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Stewart beaten but Anaheim sweep on offer.

Supercross King Jeremy McGrath never pulled it off, neither did defending AMA champion Ricky Carmichael or 2004 title holder Chad Reed - but this Saturday James Stewart could become the first rider in history to sweep all three rounds at Anaheim's Angel Stadium in a single season.

Stewart made a perfect start to 2007 by winning the first three rounds - including two at Anaheim - before Carmichael broke the Kawasaki star's unbeaten run last weekend in San Francisco.

Nevertheless, with RC riding only a partial season as he winds down his amazing career, Stewart will be without the Suzuki threat at Anaheim III. But 'A3' has tripped up many great riders in the past: In 2001, the first year Anaheim hosted three events, McGrath took the first two wins before losing to the rapidly rising Carmichael. Reed also came into A3 in 2004 with a great opportunity to sweep, but crashed while battling for the lead with Kevin Windham.

Stewart, the first rider in 10 years to win the opening three rounds of the series, may have lost last weekend, but his position in the standings didn't suffer. He rallied to finish second, one spot ahead of L&M Yamaha's Chad Reed with whom he's battling to stay atop the standings.

A victory this weekend for Stewart could earn him a record that will forever remain in the books and increase his 15-point lead over Reed, a quarter of the way through the 16-race season.

Indeed, the speed Stewart has shown early in the season had some pundits already talking of a potential perfect season. Stewart said he wasn't too disappointed to have that kind of pressure out of the way.

"I've been saying all along that my main goal is winning the championship," he said in a press conference after the race in San Francisco on Saturday. "We've got the speed and the focus right now to do it. I feel like I'm getting stronger with each race. Even though I crashed I still achieved my goal of finishing in front of Chad and building my points lead. I'm looking forward to Anaheim III."

Reed is hanging tough with Stewart in the series race and claims that he is nearly 100 percent healthy after suffering a broken shoulder just before the season started.

"I felt like I rode well in San Francisco and that's encouraging for the rest of the season," said the former champ. "I've come a long way in a short time and am excited to be up there battling for wins."

Meanwhile, Carmichael has said his next race will be in Atlanta on February 24.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stewart leads Reed (pic:  Frank Hoppen).
Ricky Carmichael – Makita Suzuki.
James Stewart – Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha)
Josh Grant wins Anaheim I 2009 (Pic: Yamaha).
James Stewart, Justin Brayton and Kevin Windham on the 2008 Paris-Bercy Supercross podium (pic: www.motoverte.com)
James Stewart - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha)

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