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Category: James Stewart

Supercross champ Ryan Villopoto wins again at Angel Stadium

Ryan-villopoto_600

Reigning supercross champion Ryan Villopoto repeated his season-opening win at Angel Stadium with a second victory there Saturday night.

The Kawasaki rider took the lead on the opening lap of the 20-lap main event and finished nearly five seconds ahead of second-place James Stewart. Chad Reed finished third.

"The track was really slippery," Villopoto said. "I really couldn't make a mistake."

Villopoto, Stewart, Reed and Ryan Dungey -- all former champions in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series -- each had won one of the first four races in the 17-race season, so Villopoto becomes the first two-time winner this year.

Before the main event, the field was divided for two preliminary heats to set the field. Stewart, 26, was holding a comfortable lead in the first heat when he crashed midway through the eight-lap race.

Stewart, who rides for the Yamaha motorcycle team of Joe Gibbs Racing of NASCAR fame, then had to finish first or second in a "last chance qualifier" race to reach the main event, which he did by winning that six-lap race.

In the AMA's second-tier "supercross lites" series, Honda rider Eli Tomac of Cortez, Colo., won his third consecutive main event and Cole Seely of Murrieta finished second.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Ryan Villopoto collects a win last year at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Both riders in Dodger Stadium supercross crash have back fractures

Supercross riders Trey Canard and Ryan Morais both suffered back fractures, among other injuries, when they crashed into each other in Saturday night's race at Dodger Stadium.

Morais' team manager earlier had said the Murrieta rider had broken his jaw. But in a statement Monday, his Star Valli Yamaha team said Morais, 28, also had "several fractured vertebrae and some broken ribs."

"There is no sign of spinal-cord damage at this time and Morais is continuing to be evaluated," the team said. "A full recovery is anticipated."

Canard, 21, likewise had unspecified back fractures but has "100% feeling in his legs" and was awaiting a decision by doctors as to whether he needed surgery, according to a statement on his website.

The Dodger Stadium incident was the latest in a string of injuries for Canard, an Oklahoma native and Honda rider. He missed the last three races in 2011 due to a broken thigh bone and he broke his collarbone in a practice crash before this season opened Jan. 7.

Canard and Morais crashed after making a lofty jump on the first lap of the 20-lap main event in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series race at Dodger Stadium. Supercross is the stadium version of motocross, or off-road motorcycle racing.

The race was won by Chad Reed after it was halted for about 20 minutes while Canard and Morais were treated. They were taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center.

-- Jim Peltz

Chad Reed wins, two riders hurt in supercross race at Dodger Stadium

Chad-reed_300Chad Reed earned his first supercross victory of the season at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night in a race marred by a first-lap crash that injured two riders.

Reed, a two-time champion of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, won by three seconds on his Honda over 2010 title winner Ryan Dungey, who finished second in front of 35,741 in the third race of the series' 17-race schedule.

Two-time champion James Stewart was running second when he fell on the 12th lap, and the Yamaha rider finished third. It was Stewart's first top-three finish in the last five races going back to last season.

Reigning champion Ryan Villopoto ran off the track early and dropped to last place among the races' 20 riders. But he then stormed through most of the field to finish fourth.

On the opening lap, Ryan Morais of Murrieta and Trey Canard of Shawnee, Okla., were injured in a crash on the first lap and the race was stopped for several minutes while they were treated.

Their injuries were not immediately known, but safety workers placed them on back boards and the series said the riders were transported to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center.

Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross. In the AMA's junior-level "supercross lites" division, Eli Tomac of Cortez, Colo., won the 15-lap main event and Dean Wilson of Menifee finished second.

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Ryan Villopoto and supercross are back at Dodger Stadium

Time-lapse video of the track preparation at Dodger Stadium

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Chad Reed. Credit: Matt Kartozian

Ryan Villopoto wins supercross race in Anaheim

Ryan-villopoto_600

Ryan Villopoto of Seattle trounced the field in the season opener Saturday night at Angel Stadium as he set out to defend his championship in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

After attaining the "holeshot," or reaching the first turn ahead of the pack, Villopoto cruised to a 12-second win on his Kawasaki over second-place finisher Chad Reed in front of a sold-out crowd of 45,050. Ryan Dungey, the 2010 champion, finished third.

Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross.

At times Villopoto's lead in the 20-lap main event reached more than 20 seconds. "Villopoto made us look silly out here tonight," said Reed, a two-time AMA champion.

Villopoto said that "once I got that holeshot, I just tried to lay down fast laps and get a gap, and that's what I was able to do."

James Stewart, another two-time title winner, finished sixth in his debut race with his new team Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart had climbed as high as third but lost control and fell on Lap 16.

