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450 Words: St. Louis

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  • Chad Reed celebrates moving one step closer to another championship
  • It's crunch time for James
Admit it. If someone told you on the dawn of Anaheim 1 that Chad Reed and James Stewart would stay healthy all year, and Reed would lead the points with five races to go, you wouldn’t have believed it. Based on the past performances of Stewart versus Reed (see the 2007 AMA Supercross Season, which Stewart won over Reed by 51 points), and looking at Stewart’s speed on his new San Manuel Yamaha at both the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open and the Paris-Bercy Supercross, it seemed like nothing could stop him Stewart from taking the 2009 Monster Energy Supercross Championship.

You know who didn’t believe that, though? Chad Reed himself. There are times when fans want to get on Reed’s case for not beating Stewart straight-up on speed or for not just saying stuff like “he’s better than me” on the podium. But you know what? The fact that Reed doesn’t hang it out more, and the fact that he doesn’t admit defeat, is what has put him into the points lead right now. Everyone else who has ever challenged James Stewart on a weekly basis, sans Ricky Carmichael, has eventually given up and decided Stewart is just too darned fast for them. Reed first met Stewart on a supercross track in 2002, and seven years later, he still believes he can win, and now, he’s on the verge of doing it.

  • Possibly the two of the most talented riders in history
  • Could Jason Lawrence become a 450 title threat in the future?
Speed in this sport is tantalizing, but it doesn’t always add up. The proof comes not just with Stewart but with the real star of Saturday night, Travis Pastrana, who may have been the one man on the planet with the talent, bravado and speed to have really challenged Stewart all of these years. But Travis eventually crashed and injured himself right out of the game, and his supercross years ended without a single win in the big class. Now it’s Reed, quite possibly the most consistent rider in the history of the sport, who is taking it to Stewart, and succeeding.

Hasn’t beaten James straight up? The record book doesn’t have a category for that.

As proof of the belief, Jason Lawrence, the most controversial man in the sport, the man who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the man who just can’t seem to avoid headlines, went way, way out of his way to avoid one in St. Louis. With a good start, Lawrence found himself in front of Stewart early, and he simply moved over and let Stewart pass him. Even Lawrence knows it’s not worth the fight, because you’re just not going to beat Stewart anyway.

{LINKS}There’s only one man that believes he can, and right now he’s doing it. Can you believe that?
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