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2011 AMA Supercross Atlanta Insider

Monday, February 28, 2011
James Stewart  #7  beginning to catch Chad Reed in the final laps.
Chad Reed (#22) and James Stewart had a rough night in Atlanta where racing became physical in the final laps.
There’s one major story that came out of the Atlanta Supercross race on Saturday night and that’s the renewed rivalry between James Stewart and Chad Reed. The two riders chased each other all night in the main event with Reed leading the majority on his TwoTwo Motorsports Honda. Lappers started to play a role which saw the Yamaha of Stewart catch up and ultimately make an inside pass. Reed retaliated with his own inside move that saw both men hit the dirt. Read the 2011 AMA Supercross Atlanta Results for the full details about the rest of the night in the Georgia Dome.

Regardless of who was at fault (we want to hear reader arguments in the comment section) the Australian pulled a fast one on Stewart at the final jump by squeaking through and claiming the last podium spot. Stewart has been pretty quiet about the whole thing but was clearly pissed off at the checkered flag. The same goes for his dad, Big James, who was visibly upset about the result as JS7 made his way to the pits without stopping for any comments. After the race, James posted this tweet,

“Never saw it comin’, otherwise I would’ve let him get those 3 points and took 2nd. Just trying my best.”

Chad Reed: James [Stewart] put a hard pass on me earlier in the race  so I just put one right back on him.
Chad Reed: "James put a hard pass on me earlier in the race, so I just put one right back on him. I’m just happy to be up there racing for podiums and challenging for the lead.”
Just to stir the pot a little, it didn’t look that way to me. We’re talking about the last lap and a win on the line. After battling that hard there was no way Stewart would have simply let him take those extra points. He doesn’t like to lose and certainly not a close one to Reed of all people. But, that’s just speculation, we’ll have to take his word on it. During his post-race video, Stew avoided the subject altogether, saying:

“I made a mistake in the beginning and once in the middle but… I rode my best. At the end of the day that’s all I can do.”

Reed admits it was aggressive, but also contends that Stewart made a tough move on him earlier or could have shut off the throttle to avoid collision. Both of which are great points depending on who you ask. In post-race analysis on SPEED, Ricky Carmichael pointed out that Reed’s intentions certainly weren’t to take himself out. From the GOAT’s perspective it was simply an aggressive move that wound up unfavorably for both riders. From what we’ve seen so far out of both camps, neither side is playing up the incident. Reed was complimentary of Stewart’s efforts on several accounts and Stewart acknowledged that he needs to come to Daytona with his A-game. The San Manuel rider was slated for an interview on SPEED’s Wind Tunnel, so we’ll see if he loosens up a little in that. (Check out some comments from that interview here.)

Chad Reed and James Stewart came together during the race sending both to the dirt.
This isn't the first time Reed and Stewart have been at odds. Last year in Phoenix the two also came together. 
After last year’s incident at Phoenix, both riders must be hyperaware of the consequences this could have had. Stewart is now 10 points behind Ryan Villopoto in the championship and Reed is another 11 points adrift in third. Reed has been successful in Daytona in the past, but JS7 is known for his motocross speed and this track is the most similar to an outdoor layout. Also, how will the absence of San Manuel Yamaha team manager, Larry Brooks, who is away on “family time,” affect Stewart’s program? We’ll have to see as the season continues, but one thing’s for sure, they aren’t going to back down anytime soon, and the fans are getting the best deal of all.

Well, Ryan Villopoto actually got the best deal after slipping past the turmoil to collect an important win. He was more than happy to keep his nose clean and play the standard PR line for guys who didn’t have the sheer speed but came out smelling like a rose. Patient… rode smart… thinking about the championship, etc.

“Sometimes it’s not about being the fastest. You’ve got to be smart too,” said Villopoto. “I figured (Stewart and Reed) would do that, but not with a lap-and-a-half left. We still have a lot of racing though. I’ll just go back home and keep my program going and take it one race at a time.”

Suzukis Ryan Dungey coasted into second following the aftermath between James Stewart and Chad Reed.
Suzuki's Ryan Dungey coasted into second following the aftermath between James Stewart and Chad Reed.
And Ryan Dungey has to be thrilled with the end result as well.

