James Stewart captured his first AMA Supercross win of the season, leading all 20 laps before a crowd of 56,828 fans at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider becomes the fourth different winner of the season in the 450 class through six rounds.
The news was less positive for last week’s winner Chad Reed. The TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki rider suffered a hard crash trying to pass Red Bull KTM rookie Ken Roczen, breaking a collarbone, shoulder blade and T1 vertebrae.
The main event started with BTO Sports KTM rider Andrew Short taking the holeshot. His lead was short-lived however, as he was soon overtaken by Kawasaki’s reigning champion Ryan Villopoto and Stewart. By the end of the lap, Stewart had moved into the lead, with Villopoto close behind in second.
Villopoto stayed on Stewart’s tail for the rest of the race, coming up to his rear fender a couple of times but couldn’t find a chance to make a move that would stick. Instead, Villopoto played it safe, knowing a second-place finish behind Stewart would still help his championship cause.
“The track was really tough to find a spot to make a pass,” says Villopoto. “We had a good race and I was right on James the whole time but catching him is one thing and passing him is another. I think we were both riding the track to its maximum and if I pushed any harder it could have meant a mistake. Right now we have the points lead as the series heads East and I’m going to keep racing and hold on to this red number plate.”
The battle for third was another race-long battle with some final-lap drama. Reed stalked Roczen over the second half of the race, and with time running out, attempted a pass on the last lap. Unfortunately, Reed collided with Roczen’s rear tire and crashed hard, and it took some quick maneuvering from KTM’s Ryan Dungey to avoid hitting the fallen Reed.
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|2014 AMA Supercross: San Diego 450 Top Five Results|
In the 250 Western Regional race, it was Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson leading the first lap before crashing hard on Lap 2. Wilson was able to continue after some quick repair work by his team to remove a broken brake disc.Wilson’s misfortune gave the lead to his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Justin Hill who held on for his first career 250 class win.
Rockstar Energy KTM rider Jason Anderson finished second to take sole position of first place in the Western Regional standings. Anderson entered the race 109 points, tied with Cole Seely of Troy Lee Designs Honda, but the second-place finish gives him the head as the AMA Supercross season heads east. Seely finished in fourth, about seven seconds behind teammate Malcolm Stewart, putting the two Stewart brothers on the podium in San Diego.
|2014 AMA Supercross: San Diego 250 Western Regional Top Five Results|
Despite braking three bones, Reed says he intends to race next weekend in Dallas, Texas. The crash did drop Reed down to third in the standings behind Villopoto and Roczen. With his win, Stewart remains in the championship hunt with three podiums in the last four rounds.
|450 Class Top Five Standings||250 West Class Top Five Standings|
|1||Ryan Villopoto||Kawasaki||126||Jason Anderson||KTM||131|
|2||Ken Roczen||KTM||117||Cole Seely||Honda||127|
|3||Chad Reed||Kawasaki||111||Justin Hill||Kawasaki||107|
|4||James Stewart||Suzuki||105||Dean Wilson||Kawasaki||98|
|5||Justin Brayton||Yamaha||98||Cooper Webb||Yamaha||92|
[Source: AMA Supercross; Video from Fox Sports; Photos from Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki]