The traveling circus that is the AMA Supercross series was greeted with warm and sunny weather when it headed south to Jacksonville, Florida last weekend. Temperatures climbed into the high 80s throughout the day, and when combined with the sticky Florida humidity, the racing wasn’t the only thing that was hot at Round 11.
Beaming with confidence early in the day, James Stewart was excited to get back to his home state to continue his mission towards the 2011 Supercross title. With familiar dirt, a stadium full of JS7 fans, and the fastest lap time in practice, it looked to be game on!
However, by night’s end, a different script would be written. Read on to find out what happened…
SUPERCROSS QUALIFYING HEATS
- Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi kicked off Supercross Heat #1 by ripping a huge holeshot while fending off a hard-charging Ryan Dungey.
- Despite falling from the lead, Alessi transferred into the main event with a fifth-place finish.
- After dominating the timed practice/qualifying session with a 44.5 second lap time, Stewart faced off with series points leader and rival Ryan Villopoto in Heat Race #2.
- Stewart grabbed a top-five start in his heat, allowing him to cruise to a seemingly effortless victory ahead of Villopoto and the rest of the pack.
- During his dominant Heat Race, James set the fastest lap time of the night with a 43.478.
- Andrew Short put his KTM up front early to take the holeshot in Heat #2, ending the race in the third spot, his best heat performance this season.
- Regular West Coast Lites rider Cole Seely (pictured below) put in a sixth-place performance in his heat race, securing a spot in the main event aboard his “borrowed” Factory Honda CRF450R.
SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT
- Notably, series points leader Ryan Villopoto was unable to make the main event due to crashes in his heat race as well as the LCQ, potentially leaving the door open for Stewart to gain serious momentum in the points hunt.
- Alessi put his KTM out front once again to grab the main-event holeshot.
- Stewart came out swinging for the main, rounding the first turn fairly close to the front of the pack.
- Unfortunately, James and several other riders were caught in a pileup on the very first straightaway, with Stewart receiving the worst of it. James got sandwiched between two bikes and was in obvious pain, unable to get back up and continue the race.
- Rumors of James’ condition immediately began flying through the pits, though none of them were confirmed by night’s end. Although he was assisted off the track, James didn't sustain any major injuries and will be back for the next race in Toronto.
- Shorty battled his way to another consistent fifth-place finish, keeping him well within the top-ten in series points.
- Alessi (pictured below) finished the night strong, taking the checkers in seventh, his best performance of the series thus far.
- Unfortunately for Seely, mechanical issues relegated him outside the top-ten for the night in Jacksonville.
1. Trey Canard
2. Chad Reed
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Kevin Windham
5. Andrew Short
6. Ivan Tedesco
7. Mike Alessi
8. Austin Stroupe
9. Nick Wey
10. Chris Blose
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