James Stewart rolled into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday looking to reassert himself as the man to beat in the 2011 AMA Supercross series. Despite setting the night’s fastest lap times, however, the mighty number seven had to settle for a second-place finish thanks to a last-place main event start.
After spending his week recovering from a crash-induced ninth-place finish in Daytona, JS7 was determined to get his championship campaign back on track in Indy. With two timed qualifying sessions in the books, Stewart had put together a lap time that was, uncharacteristically, third quickest, though within two-tenths of a second off the lead.
Unable to ride the week leading into Indy, and with a host of competitors spinning laps at the winning pace, James no doubt had his work cut out for him at round number 10.
Here’s how the night unfolded…
SUPERCROSS QUALIFYING HEATS
- Red Bull KTM’s Andrew Short kept his 2011 main event qualifying streak alive by finishing a strong fifth place in Supercross Heat #1.
- Cole Seely, on break from the West Coast Lites class, parked his Red Bull-backed TLD/Honda to race an American Honda CRF450R in Indy and qualified in the seventh spot in his first race aboard the factory machine.
- Mike Alessi (pictured below) took the last qualifying spot (9th place) in Heat #1 aboard his Red Bull KTM 350 SX-F.
- James Stewart kicked off his night by grabbing the all-important holeshot to begin Supercross Heat #2, and then stretched out a comfortable lead en route to a seemingly easy win.
- Stewart’s heat race victory came in three seconds quicker than the overall elapsed time of Ryan Villopoto’s Heat #1 win.
SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT
- When the gates dropped for the main event, Stewart launched out to a respectable jump but got pinched midway down the start straight to cross the holeshot stripe in dead-last place.
- Working his magic around lap number one, however, JS7 miraculously jumped the finish line double to complete the first go-around in fifth place!
- After making several mistakes early on, Stewart regrouped and began setting the night’s fastest lap times as he steadily crept up on the lead pack.
- By the midway point, James had closed the gap on the top three, and after a mistake by Ryan Dungey, made the pass for third.
- Stewart’s next move was on Chad Reed to take over second, and with seven laps to go, he put his head down in an attempt to catch Villopoto out front.
- With lapped riders helping to dictate the pace, Villopoto’s lead proved itself to be too much to overcome, and Stewart settled for the runner-up spot on the podium.
- Seely (pictured below) finished an impressive ninth-place overall in his first-ever premier class main event.
- Behind Seely, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi rounded out the top ten.
- With seven races left in the series, JS7 has a 26-point deficit to overcome in hopes of capturing the 2011 Supercross title.
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. James Stewart
3. Chad Reed
4. Ryan Dungey
5. Justin Brayton
6. Trey Canard
7. Kevin Windham
8. Nick Wey
9. Cole Seely
10. Mike Alessi
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- See more photos from the Indianapolis Supercross
- Stewart plows through adversity in Daytona
- Cole Seely hops on a big bike to sub for Josh Grant