Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart celebrated his latest excursion to Las Vegas in spectacularly-winning style in his first-ever attempt at the prominent, stand-alone Monster Energy Cup Championship.
Stewart raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to two-out-of-three Supercross Main Event victories to take the overall win and the $100,000 purse at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday night.
Unique in that the Monster Energy Cup does not have heat races; and incorporates three 10-lap Main Events, the racing was held on a split-start track designed by former Suzuki Champion Ricky Carmichael.
In the evening’s first race, the starting gate on Stewart’s side did not drop and the race was restarted. In the restart, Stewart got the holeshot but the alternate gate malfunctioned and caused another restart. Then, after two unsuccessful gate drops, racing commenced, but Stewart didn’t get a clean launch and had to come from 19th, but he still managed to work his way up to an eighth-place finish.
In the second Main Event, Stewart more-than made-up for the unfortunate starting incidents earlier by getting the holeshot on his Suzuki RM-Z450 and leading all 10 laps to victory. In the night’s final race, he got another good start, put his head down; and captured the lead halfway through the race. From there on out, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider never looked back and held the lead all the way to the flag.
Said Stewart: “We’re 100-grand richer but most importantly, we won! This was a special win for me. During the off-season, I took a month-off from riding and that helped me realise not only how much I appreciate winning, but also how much I appreciate racing, riding and having fun. I really wanted to come to this race for my fans and for my team. It’s been great to come here and know that we’re taking the right steps. I can’t thank the whole Yoshimura Suzuki team enough – they gave me the RM-Z450 that I fell in love with. To be able to get out here and show it at a one-off race where everybody is going for it was amazing.”
In addition to winning this year’s hotly-contested Monster Energy Cup, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Stewart celebrated a host of notable accomplishments throughout the 2013 racing season: In this year’s AMA/ FIM Supercross, Stewart became one of just three racers ever to have gone nine straight seasons with a win after his victory at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. In AMA Pro Motocross, Stewart claimed the 2013 Holeshot Championship, as well as victory at the Spring Creek National in Millville, plus multiple podium finishes.
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next race will be the season-opening round of the 2014 AMA/ FIM Supercross Championships on Saturday, January 4, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.