title.
“I am definitely happy to be in the position I am in and I hope that I can continue to help the sport grow from here,” said Stewart. “I also hope that I can continue to kick it up that extra notch to give the fans the show they came to see. I will still be working hard as ever because there will always be another fast guy coming up to challenge for the win.”
Stewart’s titles were not exactly handed to him, with Carmichael, of Tallahassee, Fla., winning once and Yamaha’s Chad Reed, of Tampa, Fla., claiming two main event wins. And while most in the sport can agree on Stewart’s talents on the track, Kawasaki team manager Mike Fisher says it’s what goes on behind the scenes that makes this year all the more enjoyable.
“Our entire team puts in so much work that when we win championships like this, it’s a huge payoff,” said Fisher. Our testing staff and riders spend endless hours at the test track perfecting even the smallest of things, so this is what makes it all worth while.”
Stewart’s season started off with trying times north of the border in Toronto, where a late-race crash injured his foot at the series opener. He would ride through the pain a week later in Vancouver and limped away from the Canadian rounds with a sore foot and an important 42 points in the standings.
The series took a break over the Christmas holiday which allowed Stewart the ability to heal and make a triumphant return to racing with wins in the next three races at Anaheim, San Francisco and Anaheim again. That three-race win streak gave him momentum, and with the pending retirement of Carmichael, who would only race three more times, Stewart took control of the series. He won eight of the next 11 races, including tonight in Seattle to close out the season, earning his second straight Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP title and first-ever Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series championship.
“Man, it has been a great season and I am pumped to wrap this thing up a race early,” said Stewart. ”I have to say though, the past few years have really been a learning experience for me and now it’s all paying off. Last year, I won the World Supercross title and it felt great, but nothing like winning both titles this year.”
Stewart will have one last round of Amp’d Mobile Supercross at the season finale on May 5 – in front of a live audience on SPEED - where he will shoot for his 13th win of the season, followed only by the 14 win seasons of Carmichael (2001) and Jeremy McGrath, of Encinitas, Calif., (1996).