Supercross

James Stewart Wins 2015 RedBull Straight Rhythm

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James Stewart roared back into competitive action at Red Bull Straight Rhythm to take victory in his first professional motocross race of the year, winning the Open class in spectacular fashion.

In the Lites class James' younger brother, Malcolm Stewart, stayed perfect all day to take his first ever championship as a professional.

Through the first round races, it was business as usual for the star riders like Ken Roczen, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey, each making short work of both races to move on. Vince Friese had the highlight of the first round, although he probably wasn‰Ûªt too happy with: Friese lost his back brake coming up to one of the speed checks and launched it, sending himself and his 450 about 25 feet [7.6m] straight up and down onto the face of the following jump.

Somehow, Friese saved himself from crashing and rode the next race, ultimately losing to Andrew Short. But overall, business as usual for the Open class riders in the first round, as all of the faster qualifiers moved on.

Ken Roczen faced off against his riding buddy Andrew Short in the quarters and left him behind right there as he worked his way up to the semi-finals.

The KTM riders Dean Wilson and Justin Brayton found each other in this round, a replay of the semis from 2014, and again it was Brayton edging Wilson to take the ticket to the next round, despite Wilson‰Ûªs feverish attempt to put the bike in front of the No 10 Brayton.

Ryan Dungey had some unexpected competition in the shape of Kyle Partridge, but weathered that storm, eventually laying down the fastest time we‰Ûªd seen all weekend at a 41.7s.

James Stewart took on Josh Hansen in the quarter-finals for the second straight year and once again made quick work of Hanny to move on.
James Stewart and Ken Roczen race head to head - Credit: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool
It all started to heat up in the semi-finals. Ken Roczen took on the 2014 Straight Rhythm second-place rider Justin Brayton, and while Brayton kept him on his toes in each race, Roczen was able to get the job done and secure his spot in the final.

It was the second semi that had fans on their feet ‰ÛÒ James Stewart and Ryan Dungey, facing off for the first time in 2015. In the first run, Stewart looked to have the advantage, using an incredible line jumping the dragon back into the whoops, but Dungey somehow gained an edge in the rollers and took the win. However, Stewart was then able to put two perfect runs together to take the win and claim a spot in the final.

The stage was set for an incredible final. The 2014 Straight Rhythm champ Stewart facing off against the prodigy Roczen. Roczen had not lost a single race all day, and looked to be on his way to a perfect day, ÌÊ la Stewart in 2014.

After the first run, it was Stewart just edging Roczen, his whoops speed making all the difference. Coming into the second race, Roczen looked steadfast on taking the final to a third run, but as the two left the gate and hit the first section of the track, Roczen made a minor mistake, and completely checked up, handing the race win and the championship to Stewart, who cruised home for his second straight Red Bull Straight Rhythm title.
Malcolm Stewart takes the win at Straight Rhythm - Credit: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool
It was Malcolm Stewart leading the way into the quarter-finals in the Lites class after taking the pole position. Stewart faced off against his GEICO Honda team-mate Matt Bisceglia and made easy work of their two races, taking the win and a ticket to the semi-finals.

The other two GEICO Honda riders, Jordon Smith and RJ Hampshire faced off next, and it was in their first race that Hampshire got out of shape in the whoops, dropping the front end and going straight over the bars, slamming into the dirt and ending his day at Straight Rhythm 2015.

The Lites semi-finals saw the battle of the team-mates, as Malcolm Stewart took on Jordon Smith, while Jessy Nelson went up against Shane McElrath. Stewart had been perfect all weekend, and kept the streak alive against his GEICO Honda team-mate, who was unable to bring the aggression that Stewart brought to the track in either race, giving Malcolm the go-ahead for the Lites final.

In one of the upsets of the day, McElrath was able to take the top spot over his team-mate Nelson in their two races, putting McElrath in the final against Stewart.

It was going to be a tough mountain to climb for the TLD KTM rider Shane McElrath, as Malcolm Stewart had taken a page out of his brother‰Ûªs playbook from 2014 and had topped every single race of his weekend.

McElrath and Stewart battled in each race, and while the TLD rider rode the wheels off his KTM250, it was not enough to defeat Stewart, who stayed perfect on the day to take his first title at Red Bull Straight Rhythm, securing a clean sweep for the Stewart household.

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