Friday, January 8, 2010

James Stewart reflects on 2009 AMA Supercross season

When James Stewart was presented with his championship ring for winning the 2009 AMA Supercross title, he quickly slipped it on his finger. It was the second championship of his Supercross career, but he said this one was the most gratifying.
It was gratifying in part because of the way he won it. The start to his 2009 season didn’t have an ending. He did not finish the season-opening race at Angel Stadium last year and put himself in a deep hole in the Supercross standings. But he rallied back and won 11 races, seven in a row at one point.
“It was a lot of work involved,” Stewart said. “It was more than just showing up on the weekends and winning races. My team, San Manuel, went back and we had to work on the bike during the week. It was really a team effort.”
After the Anaheim season opener, Stewart was in 19th place in the Supercross standings. He won the next race at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz., the start of his seven-race winning streak. When he won the race at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, he took over the top spot in the Supercross standings. He won four of the last nine races of the season. His third-place finish in the season finale in Las Vegas was enough to give Stewart a four-point advantage in the Supercross standings over Chad Reed.
“Even though we were coming to the races, we were still testing at the races. We got it done and it makes it gratifying to do that,” Stewart said. “After looking back over the year, as I was winning those races, I kind of forgot what I did coming back. For me, that was a lot of confidence and taking it over to this year.”

Photo: James Stewart won 11 races including seven in a row en route to his second AMA Supercross championship in 2009.

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