The 250SX East region wasn’t as loud, as GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia had another record year. He quickly forged a lead by winning the first four races, and he only finished on the podium once, taking fourth place in New Orleans. He won his second consecutive title, largely without a challenge, edging Red Bull KTM’s German import, Ken Roczen, by 45 points.
After supercross, it looked like Dungey’s 450 National Championship was up for grabs. After all, Reed and Villopoto were injured. But the big story was Stewart’s return to the Pro Motocross series for the first time since his perfect 2008 season, and the fact that he was suddenly on a new bike and a new team! Stewart and JGR Yamaha parted ways in time for him to jump on a Suzuki and go motocross. Was Stewart still at his 2008 level away from home? Was the Suzuki all he needed to get back to the top of the game?
Well, he immediately made some noise by going 1-1 in the opener in Hangtown. Then he left 1-1 in the second round! Stewart was back in full force and looked great on the Suzuki, although Dungey applied heavy pressure at every corner. Unfortunately, Stewart’s body roll came to an abrupt halt at Thunder Valley when he crashed on a tricky descent and injured his hand. Footage would later reveal that a photographer had crossed the track as Stewart charged, and while it wasn’t a near miss, it was probably enough to break Stewart’s concentration in a section that needed it all. Stewart missed several rounds and was never able to regain her early season form.