James Stewart wins in AMA return

Updated: May 20, 2012, 12:10 AM ET
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- James Stewart won in his return to AMA Motocross, sweeping the motos Saturday in the season-opening Hangtown Motocross Classic.

Stewart, the Suzuki star from Haines City, Fla., raced to his 17th 450 Class victory. In his last full-time season of Nationals competition in 2008, Stewart claimed the premier class championship by becoming the second rider in history to compile a perfect season, winning all 24 motos to join Ricky Carmichael.

"Went better than I thought," Stewart said. "I thought I'd come and struggle a bit, which I did a little. This (season) is one of those things where you continue to build and we got a good start on it. I'm just here to enjoy it. I didn't come to be the fastest. I came to learn the motorcycle. Everything is new. We've got a long way to go. I've been away for a while."

Kawasaki's Blake Baggett, from Grand Terrace, Calif., raced to his second straight 250 Class victory at Hangtown, winning both motos. Suzuki's Jessica Patterson, from Tallahassee, Fla., won the women's event, finishing second in each moto.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press