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Stewart's streak continues
9 June 2008
During his first visit to Freestone County Raceway, James Stewart extended his 2008 2008 Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF winning streak to three out of three events.
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Mike Alessi challenged the Monster Kawasaki star early-on all day, earning the BTOSports.com Holeshot Award in the each moto and becoming the first rider other than Stewart to lead a lap this season.
In moto one, an overzealous Stewart made a mistake while making his move to the front and tipped the bike over. He rebounded quickly and overcame the gap Alessi had opened to win the moto. In the second moto, Stewart made quick work of passing Alessi and quickly pulled away to victory.
"It's a little nerve-racking being up front," said Stewart. "You get into your own zone. I rode good today in both motos. It was really hot but it was good. I think the track is too fast. A real motocross [track] shouldn't be two minutes [a lap] so I'm looking forward to moving on. I think I'm riding a little bit different this year. I'm standing up more. The bike is essentially the same, but I think it's my riding that's different. I'm full steam ahead [this year]. This season is different than any before."
Alessi returned to form after an off-weekend to finish second in each moto and second overall. Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short completed his best weekend of the season with third and fourth place moto finishes for third overall.
In the AMA Lites class, reigning champion Ryan Villopoto continued to run away from the field. Grabbing the Holeshot Award in moto one, he quickly opened a significant lead and cruised to his fifth-consecutive moto victory.
In moto two, MDK KTM's Ryan Sipes sped to the holeshot and held the lead through lap one. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Stroupe and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey followed in second and third, respectively.
Villopoto found himself mired in the top-10 but put in a stellar ride to march into first, passing Dungey for the lead about a third of the way into the moto.
"I wouldn't call it a season yet," said Villopoto. "It's still really early, but it's nice to get some wins and get a points lead. Ryan [Dungey] is riding good, so I'm going to have to ride hard every weekend. It was definitely hot. This has been the first weekend like that [this season]. It puts a toll on everyone and I really just had to keep my eye on Ryan and keep turning laps."
Dungey continued to keep pace with Villopoto in the standings, bringing home second overall with dual second place moto finishes. Stroupe made his return to the podium after a week hiatus, scoring two third-place motos for third overall.
Stewart currently holds a 36-point lead over team-mate Ferry in the AMA Motocross standings while Villopoto has a 15-point advantage over Dungey in AMA Motocross Lites.
The AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF moves to the East Coast next weekend for the 32nd Annual Kawasaki/Monster Energy High Point Motocross National Presented by Centra Bank.
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