With only two rounds remaining in the 2011 AMA Supercross Series, James Stewart was reignited, carrying a two-race win streak into Salt Lake City, a race that had to be mistake-free and result in nothing less than a win.
Under the chilly Utah skies, James put in a commanding heat race win, but a different plot unfolded during the main event. After a series of unfortunate back-to-back crashes, JS7 watched his championship dreams fade away with a tenth-place finish at night’s end.
The remaining Red Bull squad had a solid performance, with Supercross rookie Ken Roczen (pictured above) returning to the States to take an impressive runner-up spot in the Lites class, along with Red Bull-backed TLD/Honda’s Cole Seely claiming fourth.
Read on for a full race recap of the action from Salt Lake City…
SUPERCROSS LITES QUALIFYING HEATS
- Fresh off a plane from Europe, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen rejoined the West Coast Lites series and quickly made his presence felt with a Heat #1 holeshot.
- After a tight battle for the lead for all six laps, Roczen came up just a half-second short of the win but easily qualified for the Lites main event in second.
- Travis Baker and Cole Seely jumped out to strong first and second-place starts, respectively, to kick off Lites Heat #2, but Seely quickly got around his teammate to settle into the lead spot.
- Laying down some of the quickest laps of the night, Seely picked up right where he left off in Seattle, motoring to a seemingly easy win in front of the enthusiastic SLC fans.
- Baker held tough to secure a fifth-place qualifying position.
SUPERCROSS LITES MAIN EVENT
- With two heats and the Last Chance Qualifier in the books, the gates finally dropped for the Lites main event. Seely launched out to grab the holeshot and early lead.
- When the pack settled in a bit, Roczen established himself in the third spot with Seely right behind in fourth.
- By lap seven, Roczen had worked his way into second, four seconds behind leader Eli Tomac.
- Looking incredibly sharp considering his several weeks away from Supercross, Roczen held tough to collect a solid second-place finish.
- After a few bobbles that cost him the chance to battle up front with the leaders, Seely (pictured below) cruised in for a comfortable fourth-place finish.
SUPERCROSS LITES RESULTS
1. Eli Tomac
2. Ken Roczen
3. Broc Tickle
4. Cole Seely
5. Kyle Cunningham
6. Tyla Rattray
7. Ryan Morais
8. Martin Davalos
9. Travis Baker
10. Ben Evans
SUPERCROSS QUALIFYING HEATS
- Kyle Regal jumped out to a great start to get things crackin’ in the first Supercross-class heat of the night, and eventually settled into the fifth position to qualify for the main.
- The Heat #2 holeshot went to James Stewart, with Andrew Short close in tow.
- Stewart looked flawless in the cool SLC night as he piloted his Yamaha to a comfortable nine-second win over Ryan Dungey.
- Short put up a tough fight to stay in the top three, but eventually settled into fourth to qualify for the main.
- Behind Shorty, Mike Alessi battled his way to a sixth-place qualifying spot.
- Stewart spun a best lap of 42.81 to Chad Reed’s (winner of Heat #1) 42.88, setting the stage for an action-packed main event.
SUPERCROSS MAIN EVENT
- With just two main events left in the 2011 Supercross series (including SLC), Stewart rocketed out of the gate to capture the holeshot in front of rivals Reed, Dungey, and Ryan Villopoto.
- By lap five, JS7 had extended a 2.6-second gap on second-place Reed, who had Villopoto nipping at his heels.
- With the championship on the line and absolutely no room for error, Stewart’s entire season flashed before him as he washed out his front end in a slick SLC corner, and then went down again immediately following in the whoop section.
- Forced into the pit lane to straighten out his bike, JS7 lost nearly a full lap to the leaders, effectively conceding the title.
- Stewart rejoined the race to eventually finish in the tenth spot.
- Short closed out the night in a solid fourth.
Get a different look at SX life through the eyes of Andrew Short's mechanic:
1. Ryan Villopoto
2. Chad Reed
3. Ryan Dungey
4. Andrew Short
5. Davi Millsaps
6. Kevin Windham
7. Jake Weimer
8. Tommy Hahn
9. Justin Brayton
10. James Stewart
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