News 1 Mar 2013

Monster Energy AMA Supercross heading to St. Louis on Saturday

After a tumultuous year mired by injury and misfortune, former two time champion James Stewart and Team Yoshimura Suzuki broke through for their first victory together inside Atlanta’s Georgia Dome last weekend.

Davi Millsaps maintains the American Supercross lead heading into St. Louis. Image: Simon Cudby.

Davi Millsaps maintains the American Supercross lead heading into St. Louis. Image: Simon Cudby.

After a tumultuous year mired by injury and misfortune, former two time champion James Stewart and Team Yoshimura Suzuki broke through for their first victory together inside Atlanta’s Georgia Dome last weekend.

The eighth race of the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, produced the fifth different winner this season and now the parity-driven battle for the 450SX Class title fight makes its annual visit to St. Louis and the Edward Jones Dome on Saturday night for the ninth stop on the schedule.

Stewart dominated en route to his first win of the year, ending a 14-race winless streak that dates back to Daytona of last season. Through the first seven weeks of the championship, 2013 was anything but memorable for the Suzuki rider.

After suffering an injury to his knee in practice at the season opener in January, Stewart has been forced to ride through the pain associated with it, in addition to dealing with some hard luck on the track.

Two weeks ago inside Cowboys Stadium, Stewart appeared to have returned to the level of performance that has made him one of the most successful riders of all time. However, a broken clutch prior to the Main Event ended his night before it really even began.

Despite experiencing arguably the most adversity of his hugely successful career, Stewart refused to quit despite not having the chance to challenge for the win or even the podium in some cases.

On Saturday night, everything came together as Stewart secured the holeshot and led wire-to-wire for his 45th career 450SX Class win, going relatively unchallenged. It marked the ninth consecutive season in which Stewart has claimed at least one victory, joining the elite company of Jeremy McGrath and Chad Reed in this category.

Additionally, Stewart’s maiden Monster Energy Supercross victory aboard a Suzuki is the third different brand he’s taken to the top of the podium, becoming the seventh different rider in history to achieve such a feat.

Stewart joins Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, and Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia as winners this season. However, the championship battle has developed into a three-rider battle between Millsaps, Villopoto and Dungey.

Millsaps has led the championship since claiming victory at the season opening race in January. Since then, he has extended his advantage over the field nearly every weekend, finishing on the podium in seven of the eight races this season, including a pair of wins.

In Atlanta, Millsaps overcame a mid-pack start to once again finish on the podium in third in front of his hometown crowd. His lead in the championship currently sits at 22 points over Villopoto.

While the five aforementioned winners this season look for continued success, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard and TwoTwo Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed are still in search of their first wins this season.

During the 2012 stop at the Edward Jones Dome in front of a record crowd of 59,742, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto broke Kawasaki’s 11-year losing streak in St. Louis by taking home his fifth win of the season.

In addition to the star-studded field of the 450SX Class, the fastest up-and-coming riders of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship will also be in action for their third race of the season.

The first 450SX Class race held in St. Louis was April 27, 1996, when Jeff Emig, a Missouri native, won for the first time on a Kawasaki and snapped a 13-race winning streak by Jeremy McGrath. Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed are tied with the most wins inside the Edward Jones Dome at four each.

For the past six seasons, six different winners have stood atop the 450SX Class podium, making St. Louis one of the most competitive venues in the championship. J

James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ricky Carmichael, and Kevin Windham have all won in St. Louis in both the 450SX Class and 250SX Class. A rider hasn’t won consecutive 450SX Class races since Reed did it in 2003 and 2004.

Windham claimed the first 250SX Class victory in St. Louis back in 1996 aboard a Yamaha. GEICO Honda has captured the 250SX Class victory for the last five seasons.

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