Stewart and Seely Survive Seattle
By Donn Maeda
Photos by Chris Kinman

In a race that can only be described as a survival run on a very rough and rutted track, two-time Supercross Champion James Stewart emerged with his second-consecutive win of the season and succeeded in making the championship points chase even closer with only two rounds remaining in the Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series. Stewart won handily over Geico Honda’s Kevin Windham, who made his first podium appearance of the season. TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed survived a late-race crash to finish third, just ahead of series points leader and hometown favorite Ryan Villopoto, while defending champ Ryan Dungey could only muster fifth in the treacherous conditions at Qwest Field.
Troy Lee Designs//Lucas Oil/Honda rider Cole Seely earned his second win of the season in the Supecross Lites class, turning in a masterful ride with a start-to-finish romp on his Rich Simmons-tuned Honda CRF250R. Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac grabbed the runner-up position, while Monster Energy/Pro Circut/Kawasaki rider Broc Tickle finished third and took control of the series points lead. Josh Hansen, the points leader entering the event, crashed hard during the afternoon practice sessions and struggled to sixth.

Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda rider Cole Seely grabbed the holeshot at the start of the 15-lap Western Regional Supercross Lites Championship Series main event, leading Broc Tickle, Josh Hansen and the rest onto the track. Seely looked great out front for the first couple laps, but a big bobble on lap three allowed Tickle to close within striking distance. Seely regained his composure quickly though, and put a little distance on Tickle. Kyle Cunningham was the rider on the move in the early going and motored past Hansen, but the Yamaha rider lost control all by himself and crashed a lap later. Eli Tomac was next to work past the injured Hansen, doing so in a rhythm section. Hansen held on for a few more laps, but seemed to throw in the towel once his teammate Tyla Rattray motored past.
Out front, Seely pulled out a commanding lead that would grow to nearly 10 seconds at the finish, the TLD rider earning his second win of the season in dominant fashion. Tickle held the runner-up position for much of the race, but there was no denying a hard-charging Tomac, who appeared to grow stronger on the challenging course as the race wore on. Tickle settled into a solid third and took control of the Western Regional Supercross Lites Series points lead. Cunningham recovered from his crash to finish fourth, while Rattray led Hansen home in fifth.
"It feels great to win here tonight," said Seely. "I felt great all day long, and everything just clicked for me, from the heat to the main event. I had one close call out there, but I felt great."
"I couldn't be happier about leaving here with the points lead," said Tickle. "A few weeks ago I crashed and broke my collarbone, but I had surgery and worked hard to get ready to be here tonight."

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Main Event
1. Cole Seely (Hon)
2. Eli Tomac (Hon)
3. Broc Tickle (Kaw)
4. Kyle Cunnigham (Yam)
5. Tyla Rattray (Kaw)
6. Josh Hansen (Kaw)
7. Ryan Morais (Suz)
8. Martin Davalos (Suz)
9. Travis Baker (Hon)
10. Gared Steinke (Kaw)
11. Ben Evans (Kaw)
12. Topher Ingals Hon)
13. Nick Paluzzi (Suz)
14. Tommy Weeck (Hon)
15. Preston Mull (Kaw)
16. Travis Bright (Hon)
17. Donald Vawser (Kaw)
18. Parker Eckman (Hon)
19. Brad Nauditt (Hon)
20. Tevin Tapia (KTM)
Western Regional Supercross Lites Series Point Standings (After 7 of 9 rounds)
1. Broc Tickle (145/1 win)
2. Josh Hansen (143/3)
3. Eli Tomac (138/1)
4. Cole Seely (118/2)
5. Ryan Morais (110)
6. Tyla Rattray (96)
7. Kyle Cunningham (89)
8. Ken Roczen (83)
9. Martin Davalos (82)
10. Jimmy Decotis (67)


When the gate dropped at the start of the 20-lap main event, Ivan Tedesco grabbed the lead. All hell broke loose on lap one with multiple pileups, and at the start of lap two it was Stewart, Reed, Windham and Tedesco. Dungey went down on lap one, and Villopoto was also mired back in the pack.
Stewart took control of the lead and immediately began to distance the pack, pulling away from Reed, who gained solid control of second. Mike Alessi briefly held control of third, but Windham motored past in the whoops on lap five. Villopoto caught life and worked past several riders by lap seven to move into the top five.
As the laps wore down, Stewart continued to pull away, growing his lead to up to nine seconds on Reed, who gained firm control of second. Windham rode a lonely race after passing Alessi, while Villopoto worked up to fourth when Alessi went over the bars in spectacular fashion.
Things got interesting on the next-to-last lap, when Reed fell and allowed Windham to motor past and into second. Reed remounted just in front of Villopoto, and the hometown hero saw his chance to grab the final podium position. The two riders came together on the last lap and got the crowd on its feet, but the final running order would remain the same as RV tipped over a few feet later. At the checkers, it was Stewart with over 10 seconds on Windham, then Reed, then Villopoto. Dungey salvaged fifth after trading the position several times with Alessi.
Leaving Seattle, the four championship contenders are separated by a mere 9 points, Villopoto with 293, six ahead of Reed, seven over Dungey, and nine over Stewart.
"Tonight was awesome," said Stewart. "I had fun all day. It was a tough track and I loved it."
"I felt like I had a good second going on, but those are the breaks and I feel lucky to have walked away from that one," said Reed.
"It feels great to be up here. I've been working hard to get on the podium all year long, and to get here feels better than you can imagine," said Windham.

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Main Event
1. James Stewart (Yam)
2. Kevin Windham (Hon)
3. Chad Reed (Hon)
4. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
5. Ryan Dungey (Suz)
6. Mike Alessi (KTM)
7. Kyle Regal (Yam)
8. Davi Millsaps (Yam)
9. Tommy Hahn (Yam)
10. Andrew Short (KTM)
11. Michael Byrne (Suz)
12. Nick Wey (Yam)
13. Fabien Izoird (Kaw)
14. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw)
15. Jason Thomas (Suz)
16. Vince Freise (Yam)
17. Tyler Bowers (Kaw)
18. Cole Seibler (Kaw)
19. Chris Blose (Kaw)
20. Austin Stroupe (Yam)
Supercross Series Point Standings (After 15 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto (293/5 wins)
2. Chad Reed (287/1)
3. Ryan Dungey (286/1)
4. James Stewart (284/5)
5. Trey Canard (255/2)
6. Andrew Short (196)
7. Kevin Windham (187)
8. Davi Millsaps (156)
9. Justin Brayton (141)
10. Ivan Tedesco (134)