James Stewart has closed back within eight points of reigning AMA Supercross champion Chad Reed with his ninth victory of the season, on Saturday night in Toronto.
Just one week after giving away victory with a crash while leading, the 2007 champion bounded back resoundingly by leading every lap.
With four races left of the 17-race title chase, the championship battle appears to be heading down to the wire at the Las Vegas finale.
“Every week it's 100 percent,” said Stewart. “Everyone makes mistakes once in a while but it's a long championship and there's gonna be drama all the way to the end. I went too far inside [on the start] but it worked out and then I turned it on. I want to thank all my guys at San Manuel. We've been working hard all week to get here. At the end of the day, I know me, my team, and everyone involved are giving 100 percent and that's all we can do.”
As the gates dropped on the 20-lap main, renowned starter Mike Alessi grabbed the holeshot aboard his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki's Tommy Hahn and Stewart followed in second and third with Reed fifth on the second Rockstar machine.
The top two riders asserted themselves at the front of the pack by the completion of the first lap. The Australian stayed close to Stewart throughout the first half of the race, but settled into second en route to recording his ninth runner-up finish of 2009. Factory Yamaha's Josh Hill brought home a season-best third place finish.
“The track was tough tonight,” stated Reed. I gave it all I had. I just made way too many mistakes and [James] slipped away. I want to thank everybody at Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. We'll just move onto to Jacksonville [next week]. It's always good to have close racing [for the title] but I'm looking forward to that week off. It will be good for everyone. [My team] wants to be there every week and win this thing. It's our goal.”
In the AMA Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel won his fourth race of the season to capture his first career AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional Championship with one race remaining.
Pourcel entered the first turn of the 15-lap main event in third place as Division 7/Star Yamaha's Broc Tickle grabbed the holeshot. His team-mate Matt Lemoine followed in second.