Stewart Wins Night 1
By Stephen Schultz
The prestigious Bercy Supercross, held in the beautiful city of Paris France, offers the 12,000 fans a real show each and every year. The Supercross track is tight and provides lots of chances for passing back and forth among the pilots. The whoops in 2009 gave the riders fits all day as they were big and didn't allow the Americans a chance to blitz the top of them like they do in the USA. The rest of the track was pretty basic for all the top riders, the soil was tacky and did rut up but for the most part, the course drew praises from everyone.
This year, like last, saw L&M Yamaha's James Stewart top the field with a perfect run on the night. Stewart won the final race; he captured the super-pole fastest lap as well as the elimination races. The promoters pack the program with racing with all skill levels so that the fans are never bored and each night there is a tribute to four-time Bercy champion, David Vuillemin as well.
The superpole contest started off with the selected fourteen riders going out and getting a chance to record their best time. As the quality of the riders ramped up and up, it became apparent that the top two riders in each practice, Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing's Justin Brayton, would be battling for the top honor in this competition as well. The world class skills of Stewart came to the fore-front early in the night when the number 1 Yamaha rider bested Brayton buy one and a half second.
The elimination races were exciting for most of the riders as there were back-to-back-to-back races consisting of 5, 4 and 3 lap sprints where the bottom five riders were eliminated. Then the field was narrowed to just five total riders and Stewart sped off with the victory in this race as well as the other two. He was a master of perfection in Bercy and it was clear that no one was in his league.
When the main event came around it was all Stewart once again as he came around the first turn, tripled a section that no one else could and grabbed the lead for good. It was the end of the road for anyone hoping to try and stick with Stewart for even one lap. The whoops were the real dividing point between James and everyone else. The Yamaha rider came into them faster and exited them at the same speed. The other pilots could only dream of such perfection in these wheel swallowers.
Scary moment about half-way through the main even when Frenchman Steve Boniface crashed heavily over the finish line and the race was red flagged while Boniface laid there motionless. He eventually moved a bit but was carted off on a stretcher and the word is that Steve has a long road to recovery. Best wishes go out to the 141.
Upon the re-start, James was but a cloud of dust to the rest of the field as he finished off what started the first time around. The MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin, on a 250F, was in second for a little while before getting overtaken by the Yamaha of Justin Brayton. Musquin who trailed only Stewart in the crowd's eyes, was certainly up to the challenge of the Americans and maintained third for the rest of the race. Gregory Aranda was a surprising fourth; another Frenchman named Fabian Izoird was fifth. American Matt Boni sixth and Nick Wey, making his debut on a Kawasaki was seventh. After Wey it was Martin, Hill, Renet and Thomas. Ben Coisy pulled out early of the main event with an apparent leg injury.
This was just night one of three and there's plenty more racing to go this weekend but if this night was any indication, the rest of the field will be battling for second as James Stewart is on a mission to prove that he was worth all the Euros that it took to get him to come over.