JGR Yamaha's James Stewart finally posted his first win of the season during Round 4 after a difficult start to the year.
Yamaha’s James Stewart
posted his first win of the 2012 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
series Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Introducing the fourth different winner in just four rounds, the pool of championship contenders continued to grow as TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed
followed up his victory last week with second place in Oakland – giving him the shared lead in the standings with KTM
’s Ryan Dungey. Meanwhile Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto
nabbed the final podium spot in third, leaving him just two points adrift of Reed and Dungey.
Reed posted the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot during the main event with Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe and L&M Honda’s Andrew Short
in hot pursuit. Out of the first turn Short battled for the early lead with Reed while H&H Kawasaki’s Josh Hansen moved into third ahead of Stewart and Villopoto. This week Dungey was slow out of the gates, the former champ running ninth in the opening lap but making quick progress to advance. Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer
had an even worse start outside the top-10. Appearing confident early on, Stewart passed both Hansen and Short and was bringing the heat to Reed by the second lap. Meanwhile Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham, JGR Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps
and Dungey were running fifth through seventh respectively as riders like Hansen, Metcalfe and Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle quickly faded in the field.
Aussie Chad Reed is now tied for the lead in the series after earning his third podium of the season.
After being passed by Stewart, Short was also overtaken by RV as the defending champ entered the fight for the lead with Stewart and Reed. In the coming laps the fight inside the top-five became intense as Reed, JS7 and Villopoto all took turns applying pressure. Windham and Short also had a nice battle for fourth in the early half of the race as Stewart and RV continued to pursue Reed for the lead. Lap 10 proved the tipping point in the contest as Stewart moved into the lead ahead of Reed. Unable to mount a comeback, Reed was left to defend his position from Villopoto as Dungey charged into the top-five behind Short.
Stewart looked strong and comfortable over Oakland’s slippery dirt. Despite some hectic moments with lappers and some tricky ruts, JS7 continued adding to his four-second lead throughout the remaining laps as Dungey took advantage of Short to claim fourth. On Lap 15 the fight for second between Reed and Villopoto intensified. In the end Reed kept a strong defense to claim runner-up in the battle, but Stewart earned true bragging rights with his second ever win at the Oakland Coliseum.
“I would like to dedicate this win to my mechanic, Mark ‘Tex’ Adams, who passed away this week,” said Stewart. “I got in a rhythm out there tonight and put together a great race. I had a tough couple of races this year, and tonight I got it done.”
Due to Dungey’s first finish off the box, the title chase is now even closer with the top-three riders within two points of each other.
Oakland AMA Supercross Results:
1. James Stewart (Yamaha)
2. Chad Reed (Honda)
3. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
4. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
5. Andrew Short (Honda)
6. Kevin Windham (Honda)
Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto is trailing Dungey and Reed by just two points after a third-place finish in Round 4.
7. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
8. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki)
9. Justin Brayton (Honda)
10. Josh Hansen (Kawasaki)
11. Mike Alessi (Suzuki)
12. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki)
13. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki)
14. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki)
15. Nick Wey (Kawasaki)
2012 AMA Supercross Championship Points
1. Chad Reed, 85
2. Ryan Dungey, 85
3. Ryan Villopoto, 83
4. James Stewart, 73
5. Jake Weimer, 61
6. Kevin Windham, 58
7. Andrew Short, 52
8. Josh Hansen, 47
9. Brett Metcalfe, 45
10. Davi Millsaps, 42