Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart raced to his fourth-consecutive race victory on the RM-Z450 at the 2012 Lucas Oils AMA Motocross Championship second round at Freestone in Texas at the weekend.
Sporting the points leader's red number plate for the first-time ever, Stewart was a force to be reckoned with in Texas: In the first moto, he got a good start on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450, took the lead on the first lap and went on to gap the field and take the win. In the second moto, he again got out front in short order, but this time the pressure from the competition was more intense.
Said Stewart: "It was a good race. It was warm, but I was able to get two good starts and I actually led every lap. We made a few changes to the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 after the first moto and the team's just gelling. We had an hour and 10 minutes worth of battle and I was able to get the job done. Now, we're going to Colorado, and Lakewood is not one of my better tracks. But we're going in there with the red plate. Also, it's at altitude so it'll be another tough race, but the team has a really good set-up for me with the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and we'll do our best to put it on the podium."
Yoshimura Suzuki team mate Brett Metcalfe suffered some bad luck in both motos but rallied before the day's end. In the first moto, the Australian got a good start but an error resulted in his having to work his way back to 13th. In the second moto, Metcalfe led going into the first turn but ran wide and settled into seventh. He then turned it up a notch but suffered a minor get-off. Undaunted, Metcalfe remounted and charged through the field to 10th to give him an eighth-place finish overall.
"I felt like I rode really well in Texas," said Metcalfe. "It was just a tough track to come from behind on. In the first moto, I got a good start on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and then I spun it out and had to come from behind to 13th. In the second moto, I got a real good start but went way too wide in the first corner and dropped back a little. On the first couple of laps, I picked off some guys and was sitting in a good position. But I could see the leaders were getting away so I tried to force something on a tough braking section and got sideways and went down, so it was a tough break. Now, I'm looking forward to Colorado and getting up front and staying up there."
Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing's next event is the third round of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colorado.
2012 Freestone National MX 450 Results:
1. James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) 2. Ryan Dungey 3. Mike Alessi 4. Jake Weimer 5. Josh Grant 6. Andrew Short 7. Tommy Hahn 8. Brett Metcalfe (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) 9. Nico Izzi 10. Ryan Sipes
2012 AMA Pro Motocross 450 Standings:
1. James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) - 100 2. Ryan Dungey - 86 3. Mike Alessi - 70 4. Jake Weimer - 61 5. Andrew Short - 61 6. Josh Grant - 58 7. Brett Metcalfe (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450) - 53 8. Broc Tickle - 43 9. Nico Izzi - 39 10. Tommy Hahn - 39