During the 2013 season opener at Hangtown, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart was fastest off the start in both 450 motos, ending the day four points closer to the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot award. Bubba went on to finish third in both events and was thrilled with the result considering his recent frustrations with injury.
“With my knee and everything else that happened, I just wanted to come out to Hangtown with a top five,” said Stewart. “I did exactly what I wanted to do in both motos. I’m really, really happy to get both holeshots and I’m pretty pleased with how the races went today, especially after not racing outdoors last year.
“What Motorcycle Superstore has done in bringing back the Holeshot Championship is very cool. I want to thank those guys a bunch.”
Points were distributed between two riders in the 250 class as Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett nabbed the holeshot in Moto 1, and GEICO Honda’s Zach Bell took it in Moto 2. Baggett, the defending 250 Nationals champion, struggled with starts through the entire 2012 season but flew off the line like a rocket in the first event of 2013.
“I had a really strong start (in Moto 1) and it was kind of a surprise to get the holeshot because that’s not normally something that happens for me,” Baggett said. “It just all came together here in Hangtown and I’m really excited about that.”
Bell, on the other hand, has been fast off the start in previous races and he didn’t disappoint in Moto 2, taking the holeshot by an entire bike length. He was unable to turn his early lead into a strong finish though as his shoulder became weak during the event and forced him to pull off track early. Bell injured the shoulder during the Supercross season and plans to have it reexamined ahead of the upcoming Thunder Valley National scheduled for May 25, 2013.
“I got the holeshot in the second moto, but my shoulder felt weak, and I couldn’t hang on,” said Bell afterward. “I wish I was faster and up front with those guys. I felt good about the holeshot though.”