Ricky Carmichael and arch rival James Stewart set San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium alight with one of the best battles the AMA/World SX GP Supercross series has seen so far, on Saturday night.

Reigning champion Carmichael - the current AMA Supercross and World Supercross series leader - holeshotted the 20-lap main event, but with Stewart soon settling in behind him to set up a two-rider battle at the front.

Carmichael held the slightest of leads until the penultimate lap - when the Kawasaki rider forced his way through with an inside pass in a 180-degree turn after the first triple jump, sending the packed 70,000 crowd wild.

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Stewart then held off Carmichael's last lap charge to pick up his fifth SXGP and third AMA win of the season, while Yamaha's Chad Reed claimed third.

"Ricky and I had a good battle," said Stewart. "Throughout the race I sized him up and made my pass. It feels good to ride on a track that has tacky dirt. I knew that after last weekend I had a long way to go. I am three for three in San Diego and this is my favourite stadium."

"It was nice to finally get a good start and I think we both put on a great race for the fans," added RC. "I gave it my all tonight and I got beat; James got the best of me and he was better than me."

The San Diego race is the last of the West Coast rounds until April. Next weekend, the championships head for St. Louis and the East Coast.

"I'm excited about the East Coast races," added Ricky. "I've said before that my goal is to get out of California in the hunt for the Championship and I feel like I've accomplished that goal."

In the AMA Supercross Lites event, KTM's Mike Alessi won the Progressive Direct Holeshot Award but Andrew Short shot to the lead on the opening lap and soon began to pull away from the field, while series points leader Grant Langston was working his Kawasaki through the field after a 13th place start.

Langston's inspirational charge ended just a few turns too soon as Short crossed the finish line just 0.837-seconds ahead of Langston for the win. Langston finished second, with KTM's Nathan Ramsey third.

"I put myself in a good spot of the start," said Short, who picked up his second win of the season. "If we had one more lap Grant and I would be battling. It's not over yet, we have two more races and I look forward to this challenge."

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series Event Results, San Diego:
1. Ricky Carmichael, Havana, Fla., Suzuki, 183
2. James Stewart, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki, 181
3. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 164
4. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 133
5. Michael Byrne, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 130
6. Nicholas Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Honda, 128
7. Jason Thomas, Melrose, Fla., Honda, 95
8. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio,, Honda, 87
9. Ryan Clark, Waddell, Ariz., Honda, 82
10. Tyler Evans, Corona, Calif., Suzuki, 69

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series Season Standings:
1. Ricky Carmichael, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 139
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Kawasaki, 128
3. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 124
4. Mike LaRocco, Corona, Calif., Honda, 89
5. Michael Byrne, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 88
6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 86
7. Nicholas Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Honda, 85
8. Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 74
9. Jeremy McGrath, Encinitas, Calif., Honda, 67
10. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Honda, 63

Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP Season Standings:
1. James Stewart, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki, 157
2. Ricky Carmichael, Havana, Fla., Suzuki, 161
3. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 144
4. Jeremy McGrath, Encinitas, Calif., Honda
5. Mike LaRocco, Corona, Calif., Honda
6. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 115
7. Michael Byrne, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 114
8. Nicholas Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Honda, 114
9. Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
10. Eric Vallejo, Garland, Texas, Honda

Amp'd Mobile Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Event Results, San Diego:
1. Andrew Short, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
2. Grant Langston, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
3. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., KTM
4. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, Calif., KTM
5. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
6. Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
7. Darcy Lange, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki
8. Ryan Morais, Menifee, Calif., Suzuki
9. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda
10. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Honda

Amp'd Mobile Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Season Standings:
1. Andrew Short, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 118
2. Grant Langston, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 116
3. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., KTM, 107
4. Billy Laninovich, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 99
5. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM, 95
6. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 94
7. Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 91
8. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, N.Y., Honda, 78
9. Darcy Lange, San Jacinto, Calif., Kawasaki, 55
10. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Honda, 52