James Stewart took advantage of a surprise late-race error by reigning champion Ricky Carmichael to win his second AMA Motocross event of the season at Washougal Motocross Park on Sunday.
After being caught and passed by Carmichael in the first mot, Stewart again saw an early lead slip away when Carmichael made a pass late in moto two. However, with two laps to go, the Suzuki star made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed, handing the lead and overall win to Stewart, who has been battling injury ever since winning the season opener.
Carmichael remounted to claim second in the race and overall, marking the end of his six round win streak, while Yamaha's Chad Reed - Carmichael's nearest title challenger - was third after 3-3 finishes.
"It feels good to be back, it was a hard road to get here," said Stewart, who has missed five motos due to accidents and injuries. "I think the last three months I've only ridden for three weeks (due to injuries) and I told myself that I'm going out there for the team and for the fans. Once he got by me I was trying to keep him close. With a couple laps to go, fortunately I was able to take advantage."
In the Motocross Lites class, Andrew Short picked up his second win of the season with a 1-1 sweep of the motos. Fellow Honda rider Josh Grant was second overall, with KTM's Mike Alessi third to retake the championship lead.
Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, the local favourite and previous championship leader, lost his series lead after a bike failure in the first moto left him with 40-2 results and sixth overall.
After three consecutive weekends of racing, the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship, presented by FMF, takes a much deserved week off before heading to Millville on July 30, for the Honda Spring Creek National.