NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 7, 2009) - Now that the Eastern swing is complete and just three events remain, the battle for the 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship is down to a pair of Bridgestone-equipped riders - and no one is surprised. Reigning Supercross champ Chad Reed and 2007 Supercross titlist James Stewart are the only riders mathematically in contention for this year's crown, following Saturday night's event in Jacksonville, Fla.It was in Jacksonville's Municipal Stadium, before more than 31,000 fans, that Stewart (Team San Manuel / JSE Yamaha) and Reed (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki) staged one of their epic duels in the dirt. The pair swapped the lead three times before Stewart finally went ahead for good and rode on to his 10th victory of the season.Despite winning just three times thus far in '09, Reed maintains a five-point advantage over Stewart in the championship standings. With the next nearest competitor 85 points behind Stewart and just three races remaining, Bridgestone is assured of its 12th AMA Supercross title since 1996 and fifth straight.Bridgestone already locked up the AMA Supercross Lites Eastern Regional crown a week ago, and new champion Christophe Pourcel (Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki) put an exclamation point on his tremendous season with his fifth victory Saturday in that division's final race. Pourcel's teammate, Austin Stroupe, finished third Saturday to sew up second place in the Eastern Regional season standings. Nico Izzi (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki) wound up third in the Supercross Lites Eastern Regional chase to give Bridgestone a sweep of the top three spots.Supercross racing takes a weekend off before resuming April 18 at Qwest Field in Seattle. Reed and Stewart will pick up their battle there, and the Supercross Lites Western Regional will return for the first of its final two events, where there is a tight battle among three Bridgestone riders for the title. Ryan Dungey (Rockstar / Makita Suzuki) holds a two-point lead over Jake Weimer (Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki), with Ryan Morais (Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki) just nine in back of Weimer.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.