Less than three weeks remain to the start of the seventeen-round 2011 Monster Energy AMA-Supercross and FIM Supercross World Championship in Los Angeles and Yamaha can look to perhaps their strongest ever line-up in the immensely popular off-road discipline.
2009 Supercross Champion James Stewart recently inked a two-year contract with stay with his LandM Racing team and bid for a second title on the YZ450F after his efforts in 2010 were curtailed by a broken wrist. The supremely talented 25 year old from Florida will be one of the main riders in contention as the paddock gathers at the site of the traditional season-opening venue, the Angel Stadium, on the Californian coast. Yamaha have won the first race of the year for the past three editions thanks to Chad Reed, Josh Grant and Stewart respectively. Stewart gains a new team-mate in the form of Kyle Regal, another American who significantly increased his stock with stand-out performances in the 2010 AMA Motocross championship.
The YZ450F has a fleet of potential race winners armed for the contest that will travel the breadth of the USA, coast-to-coast for almost seventeen weeks in succession and even take a deviation to Toronto. Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will use the skills of former Main Event victor Davi Millsaps and 2009 King of Bercy Justin Brayton (who was one of Yamaha’s top ranked riders within the Indoor arenas in 2010). Valli Motorsports count on the experience of Nick Wey and the youthful speed of rookie Austin Stroupe. Motoconcepts Yamaha, with former Yamaha supercross great David Vuillemin at the helm, field 2010 Bercy runner-up Kyle Chisholm and Tommy Hahn. Yamaha will also be prevalent in the AMA SX Lites (West and East Coast divisions) with the YZ250F in the hands of numerous starlets such as Ryan Sipes and Kyle Cunningham.
“We are very excited to have all of our teams returning to fight for the 2011 Racing series and look forward to coming out of the gate at the opener with a strong start to the season” said Racing Division Manager of Yamaha Motor Corporation USA, Keith McCarty. “They did a great job representing the Yamaha brand last year and with contingency and parts available in the pits I’m looking forward to an even better finish in 2011 for all our Yamaha racers.”
Yamaha will be gunning for their twelfth title in the premier SX class since the creation of the championship as an AMA sanctioned series in 1974 (when they were the inaugural champions thanks to Dutchman Pierre Karsmakers) and their third in the last four years.