For Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart, round five of the 2014 AMA Pro Motocross Championships was fraught with crashes. Not catastrophic crashes, but crashes nonetheless. The multi-time champion got caught up in not one, but two turn-one pile-ups. Even so, Stewart rebounded in both motos and salvaged what turned out to be a hard-fought eighth-place overall at Muddy Creek Raceway.
Stewart came into the Tennessee National riding high. He’d swept the previous round at Pennsylvania’s High Point Raceway with both moto wins and the overall victory. He was also sitting comfortably in third place in the points standings and a solid result at Muddy Creek could have moved him up to second. But it was not to be. Stewart’s race in Tennessee met with an alarming amount of bad luck in both motos.
In the first moto, Stewart was collected up in a group of riders that went down in turn one and watched as eventual race winner Ryan Dungey checked out on his Red Bull KTM. That moto’s other podium finishers – Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen and GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac – weren’t far behind. Despite the setback, Stewart got up and worked his way back to fifth from almost last.
The second moto echoed the first, with Stewart going down with another group in the first turn and having to come from the back of the field. Still, he turned in a fearless effort and had gotten up to ninth when he went down again in the ruts. Stewart remounted yet again, and pushed ahead to finish 11th in the moto and eighth for the day. Despite the unfortunate results, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Stewart was upbeat.
“Today was fun,” said Stewart after the race. “The results weren’t that cool but I had fun today and want to thank the fans; they were awesome out there. Another good thing is that we’ve been working on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and getting really good. I think we only made a couple of clicker changes all day and I had some really good speed.
"I felt like if I hadn’t gone down on the starts," he continued, "I would have been out there and had a chance to win the races. So my confidence is still there. I actually think I rode better today than I did when I won at High Point two weeks ago. So now, we’ll go back and rest up and get ready to make something happen at RedBud.”
Interestingly, the second moto’s podium almost mirrored that of the first race, with Roczen taking the win, Dungey finishing second and Tomac again picking up third. The overall Muddy Creek podium was Roczen in first, Dungey in second and Tomac in third. In the overall championship points standings, Stewart held on to third place, and currently sits behind Dungey in second and Roczen in the lead.
Tags: Eli Tomac, GEICO Honda, High Point Raceway, James Stewart, Ken Roczen, Motorsports, Muddy Creek Raceway, Red Bull KTM, Ryan Dungey, Tennessee National, Yoshimura Suzuki
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