Saturday, February 5, 2011

Supercross Anaheim 2...The Battle Continues

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As the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, makes its second and final stop at Angel Stadium this Saturday night for the pink-themed “Breast Cancer Awareness” race, Team San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., has his sights on an eighth-career Supercross class win in Anaheim.

Stewart capped off his second win of the season last weekend in Oakland, and in doing so, moved into the Supercross class points lead, passing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash. The win didn’t come easy; after a crash in the first practice, Stewart missed part of the second practice and all of the third practice.

“I think the biggest thing for me was rebounding after a day like today,” Stewart said after the race in Oakland. “This is a great win for me and my team and hopefully I can do it again at Anaheim this weekend.”

Looking to bounce back from his fourth-place finish last weekend, Villopoto makes his return to Anaheim where he took the first victory of the season.

“I have always liked Anaheim,” said Villopoto. “The race was good to me last time around and I hope I can get back on the podium to gain some valuable championship points.”

Defending Monster Energy Supercross champion Ryan Dungey currently sits in third place, 14 points behind leader James Stewart.

Team Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., powered his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 to a third-place podium finish in Oakland. Dungey, who is the defending Supercross class champion, started the day with a solid practice and qualified third. A poor start made for a difficult heat race in which he eventually finished fifth. In the main, Dungey’s RM-Z powered him to a fourth-place start and the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider rode strong the entire 20-lap main, eventually working his way to second place. A tough break on the last lap resulted in a slip to a third-place podium finish.

"All in all, my RM-Z450 worked great in Oakland and the team did a great job,” said Dungey. “It will be great to go back to Anaheim. We know more what to expect there and hopefully we can get a good start and put the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki up front.”

Dungey’s teammate, Brett Metcalfe, rode his Suzuki to 11th-place in afternoon qualifying from Oakland. Like Dungey, Metcalfe had a tough time in his heat race and finished seventh. In the main, he rode strong, piloting his Suzuki RM-Z450 to a fifth-place finish, his best of the year.

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