NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 23, 2009) – It doesn’t matter what side of the country he’s on, James Stewart just keeps on winning. Saturday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Stewart rode his Bridgestone-equipped Yamaha to a seventh consecutive victory in Monster Energy AMA Supercross competition, and took over the 2009 championship lead in the process.After finishing 19th in the season opener, Stewart has been unstoppable, winning six times out west before the series shifted east for seven events. Bridgestone riders have been unbeatable as well, winning every Supercross and Supercross Lites race so far this season.Stewart (Team San Manuel / JSE Yamaha) won by 9.4 seconds Saturday over Chad Reed (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki), who has placed second to Stewart each time during the current seven-win streak. Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki) took third to complete a Bridgestone Supercross podium sweep.”The M603 and M604 (Bridgestone tire) combination worked perfect for the Atlanta soil conditions,” said Stewart, the 2007 AMA Supercross and 2008 AMA Motocross champion who has a three-point advantage over Reed in the ’09 Supercross chase. “We chose the 80/100-21 size front for tonight, to ‘free’ up the front end, with all the ruts and tacky soil conditions.”In Supercross Lites, Christophe Pourcel (Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki) made it 2-for-2 in Eastern Regional competition, beating fellow Bridgestone rider Nico Izzi (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki) to the finish. “I am very happy to get the win tonight, for my team and Bridgestone.” Pourcel said. “The new Bridgestone tires were really predictable, and gave me a lot of confidence.”Doug Schopinsky, who oversees Bridgestone tire development for Monster Energy AMA Supercross, was pleased with Saturday’s results, not to mention being at an indoors arena after battling the elements at outdoor stadiums the past couple weekends.”We couldn’t be happier with our Atlanta results,” Schopinsky said. “It sure was nice to be under the cover of the Georgia Dome, and away from the variable weather conditions. The hard to intermediate tires really tamed the difficult red clay soil conditions, and once again, Bridgestone riders dominated the podium.”AMA Supercross and Eastern Regional Supercross Lites return to action Saturday in Indianapolis.About Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Reporting into the BATO business unit are the company’s Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. BATO develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The business unit is focused on retail, wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in the Americas. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.