"I was sitting in fourth most of the time but then was able to move my way into second at the end of the race, which is good,” said Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s reigning champion. “I'm right below the top step of the podium and consistent. I just 'gotta keep my head down and keep plugging away. I'm looking forward to Daytona. I like Daytona; it's always fun. It's a tough track and it's different - It's Supercross, but it's a bit rougher and the layout is different. I'm going to get back home, work on the track, and get ready for Daytona."

Everyone was overshadowed by the 7/22 thing, but one man in particular had a respectable evening, all considered. Dungey’s teammate, Brett Metcalfe, took a major smash into the face of a jump during qualifying that left the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider dazed. He was able to rebound for 10th in the main event.

"It was a long day," said Metcalfe. "It had its really good points and its really low points… In the heat race, I got a great start and was in third, then I made a big mistake in the whoops and went down hard. I didn't get up too quick from that one. Going into the LCQ, I was just trying to get out there and make it in and I was able to make a pass on the last lap and made it through. I wasn't feeling well going into the Main Event.”

Kawasakis Dean Wilson scored his first Supercross victory and picked up the 200th team win for PC.
Kawasaki's Dean Wilson scored his first Supercross victory and picked up the 200th team win for PC.
In the Lites class, Pro Circuit picked up another victory courtesy of Dean Wilson. It was the 200th win for PC.

“We definitely wanted to remember this accomplishment and it feels really special to get number 200,” said Team Owner Mitch Payton. “Everyone always says that getting to 100 wins is a big deal and we didn’t pay much attention to it, so we wanted to celebrate this time. We are very happy for Dean because he got his first win as we got our 200th. It’s a great night.”

There’s also some excitement in the Geico Powersports ranks as Honda gets ready to pull one of the West Coast riders into the factory tent to fill in for Josh Grant. Make no mistake, this is a major opportunity for whoever gets tapped – just look at how the same type of deal worked out for Trey Canard last year. Now he’s full-time factory and winning races in the big leagues.
2011 AMA Supercross Gallery
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2011 AMA Supercross Atlanta Gallery
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AMA Supercross Championship Points
Supercross
Supercross Lites East
AMA Supercross Rider Bios
Jake Weimer Bio
Jake Weimer was one of the more underrated 250 riders before nailing down the West Coast SX Championship in 2010. For 2012, he'll aim to recover from a difficult season plagued by injury.
Kyle Regal Bio
Based out of Kemp, Texas, Kyle Regal is a former rookie who skipped the Loretta Lynn’s amateur nationals in favor of turning pro during the 2009 season.

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Comments
D1SlipinSlide   March 6, 2011 04:41 PM
Did you really just say bubba could not keep up with him thats is a joke, reed turns way slower lap times then stewart and thats a fact reed is garbage and couldnt take the fact that stewart had passed him clean and it was over, so he cut him off and took them both out, all you children who think that was an attempt at a pass are just ignorant haters, so sad... i used to like reed, but he is clearly going down hill. Teams dont sign dirty riders and that is why that joke is teamless.
bcd3m0n   March 4, 2011 06:12 AM
I'm not sure how anyone can consider what Mr.TuTu did as racing, considering his bike was actually (at one moment) going the wrong way on the track. TuTu knew he lost so instead of trying to pass Stewart, he blocked the race track so Stewart had nowhere to go. I have watched numerous videos of motoX passes with all the favorite riders, and nobody does what Reed did in Atlanta. Sure there was a lot of contact between riders, but both riders were always going with the flow of the track.
coltT333   March 4, 2011 05:29 AM
i think he saw him coming but whatever doesn't really bother me no one got hurt so its all good.
ELM   March 3, 2011 12:11 PM
Was it dirty?...probably, but what would Hannah,Chicken or maybe Bradshaw do? Just like Reed did! JS7 KNOWS HE SHOULD HAVE PROTECTED HIS LINE MUCH BETTER! In a sense he "let" it happen - so know he knows. The AMA loves it for obvious rating reasons. The tracks are tighter and have those turns so stuff like this goes on - sorta the arenacross state of mind. At least this is a good year right? Im not bored and the extended race coverage on Speed is awesome!
Bruuuppppp!
509MXFan   March 1, 2011 04:56 PM
I'm on board with thewall67. I replayed the both passes several times after the race (I had DVR'd the whole thing and watched it Sunday). There wasn't contact from 7 when he went inside Reed (Reed may have felt contact on the outside, but none from the inside from Stewart). Stewart was also already wayyyy on the gas and looking ahead when Reed pulled in front of him, perpendicularly. If Stewart hadn't hit him, Reed would have been off track. That wasn't a turn, it was a take out. As previously stated, Reed's attempted it before, and will again. I'm glad no teams picked him up, and hope he runs out of money by the end of the season so he won't be back next year.

