James Stewart has won the 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, title despite finishing third in Saturday night's Las Vegas season finale.

While all eyes were on the heated rivalry between former champion Stewart and reigning champion Chad Reed, rookie Ryan Villopoto stole the show with his second victory in the last three races.

However, Yamaha star Stewart brought home a solid third place to win the title by four points over Reed, who finished second.

As the 20-lap AMA Supercross main event launched out of the gates, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi raced to the holeshot with Stewart and Villopoto chasing closely.

Reed, Alessi's team-mate, suffered from a rough start, and came out of the first turn in seventh. By the completion of lap one, Stewart had moved into the lead, but Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Villopoto stayed close and brought the crowd to its feet when he passed the 11-time winner on lap two and never looked back.

"It's been awesome [the last three weeks]," said Villopoto. "To come back and win at Seattle was awesome, especially since it was my hometown. It's been very close running in Vegas and it feels good to finally get a win here. I've never done that before. I've been working hard. I couldn't have done it without the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki team. "

Behind him, Reed inched in on his nemesis, setting the stage for a memorable moment between the bitter rivals. While Reed needed a victory of his own for a shot at the championship, he made the best of his opportunity with a heavy-contact pass on Stewart on lap 15 to move into second and bring home his twelfth runner-up finish of 2009.

Stewart, who only needed a third place finish to clinch his second-career championship, backed off the pace and settled into third.

"You have no idea how tough this has to come back from what happened at Anaheim 1," said Stewart. "This is the toughest I have ever had to fight to win a title. It's has been a hard-fought championship for everyone. I just want to thank everyone that has been involved in everything we've accomplished this season."

"I gave it everything I had," explained Reed. "I can walk away knowing I did that. We had a great season back and forth and were real consistent and that kept us in [the title fight]. I want to come back even harder and get it back next year. James had a great season and rode really well and I can't take that away from him."

In the annual, talent-filled Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Supercross Lites Shootout, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel took the win and earned a Toyota Tundra for his efforts.

GEICO Powersports Honda's Blake Wharton overcame his East and West counterparts to grab the holeshot at the start of the race, with team-mate Trey Canard and Troy Lee Designs Honda's Jake Moss in tow.

Respective Eastern and Western Regional champions Pourcel and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey followed in fourth and ninth. Canard moved into the lead on by the end of lap one and quickly gapped the field while Pourcel moved into second.

On lap12, Canard committed an error and fell from first to third, handing the lead to Pourcel and a closing Dungey. For the remaining three laps, Dungey, who was looking for his third-straight shootout victory, chased down the French rider, but came up a half a bike length short across the line.

"I just rode the best I could the entire main event. I stayed close to Trey [Canard] and then he made a little mistake. From that point I just rode as fast as I could. It feels great to get this victory," said the Frenchman.
AMA Supercross Class Results, Las Vegas
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash. Kawasaki
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki
3. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
5. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
6. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki
7. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha
8. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
9. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
10. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda
AMA Supercross Class Season Standings
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 377
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Suzuki, 373
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 270
4. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 237
5. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 236
6. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 233
7. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 226
8. Davi Millsaps, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 219
9. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., Suzuki, 218
10. Josh Hill, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 146
Dave Coombs Sr. East West Shootout Results, Las Vegas
1. Christophe Pourcel, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
5. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki
6. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
7. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
8. Jake Moss, Temecula, Calif., Honda
9. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, KTM
10. Brock Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha