NASHVILLE, Tenn. – All that James Stewart needed to do in Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross finale at Las Vegas was finish third or better to clinch the 2009 championship for himself and Bridgestone, and that’s just what the superstar rider did. Stewart placed third in the main event to earn his second AMA Supercross crown and the 11th for Bridgestone riders since 1996.
Fellow Bridgestone rider Chad Reed (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki), the ’08 Supercross champion, was the only other competitor with a chance to take the title, and Reed did all he could by finishing second ahead of Stewart (Team San Manuel / JSE Yamaha). Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy / Kawasaki) took the main event win for the second time in three weeks, providing Bridgestone a podium sweep before a sellout crowd of nearly 40,000 at Sam Boyd Stadium.
In the final standings, Stewart, also the ’07 Supercross champion, edged Reed by a mere four points – with the next nearest rider more than 100 points behind. Stewart won an amazing 11 times in 2009, Reed three times, Villopoto twice and Josh Grant once as Bridgestone riders won every AMA Supercross event this season.
The Supercross Lites East-West Shootout in Las Vegas featured the top finishers from each of the two regional competitions this season. Eastern Regional champion Christophe Pourcel won just ahead of Western Regional champ Ryan Dungey (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki), in a duel between Bridgestone riders. This year marks the fourth time since 2003 that Bridgestone has collected the Supercross and both Supercross Lites (Eastern and Western regionals) championships in the same season.
The riders take a short break before beginning the outdoor portion of their season, the AMA Motocross and Motocross Lites, on May 23 at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif.
About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company's Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in the Americas. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.