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New Supercross era begins at Anaheim.

Recent seasons have seen the slightly confusing format of separate AMA and World Supercross points being awarded at all but the Daytona (AMA only) and Canadian rounds (World championship only) - culminating in the crowning of two Supercross champions (sometimes the same rider) at the end of each season.

That will all thankfully end in 2008 when the AMA championship will be the world championship - a move that makes great sense given the AMA's undoubted position as the most competitive and high profile Supercross series in the world, although it still means that a 'world champion' will be crowned despite only one round being held outside of the USA.

But call it what you like; either way the AMA Supercross championship is the Supercross championship to win - and defending title holder James Stewart, now free from the partial 2007 appearances of five-times title winner Ricky Carmichael, will start the year as the overwhelming favourite.

The only unknown hanging over Stewart is his race fitness, having been forced to miss the tail end of the 2007 Motocross season due to injury, but the Kawasaki star made quick work of the (full time) competition last year, winning all three races at Angel Stadium en route to his first AMA Supercross class championship.

Stewart's dominance in Anaheim helped him established an 18-point lead in the AMA Supercross class points standings over Yamaha's Chad Reed as the series moved to off the west coast to Houston's Reliant Stadium.

Reed, the 2004 AMA Supercross champion (the season Carmichael was injured) is again expected to provide Stewart's nearest title challenge, while another Yamaha rider - reigning AMA Motocross champion Grant Langston - will be out to make his mark as a 450 rider indoors.

Other frontrunners should include Stewart's team-mate Tim Ferry, plus Honda riders Davi Millsaps, Andrea Short, Ivan Tedesco and Kevin Windham. Suzuki will call upon the services of Mike Alessi and veteran David Vuillemin.

Anaheim will also make the opening round of the West Coast AMA Supercross Lites championship, dominated last year by Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto - who returns to defend his crown.

Throughout the eight-race championship, Villopoto was victorious at every stop except Phoenix's Chase Field where his team-mate Christophe Pourcel claimed victory to his first AMA Supercross Lites win.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Stewart – Kawasaki (pic: Frank Hoppen).
Ryan Dungey - 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).
Chad Reed - Makita Rockstar Suzuki (pic: Suzuki).
Chad Reed - Makita Rockstar Suzuki (pic: 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)
Josh Grant wins Anaheim I 2009 (Pic: Yamaha).

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