Stewart Questions Safety Heading into Bike Week
At last weekend’s AMA Supercross race in Atlanta, a dramatic last-lap crash between former champions James Stewart and Chad Reed took both racers out of contention for the win. Stewart joined Dave Despain and Robin Miller on SPEED’s “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain” to offer his view of the incident and what’s to come this weekend at Bike Week in Daytona:
To see a clip of the action: http://www.speedtv.com/video/moto-racing/sx-atlanta-2011-804854130001
Despain: What did you think of the move Reed made to take you both down?
Stewart: Obviously, it was a tough incident. I race a little bit different … I try not to go in and do something like that. Obviously, there are two sides to every story … he has his side … I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t expect the guy to be going almost a runway down the race track to take me out, but it was just one of those things where, unfortunately, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened between me and him and it seems like I always get the short end of the stick. Last year at Phoenix, we both end up going down, but it’s just unfortunate that we don’t have anybody stepping up, like the AMA, to try to fix these rules to make sure guys don’t get hurt. I guess it’s just one of those things where anything goes and we’ll try to continue on with the team and try to win the championship.
Miller: You said that the AMA didn’t punish anyone for this. Is there sort of an unwritten code of ethics, that maybe this week at Daytona, it’s payback time?
Stewart: I think for me, if we are in the same situation, I will know to basically go around the inside of the corner and not try to have it happen … just as a racer from my side of things, I just wouldn’t do something like that to try to win, but like I said, we are both going for a championship. This weekend at Daytona, I am going to go out there and race and try to do my thing, but what is unfortunate for me is that I have been on probation for things way not even close to being as bad as that, but I guess it’s one of those things, that that’s what they want and, at the end of the day, they’ll get what they need.
Despain: I want to go back to the three-wide pass that gave you the lead with just over a lap to go. Chad said of that pass, and I am quoting here: “He hit me pretty hard.” I’ve watched that video 20 times, and it didn’t look to me like you hit him at all. Did you hit him?
Stewart: No. I mean the only thing that might have hit him was a little bit of rooster or some of my air coming by, but I think he just got a little bit spooked coming in there … the whole race, I was trying to be clean. I think with everybody out there, we’re just trying to make sure we are clean, because no matter what, we are going to see each other at all 17 rounds. I was trying to do my part and make it clean, but obviously he went for a pass he thought he could make, but for sure, I didn’t touch him … not even close.
SPEED will offer live coverage of the AMA Supercross this weekend from Daytona as part of the network’s expansive coverage of Daytona Bike Week.
Bike Week on SPEED television schedule:
· AMA Supercross (March 5, 8 p.m. ET, LIVE)
· The Daytona 200 (March 12, 1 p.m. ET, LIVE)
· AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike (March 12, 11 p.m. ET, SDD)
· AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship (March 13, 3 p.m. ET)
SPEED2, the network’s authenticated broadband channel, offers live coverage of AMA Supersport live from Daytona on March 11 at 2:15 p.m. ET and March 12 at 10 a.m. ET.