MALCOLM STEWART RETURNS TO THE PODIUM WITH SECOND-PLACE AT DETROIT SX.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING’S RJ HAMPSHIRE CLAIMS A SEASON-BEST FOURTH.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Malcolm Stewart had a near-perfect night at Round 10 of the AMA Supercross Championship, landing his FC 450 Rockstar Edition on the second step of the 450SX podium after claiming the top qualifying and heat race finishes earlier in the night. In the 250SX East division, teammate RJ Hampshire delivered a hard-fought performance to finish just off the podium with a season-best fourth in the Main Event.
Stewart set himself up for a positive night once again, claiming an impressive pole position in the 450SX class for the second-straight round. In 450SX Heat 2, Stewart continued to boost his own confidence as he grabbed the holeshot and led all nine laps en route to his third heat-win of the season.
With a tough start in the Main Event, Stewart got pushed toward the back of the pack in 14th. Picking up five spots within a lap, he continued to pick up the pace to bring himself inside the top five around the halfway mark. As the track conditions became more challenging, Stewart only got stronger and he carried great momentum into the second half of racing. He passed on the inside of the finish-line turn to move into podium contention and he diced back-and-forth for third later in the race. With just a few laps remaining, Stewart was gifted a position when a crash occurred ahead of him and he capitalized all the way through the checkers, clinching a solid second overall at Round 10.
“I felt good all day. P1 in practice and in the heat race, I knew we had a good ball rolling,” Stewart said. “In the Main Event, I didn’t get the best start but I just really had to ride because it’s one of those tracks where it’s going to bite you at any time. I just started clicking off laps and I didn’t really want to put too much thought into it, I just wanted to get up there. Once I started seeing riders crash – like top-tier riders going down – it was kind of crazy but we ended up second and I’m thankful. Let’s just keep the momentum going!”
Top-10 out of the gate in 450SX Heat 1, teammate Dean Wilson made quick work of his competitors to jump into sixth early on. Continuing to charge further towards the front, Wilson was pushing the limits and lost the front-end in the corner after a triple. Dropping to 16th, he earned back several positions to ultimately land a sixth-place transfer position.
In the 450SX Main Event, Wilson had a roller-coaster performance. He was shuffled to the back of the field after the start. Within two laps, he had scored five positions up to 11th but he crashed in the whoops and dropped back to 19th. He re-mounted and climbed to 16th before once again going down and falling to 19th near the middle of the race. Putting in a strong ride late in the race, Wilson was able to salvage 14th on the night.
„The Main Event didn’t turn out very well for me,” Wilson said. “I was in a good position, top-five actually, but I crashed in the whoops. I got up from that and had another fall, so unfortunately, not a good night. The track caught a lot of riders tonight and unfortunately, I was one of them. But I am healthy, so we’ll be back next weekend.”
After qualifying fifth, RJ Hampshire had a strong gate pick for 250SX Heat 2 and he pulled a great holeshot, narrowly missing a first-turn pileup. Facing intense pressure from the series leader, Hampshire slid back to second early in the race. Halfway through, he lost his rhythm and missed a whoop, dropping him back to fifth, where he ultimately finished. Hampshire had a mid-pack start in the Main Event and he set his sights on chipping away at the positions ahead of him. He was up to seventh by the third lap, breaking into the top-five around the mid-way point. With only a couple laps remaining, he charged into fourth and held off a couple hard-charging riders to ultimately finish just off the podium in fourth.
“Man, it was a tough day,” Hampshire said. “Lost in the shambles for about 90 percent of it but we managed to get out of here healthy. We did what we could in the Main Event and will try to be better for next weekend.”
In 250SX Heat 1, Stilez Robertson blasted his FC 250 off of the line into sixth. Over the next six laps, he steadily worked his way up to second. Pushing toward the lead position, Robertson gave a good effort to ultimately secure a solid second.
In the 250SX Main Event, he narrowly missed the holeshot but he immediately pushed into the lead. With the top riders racing wheel-to-wheel early on, Robertson wasn’t able to hold them all off and he slipped to second. Around the halfway point, the 19-year-old sat in sixth but a couple mistakes dropped him back to ultimately finish eighth on the night. Four rounds into the series, Robertson sits fourth overall in the championship standings.
“Not much to say really, it wasn’t a great day for me,” Robertson said. “My starts were good but the riding was off all day. We’re going to put our head down this week and get to where we belong.”
Round 11: March 19 – Indianapolis SX – Indianapolis, Indiana
Round 10 Results: Detroit SX
450SX Results 1. Eli Tomac (YAM) 2. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing 3. Justin Barcia (GAS) …14. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
250SX East Results 1. Jett Lawrence (HON) 2. Cameron Mcadoo (KAW) 3. Pierce Brown (GAS) 4. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing … 8. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
450SX Rider Point Standings 1. Eli Tomac – 229 points 2. Jason Anderson – 187 points 3. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 187 points…10. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 119 points
250SX East Rider Point Standings 1. Jett Lawrence – 99 points 2. Cameron Mcadoo – 91 points 3. Pierce Brown – 68 points 4. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 67 points … 7. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 60 points