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James Stewart edges Chad Reed at Anaheim

Rivals are still close in the standings after the third race of the season at Angel Stadium.

February 08, 2009|Jim Peltz

James Stewart extended his early domination of the supercross season with his fifth consecutive win Saturday night in Anaheim.

As light rain fell on Angel Stadium, Stewart crossed the finish line nearly four seconds ahead of archrival Chad Reed to win the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series race in front of 43,812.

But Reed, the reigning series champion, continued to hold a three-point lead over Stewart in this year's title standings.

"The track got so slippery that you just had to be smart," Stewart said.

After Stewart and Reed lined up next to each other for the start of the 20-lap main event, Stewart hit the initial turn in first while Reed's No. 1 Suzuki lagged in sixth.

Reed quickly climbed through the field to reach second behind Stewart's No. 7 Yamaha, but Stewart never let him get closer.

"I put myself in a hole again" with the mediocre start, Reed said.

Supercross is the stadium version of motocross, or off-road motorcycle racing, and AMA officials use several hundred truckloads of dirt to transform Angel Stadium's infield into a hilly, curvy supercross track.

The track was covered during the recent storms but the three days of rain still made for soggy, treacherous conditions.

Three of the season's first six races are held at Angel Stadium. Josh Grant of Riverside won the first one Jan. 3 after Stewart and Reed collided early in the race, and Stewart won the second Jan. 17 as part of his win streak.

Stewart, 23, won the supercross championship in 2007 but the Haines City, Fla., rider missed most of last season with a knee injury.

Earlier Saturday the field was divided into two groups for two eight-lap preliminary heats and, in the first, Honda rider David Millsaps of Carlsbad held off Reed to win by nearly three seconds. Stewart cruised to a 14-second win over Grant in the second heat.

In the AMA's second-level series, Supercross Lites West, Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer of Rupert, Idaho, held off Ryan Morais of Murrieta to win the 15-lap main event for this third victory of the year. Weimer also won the season opener in Anaheim.

The series moves to San Diego for the next race Feb. 14.


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