The 2011 AMA Supercross series headed north of the border on Saturday night to take on the chilly confines of Toronto’s Rogers Centre, and Red Bull’s James Stewart walked away a few points closer to the series leaders after a scrappy fourth-place performance.
Heading into Toronto, Stewart had spent his time recovering from the nasty Jacksonville crash that ended with a trip to the local hospital just one week prior. Thankfully, all tests came back negative for serious injury, but JS7 was still forced to stay off his bike all week in hopes of healing his bumps and bruises enough to perform at an optimum level in Toronto.
Entering the event in serious need of a win in order to keep himself in the championship hunt, Stewart’s streak of main-event bad luck unfortunately continued, and the gritty Floridian scrambled to secure a points-salvaging fourth-place finish by the wave of the checkers.
Red Bull KTM’s Andrew Short and Red Bull-backed American Honda’s Cole Seely finished the Toronto main event in seventh and tenth, respectively.
Here’s how all the action unfolded in the great white north…
SUPERCROSS QUALIFYING HEATS
- Despite the lack of mid-week seat time prior to Toronto, JS7 remarkably set the fastest qualifying lap time (51.818), over a full second ahead of Trey Canard.
- Cole Seely continued his American Honda guest ride in Toronto and qualified for the main event in the sixth spot out of Supercross Heat #1.
- Supercross Heat #2 featured Red Bull teammates Stewart, Mike Alessi and Andrew Short, and JS7 asserted himself as the man to beat as he quickly grabbed the lead just before the end of lap one.
- Stewart rode a flawless heat, eventually crossing the line 20 seconds ahead of Chad Reed in second.
- Alessi put up a strong fight to grab the final transfer spot (ninth) into the main event.
- Unfortunately for Short, mechanical issues forced an early retirement from the heat, relegating him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) in hopes of advancing to the main.
- When the gate dropped for the LCQ, Shorty grabbed a top-five start from the far outside, and quickly moved into third before the end of lap one.
- With only two riders advancing to the main from the LCQ, Short (pictured below) put it all on the line and impressively muscled his way to the win.
SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT
- After a great jump out of the gate to rail through turn one in the second spot, Stewart unfortunately went down momentarily after washing out his front end through turn two, eventually completing lap one in 12th place.
- On lap three, JS7’s bad luck continued, as he and series points leader Ryan Villopoto collided, sending both riders to the rocky Canadian soil.
- After losing two spots during the incident with RV, Stewart once again put his nose to the grindstone and began a fierce charge toward the front.
- Miraculously, JS7 moved all the way up to the fourth spot by the end of lap eight, but had his work cut out for him if he hoped to close the gap on the three riders who had established themselves way out front [Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, Trey Canard].
- With the gap between himself and third-place seemingly insurmountable, Stewart continued charging hard, but chose not to force the issue in hopes of salvaging valuable championship points.
- With series leader Villopoto finishing the night in ninth, JS7’s fourth was still a step in the right direction, but definitely not what he was hoping for in Canada.
- With five rounds and 125 points still up for grabs in the series, James now sits 20 points behind new series leader Reed; 17 points behind Villopoto in second, and 12 points back of Dungey in third.
- Though just outside of the championship scuffle, Short put in a solid race on the challenging Toronto circuit, finishing in a respectable seventh.
- Seely (pictured below) put in another impressive top-ten finish aboard the potent factory CRF450R.
1. Ryan Dungey
2. Chad Reed
3. Trey Canard
4. James Stewart
5. Justin Brayton
6. Nick Wey
7. Andrew Short
8. Kevin Windham
9. Ryan Villopoto
10. Cole Seely
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- See more photos from Toronto
- Cole Seely jumps on a factory 450 to sub for Josh Grant
- Video series: Red Bull amateur motorports athletes pushing for pro status