James Stewart couldn't compete in the final round at Lake Elsinore due to injury, but his lead held in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot Championship and he ended the year earning the $25,000 prize.
Despite being sidelined with an injury, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart won the 450 class Motorcycle-Superstore.com
Holeshot Championship at Lake Elsinore by a single point over Team Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia. The $25,000 was awarded to the rider who’d amassed the most holeshot points over the year and Stewart crossed the white line first five times for a total of nine points.
JS7 left the opening round at Hangtown as the only rider on the board in the battle for the end-of-year prize, holeshotting both motos and earning the total four points available. Rules give one point to the rider that holeshots Moto 1, two points for a holeshot in Moto 2 and a bonus point if a rider sweeps the round. Barcia swept the following round at Thunder Valley and then proceeded to gain the lead over Stewart in subsequent stops at Muddy Creek and High Point. Stewart tied things back up with Barica at Red Bud, and then at Millville Bubba gained the advantage that would eventually put him over the top.
Nearing the end of the season Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto had a shot at clinching the Holeshot Championship, but needed to take both holeshots in the final round at Lake Elsinore in order to surpass Stewart. Instead, JGRMX’s Josh Grant and his teammate, Justin Brayton, took the Moto 1 and Moto 2 holeshots, respectively.
Soon after Brayton earned the Moto 2 holeshot Stewart posted “Thank you Justin Brayton!” to his Twitter account. Later that day he also Tweeted, “Glad all those holeshots weren’t for nothing. Really stoked to win this award.”
Brayton offered these comments after the race weekend concluded: “"It's great to end the year by taking the last Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot. Those guys stepped up big and put a great program in place to give us all something extra to go after. They put their money on the line and it definitely added a bunch of excitement to every start.
"I carry Motorcycle Superstore on my helmet and I know how passionate they are about the sport. By sponsoring this championship it proves they care about the riders."
In the 250 class, GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn secured his $15,000 prize during the round at Unadilla. His teammate, Zach Osborne, swept the final round at Lake Elsinore and put himself in second overall in the Championship. A third GEICO Honda rider, Justin Bogle, finished the season third in holeshot points.
“My starts were there today," Osborne said. "I wish I had a few more earlier in the season so I could have had a better shot at the $15,000 but it's cool our team went 1-2-3 and I'm proud of Wil.
"Big thanks to Motorcycle Superstore for this championship. All the riders were talking about it all season so I know it meant a lot to everyone."
Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot Championship Points 2013:
1. James Stewart, 9
2. Justin Barcia, 8
3t. Josh Grant, 6
3t. Ryan Villopoto, 6
5. Mike Alessi, 4
6. Ryan Dungey, 3
7t. Justin Brayton, 2
7t. Ryan Sipes, 2
1. Wil Hahn, 13
2. Zach Osborne, 8
3. Justin Bogle, 4
4. Martin Davalos, 3
5t. Zach Bell, 2
5t. Jeremy Martin, 2
5t. Marvin Musquin, 2
5t. Ken Roczen, 2
5t. Eli Tomac, 2
10. Blake Baggett, 1