James Stewart held off Ryan Villopoto this weekend in front of a packed crowd at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. to earn his first victory of the 2013 AMA Supercross season. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider had an almost perfect night, finishing the quickest both in practice and the heat race before claiming the holeshot – and victory – in the 450SX main event.
Stewart led for all 20 laps of the event and finished just 1.468 seconds ahead of Villopoto – last year’s Supercross champion. Rounding out the top three spots was Davi Millsaps, the current leader in the championship standings, who increased his season points lead to 14.
This season hasn’t gone particularly well for Stewart, who was sitting in the ninth position heading into Saturday’s race in front of 68,987 – one of the largest crowds of the season. Just a week earlier in Arlington, Texas, Stewart won his heat race but a clutch failure on his bike forced him to pull out of the main event. He knew that this weekend wouldn’t be easy but that he needed to bounce back.
“I mean, what can I say, we won,” Stewart admitted after the win. “This whole season has been going crazy and to get a victory and to get a start, it was almost a perfect day. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous because I haven't been out there in a while.”
The Haines city, Fla. native still has plenty of work to do if he wants to climb back into contention. He’ll have the chance to do so next weekend, for Round 9 in St. Louis, MO. Meanwhile, in the 250SX Class, Honda’s Wil Hahn walked away with his first career victory.
Photo Credit: Getty