James Stewart is poised to break into AMA Supercross' all-time top ten winners list if he can continue his triumphant streak in this weekend's Amp'd Mobile round at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Even at this point in the season, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is leaping from one major accomplishment to another and, last week, became the first rider in history to sweep the three Anaheim rounds. Last Saturday's victory was the 15th of his career and another this weekend would tie Stewart with Hall of Famer Jean-Michel Bayle for tenth on the all-time AMA Supercross list, already a major accomplishment considering that 2007 is only his third year in the series and that he missed most of his rookie year due to injury.
“It feels good to be the first to win all three,” Stewart said of his Anaheim achievement, “especially when you consider all the great riders who have ridden here. It's a tremendous accomplishment for me.”
Stewart comes to Reliant Stadium with good memories of the Houston round, having won the race for the previous two seasons. However, While Stewart is favoured to become only the fourth rider in history to win in Houston for three years in a row, he is facing increasing pressure from L&M San Manuel Yamaha's Chad Reed.
Last week, the duo had a great race for the lead in Anaheim, confirming that Reed, the 2004 AMA Supercross champion, has made a near complete recovery from a pre-season testing crash that broke his shoulder. The Aussie has healed while riding, and has kept himself in the championship hunt, trailing Stewart by 18 points coming into the weekend.
“I've worked hard to get back to the point where I can fight for wins,” said Reed, also a two-time Houston Supercross winner, “My bike is coming around and is getting to the point where it's fun to race. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Stewart's Monster Energy Kawasaki team-mate Tim Ferry came through to earn a podium finish last weekend, and said he is hoping to remain consistent and healthy for the rest of the season.
Another Monster Energy-backed rider, this time Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, continued his dominance of the AMA Supercross Lites West Series by taking his fourth in five starts last weekend, despite suffering a bad cold, and arrives in Houston with a solid 31-point advantage over Boost Mobile Yamaha's Jason Lawrence with just three rounds remaining. Sobe/No Fear/Samsung Honda's Jake Weimer is a distant third.