Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart made what can only be called the very best of an extremely bad situation at round six of the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Southwick, that saw him rally after a nasty moto one crash to come back and battle for a podium position on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 in the second moto.
Heralded as one of the first motocross tracks in the US to support professional motocross, Southwick’s Moto-X 338 held its final AMA Pro National on Saturday.
Said a nostalgic Stewart: “It’s probably the toughest track of the year. I’ve had some great memories here. Everybody knows when you come to Southwick; it’s a lot of work. It’s the only sand track on the circuit and it’s sad to see it go, especially for a Florida kid knowing how to ride sand.”
Indeed, this Florida kid turned in quite the spectacular performance on the unique Southwick track. After taking the top overall qualifying spot, Stewart holeshot the first moto and immediately began to gap the field.
After leading for more than half the race, he went down hard and was forced to sit out the rest of the moto. Returning for the second moto, Stewart got another good start on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and fought for a podium position for the entire race before finishing fourth. Overall, Stewart wound up 11th for the day.
“I was quickest in first practice and second quickest in second practice when the track was a little rougher,” said Stewart. “The cool thing was that, the last time I raced here was in 2008 and I was running the same lap times today that I was then. And in the first moto, I got the holeshot and was starting to pull away. Then I went into that rut section and kind of lost the front end and I ended up taking a digger and hurt my shoulder and knocked the wind out of me. But I was able to come back and in the second moto, I got a good jump and made a couple of passes right at the beginning. After about 15 minutes, I felt like I could barely hold on but I stayed in there. The first moto was definitely a bummer because I felt like that race was ours, but I’m happy with the second moto. I’m pretty sore now but I’m going to go back and get checked out and come back strong for RedBud.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next race is round seven of the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championships on Saturday July 6th at the RedBud National in Buchanan.