After a first round DNF, LandM San Manuel Yamaha rider James Stewart has cut back a 23 point deficit and now joint-leads the 2009 AMA Supercross series (also an FIM World Championship) after recording his sixth consecutive victory in San Diego last Sunday.
The 23 year old Floridian notched his 31st career AMA success at the Qualcomm Stadium in southern California and thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing's Josh Grant's win at Anaheim I in early January, the YZ450F remains unbeaten after seven meetings in the seventeen race competition. Stewart - competing at the scene of his first of his 31 triumphs in 2002 - grabbed the holeshot and proceeded to establish a margin over reigning champion Chad Reed, who would go on to finish second to the Yamaha rider for the sixth time.
"I think a lot of people wouldn't have thought, after Anaheim I, that I could be leaving California for the east coast tied for the points lead, but it's a testament to my team and the work they put in every week," said Stewart. "They worked their butts off to make me comfortable, and I really do feel comfortable now. The track was definitely tough. I just had some good luck. The track was slick, but, man, this San Manuel Yamaha was awesome. I can't wait for Atlanta!"
Yamaha are the most prolific manufacturer at the San Diego meeting, having claimed 13 of the 26 main events held so far in the city.
For the first time this season Josh Grant was not able to finish in the top five. The rookie slipped off in the first corner and was recovering positions through the pack when he 'cased' a jump and hit his throat on the bars, forcing his retirement.
Round eight will take place in the confines of the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. If Stewart or another YZ450F racer takes the chequered flag then Yamaha will equal their streak of eight successive wins record in 2000.