Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Malcolm Stewart came close to securing his first win of the 2022 AMA Supercross Championship on Saturday after delivering an impressive runner-up result at the penultimate round in Colorado. Track conditions were anything but easy at Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High but Stewart rose to the challenge with a powerful Main Event performance and he gained a valuable boost into third overall in the 450SX championship standings with one round remaining.
With a daytime format for the second-straight week, timed qualifying got underway first thing in the morning and Stewart captured a strong P3 to kick off the day. In 450SX Heat 2, he got off to a top-five start and quickly pushed his way into fourth. Setting his sights on the top-three, he made a late-race charge to secure a top-three transfer finish.
In the Main Event, Stewart positioned himself into fifth off the start and he mixed it up with the front-runners for the first few laps. Inheriting third early on, he chased after the championship contenders and it wasn’t long before he injected himself into the lead battle. Just before the halfway point, Stewart made a swift pass on newly-crowned champion Eli Tomac for second and he raced his way to his third runner-up finish of the season.
“I’m excited, that was a really big finish for me,” Stewart said. “For some reason, I always ride tracks really good in altitude and I felt really good about it. Even though we didn’t win, we got second and I’m third overall in the points now, which the end-goal is to be third in points, so I'm excited about that.”
The 250SX Western division returned to the gate for their final bout before heading into the East/West Showdown next week at the season finale. Team rider Jalek Swoll came away with a top-10 finish in the Main Event after battling through challenging conditions all day. With a fourth-place start in 250SX Heat 2, Swoll battled up front for the first two laps before getting shuffled back to sixth early on. He made a charge late in the race to secure a top-five transfer.
In the Main Event, Swoll had a great jump off the line, almost capturing the holeshot, and he settled into third on lap one. Battling inside the top-five for the first half of the race, he dropped to sixth midway through and he fought hard after lappers held him back from making the triple on the last lap, ultimately finishing 10th.
“Today was a step in the right direction in terms of comfort on the bike,” Swoll said. “I was towards the front way more than the back and I had some really good starts. In the Main Event, I hung in third for a little bit but just couldn't find that pace and lost a few positions to sixth. On the last lap, I got caught behind a couple of lappers and they went like they're going for the triple and backed out at the last second and I had nowhere to go, so I had to roll the triple and lost a ton of positions. That one stings, for sure, but we'll come back and try to be a little bit better in Salt Lake.”
Final Round: May 7 – Salt Lake City, Utah
Round 16 Results: Denver SX
1. Jason Anderson (KAW)
2. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
3. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
250SX West Results
1. Hunter Lawrence (HON)
2. Michael Mosiman (GAS)
3. Christian Craig (YAM)
10. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
450SX Rider Point Standings
1. Eli Tomac – 359 points
2. Jason Anderson – 324 points
3. Malcolm Stewart, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 295 points
10. Dean Wilson, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 152 points
250SX West Rider Point Standings
1. Christian Craig – 215 points
2. Hunter Lawrence – 197 points
3. Michael Mosiman – 181 points
10. Jalek Swoll, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 93 points