He’s Back! Oakley’s James “Bubba” Stewart Claims Victory at Supercross Phoenix

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He’s back. Officially.

Oakley’s Motocross Superstar James “Bubba” Stewart dazzled a super packed Chase Field in Phoenix for the second race of the 2011 AMA Supercross Season, claiming a resounding victory after fending off a strong challenge from fellow O Rider Ryan Villopoto. The win signaled his full return to prominence after sitting on the sidelines for most of last season due to injury.

Making sure a bad start in the Main Event didn’t threaten his chances at victory – as was the case at the Anaheim 1 season opener – James snatched the holeshot after blazing out of the gates with Kevin Windham and Oakley teammate Ryan Dungey following closely. But it was Villopoto’s charging that threatened Bubba’s smooth ride to a win.

On Lap 9, Ryan, who was mere bike lengths behind Stewart, fell but was able to remount in second and carry it to the finish.

“That section has been tough all night,” said Ryan, who leads the standing by two points. “(All the riders) were pushing the limit on it all night and it got me. I was pushing James (Stewart) and waiting for a mistake, but I ended up being the one (to make one). I still was able to do what I came here to do and leave with some valuable points. Now it’s on to Dodger Stadium.”

As for Bubba, it was completely apparent that a win in Phoenix was important in stoking momentum for the season – after seeing his plate handed off last year.

“I really wanted to pull that holeshot,” Bubba said. “This track was tough tonight but I haven’t won in over a year so I really wanted this one. I was even a little nervous out there but I want to thank everyone on my team for giving such an awesome bike. This feels great.”

Congrats to all Bubba, Villopoto and all Oakley riders who smashed Phoenix.

Full Results:

Supercross Class Results: Phoenix
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
2. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
4. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
5. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki
6. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
8. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki
9. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha
10. Kyle Regal, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha

Supercross Class Season Standings
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 47
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 45
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 38
4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 38
5. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 34
6. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki – 26
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 25
8. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha – 22
9. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 21
10. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 20