Stewart Closes on Series Lead with Third AMA Win

James Stewart raced to his third straight victory in just his fourth appearance in the AMA Supercross series with the San Manuel L&M YZ450F Yamaha. The 23 year old conquered the fourth round of the 2009 contest (also an FIM World Championship) at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas; the first time the '09 competition had left the west coast of the USA.

In front of a little more than 48,000 spectators Stewart started reasonably well and was fourth around the opening turns. He needed another two laps before he relegated Ryan Villopoto and was then able to control the remaining 17 circulations in the 16 minute sprint.

The 2009 edition was the 44th Supercross meeting to be held in Houston with Pierre Karsmakers winning the inaugural event in 1974 with a Yamaha. Stewart's success increased Yamaha's tally to 15 triumphs in the State since the mid-1970s. In taking the chequered flag he also registered the 27th AMA SX win of his career.

"The bike was definitely better this weekend," he said. "I just felt more comfortable when we first got here, and we changed some stuff, and it's coming along. I think it was definitely a better weekend for me, and I'm just going to try and keep on improving and see what happens."

Supercross class rookie Joe Gibbs Racing's Josh Grant finished fifth to maintain his streak of a top five finish in each round so far. "I told myself coming into this season that I wanted to be top-five every weekend, and so far, I've been better than that," he reflected. "We had two good races at the beginning, and that's about it, but the last two tracks, I haven't really felt comfortable on, so for me to not feel comfortable on a track and still get top-five and still ride the way I've been riding is good."

Stewart has risen from fourth to second in the standings and now lies just 9 points behind leader Reed. Grant is in third place but level on points with his brand-mate.

Round five takes place next weekend at the AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Race 1 - 20 Laps

Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Total Time

1, James Stewart, Yamaha, USA, 16'45.374
2, Chad Reed, Suzuki, AUS, 0'9.787
3, Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki, USA, 0'14.364
4, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 0'18.490
5, Josh Grant, Yamaha, USA, 0'24.809
6, Ivan Tedesco, Honda, USA, 0'28.060
7, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 0'31.428
8, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 0'33.838
9, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 0'40.082
10, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 0'42.851
11, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 0'44.486
12, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 0'54.668
13, Paul Carpenter, Kawasaki, USA, -1 Laps
14, Cole Siebler, Honda, USA, -1 Laps
15, Matt Boni, Honda, USA, -1 Laps
16, Benjamin Coisy, Honda, FRA, -1 Laps
17, Kyle Chisholm, Yamaha, USA, -1 Laps
18, Charles Summey, KTM, USA, -1 Laps
19, Manuel Gomes Rivas, Kawasaki, ESP, -2 Laps
20, Josh Hansen, Honda, USA, -2 Laps

Rider Standings 24/01/2009

Pos., Rider, Manu., Nat., Points
1, Chad Reed, Suzuki, AUS, 86
2, James Stewart, Yamaha, USA, 77
3, Josh Grant, Yamaha, USA, 77
4, Andrew Short, Honda, USA, 71
5, Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki, USA, 68
6, Ivan Tedesco, Honda, USA, 62
7, Tim Ferry, Kawasaki, USA, 56
8, Kevin Windham, Honda, USA, 53
9, Mike Alessi, Suzuki, USA, 46
10, David D Millsaps, Honda, USA, 42
11, Josh Hill, Yamaha, USA, 37
12, Paul Carpenter, Kawasaki, USA, 37
13, Heath Voss, Honda, USA, 30
14, Nicholas Wey, Yamaha, USA, 26
15, Benjamin Coisy, Honda, FRA, 22

Manufacturer Standings 24/01/2009

Pos., Manufacturer, Points

1, Yamaha, 100
2, Suzuki, 86
3, Honda, 78
4, Kawasaki, 70
5, KTM, 13