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Seattle win hands Stewart AMA and World crown

30 April 2007

James Stewart claimed his first AMA Supercross championship with his twelfth victory of the season at Seattle on Saturday night - a result that also handed him his second World Supercross GP crown in succession.

Suzuki's Ivan Tedesco earned the $1,500 Progressive Direct Holeshot Award but subsequently fell - with his bike then hit by Stewart's only remaining title rival, Yamaha's Chad Reed, costing the Australian an early second position. Reed restarted in last place, eventually recovering to sixth, while Stewart rode to race and double championship glory.

"To have this championship is a dream come true. I have waited for this my entire life. I was nervous all day. I want to thank my team and family for all of their support this year," said Stewart.

With the recent retirement of Ricky Carmichael, the sport and its future seemed to be passed along to Stewart at Detroit. And, to Stewart's credit, he has taken things in stride, both with the gracious manner in which he paid tribute to Carmichael's retirement earlier in the season and his recent dominance of the sport, including five straight wins leading up to the title.

"I am definitely happy to be in the position I am in and I hope that I can continue to help the sport grow from here," said Stewart. "I also hope that I can continue to kick it up that extra notch to give the fans the show they came to see. I will still be working hard as ever because there will always be another fast guy coming up to challenge for the win."

Stewart's titles were not exactly handed to him, with Carmichael winning once and Reed claiming two main event wins. And while most in the sport can agree on Stewart's talents on the track, Kawasaki team manager Mike Fisher says it's what goes on behind the scenes that makes this year all the more enjoyable.

"Our entire team puts in so much work that when we win championships like this, it's a huge payoff," said Fisher. "Our testing staff and riders spend endless hours at the test track perfecting even the smallest of things, so this is what makes it all worth while."

Stewart's season started off with trying times north of the border in Toronto, where a late-race crash injured his foot at the series opener. He would ride through the pain a week later in Vancouver and limped away from the Canadian rounds with a sore foot and an important 42 points in the standings.

The series took a break over the Christmas holiday which allowed Stewart the ability to heal and make a triumphant return to racing with wins in the next three races at Anaheim, San Francisco and Anaheim again.

That three-race win streak gave him momentum, and with the pending retirement of Carmichael, who would only race three more times, Stewart took control of the series. He won eight of the next 11 races, including tonight in Seattle to close out the season, earning his second straight Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP title and first-ever Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series championship.

"Man, it has been a great season and I am pumped to wrap this thing up a race early," said Stewart. "I have to say though, the past few years have really been a learning experience for me and now it's all paying off. Last year, I won the World Supercross title and it felt great, but nothing like winning both titles this year."

Stewart will have one last round of Amp'd Mobile Supercross at the season finale on May 5 - where he will shoot for his 13th win of the season, followed only by the 14 win seasons of Carmichael (2001) and Jeremy McGrath (1996).

Meanwhile, after clinching the Amp'd Mobile Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites championship prior to Saturday's race, Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto closed out the series with his seventh win.

"It was great to ride in front of this great crowd," said Villopoto. "I have a lot of family and friends in the stands tonight, and I want to thank them and everyone that has been behind me this year. I am looking forward to Las Vegas next weekend for the East/West Shootout."

Next Saturday at Las Vegas' Sam Boyd Stadium, the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout will stage the top Amp'd Mobile Supercross Lites riders from the East and West Regions.


Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series Event Results, Seattle:
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki
2. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Honda
3. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda
4. Tim Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda
6. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha
7. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki
8. David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
9. Josh Summey, Stanley, N.C., Honda
10. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Kawasaki

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series Season Standings:
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 360
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 312
3. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 261
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 220
5. David Vuillemin, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 182
6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 179
7. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki, 178
8. Ricky Carmichael, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 160
9. Heath Voss, Mico, Texas, Honda, 148
10. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Kawasaki, 135

Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP Season Standings:
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 379
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Yamaha, 342
3. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki, 284
4. David Vuillemin, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 224
5. Michael Byrne, Newnan, Ga., Suzuki, 198
6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 186
7. Ricky Carmichael, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 185
8. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Kawasaki, 183
9. Heath Voss, Mico, Texas, Honda, 175
10. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Kawasaki, 164


Amp'd Mobile Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Event Results, Seattle:
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
2. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha
3. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda
5. Chris Gosselaar, Victorville, Calif., Kawasaki
6. Michael LaPaglia, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
7. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki
8. Dusty Klatt, Campbell River, BC, KTM
9. Kyle Cunningham, Springtown, Texas, Yamaha
10. Josh Hansen, Lake Elsinore, Calif., KTM

Amp'd Mobile Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Season Standings:
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 197
2. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 157
3. Josh Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Yamaha, 128
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda, 120
5. Christopher Gosselaar, Victorville, Calif., Kawasaki, 111
6. Josh Hansen, Lake Elsinore, Calif., KTM, 98
7. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Honda, 91
8. Matthew Lemoine, Pilot Point, Texas, Yamaha, 85
9. Troy Adams, Homosassa, Fla., Suzuki, 84
10. Kyle Cunningham, Springtown, Texas, Yamaha, 77


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