James Stewart - "I Need To Hang It Out More"
News Wednesday 15th January 2013
Despite playing it cautiously at Phoenix’s second round to prevent further damage to his knee, the 27-year-old raced to seventh place in the 450SX class main event.
Stewart started the weekend by once-again setting the fastest qualifying time in the day’s practice sessions. In his heat race, Stewart pulled the holeshot on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 and led all eight laps to victory.
In the 20-lap final, he struggled at the start but quickly settled into a comfortable spot in the top 10, but held off an increasingly aggressive challenge and rode a smart, instinctive race.
“Round two was a little bit better than round one,” Stewart reflected. “My knee was sore, but I was able to deal with it in the main event. I got a bad start, but I was able to pass a couple of people and then I did what I did last week, I just stayed there.
“I’m happy we got out of Phoenix without damaging anything and I felt a little stronger than I did last week. We have a couple of things to work on, but the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was awesome. In both main events this year, it’s been phenomenal.”
However, the two-time former champion is certain that he needs to make progress despite his knee injury.
“Unfortunately, I’m just not riding up-to-par right now,” he added. “One reason is because of the injury, but the other is that I just need to let it hang out there a little more. I can feel that I’m getting stronger, so we’ll be better next week for sure.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing returns to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, for the second time this year for the third round this Saturday, 19 January.