January 30, 2010

Seismic Shift: James Stewart Sits Out San Francisco

Well is this some MESS (Monster Energy Supercross Series) or what? Team San Manuel Yamaha's 2009 Supercross Champion underwent surgery on Friday to repair his right wrist, which was apparently broken in Phoenix, most likely during his bad accident during his heat race. Here's the press release posted at Vital MX; there's no word on when Stewart will race again.

Missing tonight's race in San Fran certainly puts a damper on Stewart's chances at repeating the title. I hope he heals as fast as he safely can, and then returns to get some race wins for himself and his fans.

Team San Manuel's championship hopes now switch to the capable hands of James' team mate, former Team Yamaha rider Josh Hill, who's sitting in second place after three races, but just five or six points ahead of Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki), Andrew Short (Honda Red Bull) and Kevin Windham (Geico Honda Factory Connection), rather formidable competition.

With James joining his arch-rival, 2008 Supercross Champion Chad Reed (broken hand) on the injured reserve list, the MESS has suddenly turned into an MMA cage match for a bunch of highly talented 125/250F regional Supercross champions: Ryan Villopoto, Short, Windham, Ivan Tedesco, David Millsaps, Grant Langston and the guy sitting on a big 15-point lead in the points, Ryan Dungey. Talk about opportunity knocking, this is when we're going to see who really wants that number one plate. Who's got next?

Andrew Short beat ALL of those other guys in 2009, finishing third in the championship behind the big two. Kevin Windham came close to clinching the crown in 2008. Tedesco, a former Honda factory racer now riding a Valli Motorsports Yamaha, absolutely romped to two 250F crowns, so the man knows how to race Supercross. Unfortunately his results in the 450 class have been largely forgettable until this year. Hot Sauce is so overdue, if he doesn't win this title, he might be done. And how jazzed would Millsaps be to win the title for Team Honda Redbull?

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