CORONA, Calif., (June 18, 2008) – The 32nd annual Monster Energy MX National at High Point Raceway (Mt. Morris, Pa.) – and the first round of the 2008 Monster Energy Triple Crown of Motocross – went to Monster’s James Stewart (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) and Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, each of whom took top honors in the premier AMA Motocross class and AMA Motocross Lites class, respectively.
With the wins each are now eligible for the $25,000 Monster Energy Triple Crown bonus should they be able to capture the two remaining rounds of the Triple Crown at RedBud (Buchanan, Mich.) and Steel City (Delmont, Pa.).
For his part Stewart was absolutely dominant in his quest for matching Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael’s undefeated season (12-0 overalls, 24-0 motos) in 2002. Stewart led 35 of the 36 total laps at High Point for the 1-1 finish and is now 4-0/8-0 through one-third of the season.
“This is the best track of the year…I had fun today and I’ve had fun all year,” said Stewart at the AMA’s post-race press conference.
So dominant was Stewart he won the first moto by more than a half minute (34.375 seconds) over Mike Alessi, then won the second moto by nearly ten seconds. His 1-1 finish at High Point gave him a 45-point lead on second place in the series (Alessi) through only four rounds of Outdoor National racing.
Also working to put his Kawasaki KX450F up on the podium was Stewart’s Monster Energy/Kawasaki teammate, fellow Floridian Tim “Red Dog”
Ferry. Ferry put up a solid 4-4 effort for 4th place overall in the premier MX class and is currently tied for 3rd place in the overall standings with Davi Millsaps – each with 150 points.
Rounding out the top ten scoring in the MX class for Monster Energy was Josh Hill (Yamaha). Hill improved from a 13th fastest lap time in the first moto to sixth fastest overall in the second moto, going a like 13/6 for 9th place overall.
In the MX Lites class it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Villopoto taking the win in resounding fashion, like Stewart leading all but one lap in going 1-1 for the overall. Villopoto was joined in the top five by fellow Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s racers Austin Stroupe, who made the podium (3rd) in the second moto for 4th overall and Brett Metcalfe who went 7-4 for 5th overall.
“All-in-all it was another stellar weekend of MX Nationals racing for the Monster Energy Army,” said John Lee, Director of Sports Marketing for Monster Energy. “A big crowd at High Point was welcomed by Monster Energy as the title sponsor and our athletes swept the top spots on both podiums.
“If we’d have sat down in advance and written a script for this it couldn’t have come out much better.”
Also raising some eyebrows in the MX Lites class was Monster Energy’s Jason Lawrence (Yamaha of Troy). In line for an overall podium finish after a 4th place first moto finish – which included a breathtaking last to 4th charge in the opening moments of moto one – succumbed to mechanical issues and was forced to retire in moto two.
“I’ve been racing with Yamaha for two years and this is the first time we’ve ever had anything like this happen,” said Lawrence. “We’ll just have to move on to the next race.”
Following a break in the action this coming weekend, Stewart and Villopoto take their AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Series points lead into Lakewood, Colo., (June 29) for the first-ever Outdoor National race run at night with artificial lighting.