Malcolm Stewart had a strong start to his racing debut with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team on Saturday where he claimed a seventh-place finish at the opening round of the 2022 AMA Supercross Championship in Anaheim, California.
Stewart came out blazing aboard the FC 450 Rockstar Edition, claiming his first-career pole position in the 450 class. He charged off the line in 450SX Heat 2 to capture a fourth-place start and he mixed it up just outside podium contention early on. After battling intensely for the fourth-place spot, Stewart put forth a late race charge to overtake third and secure a podium finish in the heat race.
In the Main Event, Stewart got off to an eighth-place start and he battled with the premier class front-runners early on. Inching his way toward the top-five, Stewart found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as he got taken down halfway through the race. Re-mounting in 12th place, Stewart was able to fight his way back to claim an impressive seventh-place finish in the Main Event.
"I think this was actually one of the better season openers for me since I started in the 450 class,” Stewart said. “Going into the weekend, I wanted to execute a few things like having a good heat race, and I was able to do that. P1 for a qualifying, I've never done that before, so I feel like that was a big achievement for me and even though we went down in the Main Event, it was actually a good ride performance-wise but you know, the results weren't there. It was a good start but I definitely feel there are a few things that we need to work on but overall, I'm happy to leave here on a good note and looking forward to Oakland and to keep driving – we’ve got 16 more races to go!"
Wilson got an 11th place start in 450SX Heat 2 and he worked his way into qualifying position early on. He battled up to eighth midway through the race, ultimately securing a ninth-place transfer. In the Main Event, Wilson got a 13th place start and he rode a solid pace just outside the top-10 all race long to secure 12th on the night.
"My night was a struggle for sure, which is frustrating because I've had a really good off season,” Wilson said. “In the Main, I was pretty far outside on the gate and I came through and made some good passes. I was hovering around top-10 and then got passed and ended up 12th. It wasn't great but I believe we'll just get better from here on out."
Team rider Jalek Swoll suffered a crash at the beginning of the second 250SX heat race and was unable to continue racing for the night.
Round 2: January 15 – Oakland SX – Oakland, California
Round 1 Results: Anaheim I
1. Ken Roczen (HON)
2. Cooper Webb (KTM)
3. Justin Barcia (GAS)
7. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
250SX West Results
1. Christian Craig (YAM)
2. Seth Hammaker (KAW)
3. Hunter Lawrence (HON)
450SX Rider Point Standings
1. Ken Roczen – 26 points
2. Cooper Webb – 23 points
3. Justin Barcia – 21 points
7. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 16 points
12. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 11 points
250SX West Rider Point Standings
1. Christian Craig – 26 points
2. Seth Hammaker – 23 points
3. Hunter Lawrence – 21 points