I still want to see RV pick up the pace a bit and put some pressure on Stewart in a race.
Thewall67   March 1, 2011 12:32 PM
Colt, man, you have to be kidding? Ok, you're not. James did not and could not have seen that coming. He was on the gas, leaning over the bars, driving forward (his back wheel was already roosting and he had the bike vertical and pointing straight a head), with clear track in front of hm. Then here comes Reed who just torpedoed right in front of him. Reed says he respects him? Proof is in the actions not the words. I think Reed even embarrassed himself with that move. He sounded like a kid trying to explain how the cookie jar is empty. Weak. It isn't good racing either. It's like watching a hack.
coltT333   March 1, 2011 10:32 AM
I dont think it was dirty at all? Its racing? Stop complaining.. James saw it commin anyways he ran into him? No one got hurt so it should be good. Chad even said he respected him, there racers thats what they do.
MCUSA Bart   March 1, 2011 10:15 AM
Last year a brilliant author argued that the Stewart vs Reed rivalry is the best in racing: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/727/5586/Motorcycle-Article/Stewart-and-Reed-Best-Rivalry-in-Racing.aspx

The racing action on the track this year has been wonderfully unpredictable. And the enmity between these two characters only adds to the excitement.
OLDMX121   March 1, 2011 07:40 AM
Stop with the advertising crap already! Back to the subject ... Reed is a putz plain and simple! If these two are anywhere near each other Reed knows the only way He can beat Stewart is to take Him out! Remember a couple of years ago when the ONLY WAY reed had a chance of winning the title over Stewart was to have James DNF at Vegas ... Stewart slowed down to let chad by to avoid any conflict and Reed would not pass Him .... instead Reed tried to run Him off the track and crash Him out of the Stadium so nobody would see! Reed will do anything to win including causing injury to other riders? This is just what this sport needs, it is no wonder our Government is trying to ban dirt bikes from our Kids with antics like this shown on TV
Thewall67   February 28, 2011 09:02 PM
Sorry folks. Dirty, dirty take out by Reed. He was barley turning. He pretty much just road straight in front of JS and blocked his path. James was hard on the gas and driving and Reed just parked it right in front of him. Lame and he knew it. Reeds bike was nearly perpendicular to James. And James pass on Reed was not that bad. It was a good aggressive pass but far from dirty. They didn't even touch.
KJ   February 28, 2011 08:37 PM
JAMES' REVENGE IS MEASURED IN VICTORYS AND CHAMPIONSHIPS. THATS HOW HE SERVES IT UP. DONT LOOK FOR THE 22 HONDA TO LAND IN THE 300 SECTION ANYTIME SOON. GET READY FOR THE JAMES STEWART SUPERCROSS CLINIC . ITS COMING. STOP THE CLINIC , AND YOU MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE.

IF RV,(KEEP IT UP!!),DUNGY ,CANNARD , OR REED CAN STEP IT UP ,ITS GONNA BE GOOD, AND DOWN TO THE WIRE . IF ONE OF THESE 4 HOLDS UP THAT BIG RED PLATE AT THE END OF THIS YEAR, THEY WILL BE AN ALL-TIME ,LEGENDARY, SUPERCROSS HERO. WINNING THE GREATEST CONTEST EVER.

5 GUYS, ALL HEALTHY,(ALL SEASON),WITH THE BEST BIKES EVER,ON THE BEST TRACKS EVER ARE STILL IN THE HUNT.ITS ALL A FAN CAN ASK.

REGARDLESS OF WHO WINS , NOBODY WANTS THE STORY OF 2011 SUPERCROSS TO READ...."THE FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON WAS SOME OF THE BEST RACING EVER SEEN !"

HERES TO KEEPING THIS DREAM SEASON ALIVE !!!!!!!NOW , BACK TO YOU, FRO AND R.C. !
Brentoximous   February 28, 2011 07:31 PM
Pretty aggressive by Reed but once again Stewart's teammate was involved in a pass by Stewart. Reed's move was wide enough Bubba could've checked up and been fine.
BrandonW   February 28, 2011 06:55 PM
Stewart wrecked into Reed. It was a simple block pass but stewart got on the gas and ran into him.