Yoshimura Suzuki‘s James Stewart raced his new RM-Z450 to victory in both 450 motos to take the overall win in round one of the AMA Motocross Championship at Hangtown in Sacramento, California this last weekend. This was his first race in this series in four years, yet he was still flawless.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Stewart. “The Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was really fast and consistent. In the first moto I got a great start and I was in the lead on the first lap. I rode my own race, and got a good gap and was able to win that one. In the second moto, I had to work for it. I had to come around some guys, then I was able to stay there and keep the pace. As the day went on, the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was just better and better and better. I have to give it up to the team for all their hard work. I don’t want to get over-confident, but to start off like this – knowing this is one of my worst tracks – and know we can keep building, makes it so good.”
Stewart’s Australian teammate Brett Metcalfe turned in a promising performance in both motos to assist their team. In the first moto, Metcalfe finished fourth. In the second moto, finished fifth. After all was said and done, he finished fifth overall for the day. Metcalfe is currently in a three-way tie for third in Championship points.
“I’ve been looking forward to the start of the motocross season,” said Metcalfe. “The Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 is working great and Motocross is a nice change of pace. In moto one, I got a top-five start and I was feeling strong. I made some moves early and moved up to second, but wasn’t able to finish at the same intensity level I started with. Moto two was much the same, though I didn’t have a very good start. My speed and skills on the Suzuki feel really good right now, so I was able to make passes and move through the pack. Again, I just wasn’t able to finish the moto strong. We need to work on that, because if I want to contend for wins, that’s what I’ve got to do.”
Stewart and Metcalfe now have to get physically and mentally prepared for their next race, which is in Texas. Since Stewart is now the points leader of the series, he will be riding with the red number plate.
“Texas is going to be tough,” said Stewart. “But we have to take it week by week. I get to ride the red plate on the Suzuki and that’s pretty cool. This will be the first time I’ve ever had it, in Motocross or Supercross, so that should be pretty special.”