In the second-tier supercross lites division, Honda rider Cole Seely of Murrieta won the 15-lap main event and Tyla Rattray of Wildomar, Calif., was second.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Ryan Villopoto wins the AMA Supercross Series event at Dodger Stadium last year. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Supercross' James Stewart joins Joe Gibbs Racing, eyes NASCAR

Two-time supercross champion James Stewart signed a multiyear contract to ride for Joe Gibbs Racing's Yamaha motorcycle-racing team with plans to eventually try NASCAR stock-car racing.

BubbaStewart, 25, will make his Gibbs debut Jan. 7 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, where the AMA Supercross Series traditionally kicks off its season.

Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross. Stewart won his supercross titles in 2007 and 2009. He also won the AMA Motocross championship in 2008.

With 42 supercross wins in his career, Stewart is third on the all-time list behind Jeremy Grath (72) and Ricky Carmichael (48). Carmichael already has taken up racing cars and trucks in NASCAR, and Stewart previously had expressed a desire to one day drive in NASCAR.

"My goal in supercross is to pass Jeremy McGrath's record," Stewart said in a statement Tuesday. "I also had an interest in car racing and we are going to explore my potential in that sport through the NASCAR side of the operation."

Gibbs, of course, is a major team in NASCAR, with drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano driving Toyotas in the premier Sprint Cup Series.

Continue reading »

Ryan Villopoto wins his first AMA Supercross title

Photo: Ryan Villopoto crosses the finish line at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22, one of six victories he earned to win the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series title. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press A year ago Ryan Villopoto was nursing a badly broken right leg, but now he's savoring his first AMA Supercross championship.

The 22-year-old Kawasaki rider finished third in the season finale of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in Las Vegas on Saturday night, good enough to secure the title by four points over two-time champion Chad Reed, who won the race.

Supercross is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross.

Ryan Dungey, who won the championship as a rookie in 2010 after Reed and James Stewart (also a two-time winner) were sidelined with injuries, finished third in the standings this season, 10 points behind Villopoto. Stewart finished fourth in the title hunt, 37 points back.

"Congrats to Ryan [Villopoto]," Reed said after the race. "He had the most wins this season, and to come back from what he went through last year, he has my respect."

Villopoto is a Poulsbo, Wash., rider who was in title contention last year, having won seven times in 11 races. But at the race in St. Louis, Villopoto broke his right leg in a crash and was done for the season.

He rebounded with six wins this year, including the inaugural AMA Supercross race held at Dodger Stadium in January.

The series said it would return to Dodger Stadium next season, on Jan. 21, as part of a 17-race schedule in 2012. As usual, the season will open at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, on Jan. 7, and it also will include a second stop at Angel Stadium on Feb. 4.

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Greg Pursley No. 3 in NASCAR Hunter Index for May

British driver Mike Conway wins Long Beach Grand Prix

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Ryan Villopoto crosses the finish line at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22, one of six victories he earned to win the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series title. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press 

James Stewart wins supercross race at Angel Stadium

Stewart_250 James Stewart led from start to finish to win his series-high third supercross race of the year Saturday night in front of a sold out 45,050 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

The two-time champion in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series won on his Yamaha by four seconds over Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto in the 20-lap main event.

Chad Reed, another two-time champion, finished a distant third on his Honda, more than 16 seconds behind Stewart.

Villopoto, 22, has won the series' other two races so far this year, including the season opener Jan. 8 that also was held at Angel Stadium. But Stewart now leads the championship standings by five points over Villopoto.

Ryan Dungey, 21, who won the series title as a rookie last year when Stewart and Reed were sidelined early in the season with injuries, finished last among the 20 riders Saturday night after his Suzuki had mechanical problems. Dungey has yet to win this season.

Supercross is the stadium version of motocross, or off-road motorcycle racing. The series held its first race ever at Dodger Stadium last month, a race won by Villopoto.

--Jim Peltz

Photo: James Stewart during the 2009 season. Credit: Garth Milan / Red Bull

Villopoto's supercross win in Anaheim marks strong comeback from leg injury

With a series-high seven wins last year, Ryan Villopoto was battling for his first big-league supercross title when he found disaster.

At the race in St. Louis, Villopoto suffered a broken right leg that abruptly ended his season, and Ryan Dungey went on to win the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series championship.

But after multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and being sidelined for nearly five months, Villopoto made it clear Saturday night that he's again healthy by winning this year's series opener before a sold-out crowd of 45,050 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

"This is a nice way to start out the season," said Villopoto, a 22-year-old Kawasaki rider from the Seattle area who won by four seconds over second-place finisher Dungey. "I hope I can start putting together some more wins and a championship this year."

James Stewart, a two-time champion who also is returning after an injury prematurely ended his 2010 season, charged back from a 12th-place spot on the first lap Saturday night but finished third on his Yamaha, well behind Villopoto.

"Horrible start," Stewart said, adding that he "almost went down a few times" trying to catch the leaders. "I tried my best to get up there. Once I got into third, I tried to make up some time on Ryan [Dungey] but ran out of laps."

The series' next race is Saturday in Phoenix, then the series moves to its debut race at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22.

--Jim Peltz

 

 

 

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