Multi-time AMA Supercross and Motocross champion, Motocross des Nations champion, Red Bull athlete, and a host of lucrative personal sponsors – there have been some good times for James Stewart. But the last two years have not gone to plan.
For any fan of JS7 it has been difficult to watch the last two seasons of his racing career, not that there have been many laps turned in that time, what with the ban and then a comeback that never got going – in either supercross or motocross. If it was tough for his fans to watch, you can only imagine what it was like for the man himself.
There is one high point for James in 2016. On July 9 his son Tabiahs L. Stewart was born – an amazing and life changing event without a doubt. I think it’s fair to say with the birth of his first child his priorities shifted for a time, and perhaps his programme for 2017 got bumped down on his to-do list.
Yoshimura Suzuki muddied his plans when the race team folded, reportedly with one more year left to run on his deal. RCH and Yoshimura then forged a new team but with no rider announcements. There were plenty of rumours swirling around including one that looks like it’s a lock after Justin Bogle got spotted putting the yellow machine through its paces.
Now math isn’t a strong point of mine, but even I can work out that this leaves one spot (unless they go to three riders) left to fill at RCH, either way, we understand that James won’t be one of them.
Recently, Stewart has been as low profile as you can get for the star that he undoubtedly is, just keeping his Instagram account ticking along with no sign of sweet scrub shots and certainly no word about next year.
His younger brother, Malcolm, well he appears to be having an equally tough time when it comes to getting a ride for next year. It was reported that GEICO Honda wasn’t going to run a 450 crew and then the rumours switched to say that they are. So where does that leave him? Well apparently out in the cold.
Mookie was in Europe at the weekend, more specifically, Arnhem Supercross to take on the cream of the Euro specialist crop. Our friends over at MX Large took full advantage of Malcolm ‘s presence in Arnhem and bagged an interview with the AMA 250 East Coast Supercross Champion. He didn’t beat about the bush with his “no” when asked if he had any 2017 plans but he did expand on it, explaining that there weren’t many options and that he will have to be a fill-in rider.
You may think it’s a crazy world when a reigning supercross champion finds it difficult to get a ride but the sport can be brutal at times and reading the interview you get the impression he feels the same way.
Of course, if you’re interviewing Malcolm and there are unanswered questions about his famous big bro, you’re going to try your hand at getting something and MX Large did just that. He wouldn’t offer much, only saying that James doesn’t have any plans at the moment. Now that could be the truth and I’m not saying it isn’t, but you couldn’t expect Mookie to offer much else.
You should read the exclusive interview over on MX Large, it’s a good read.
Anyway, getting back to Bubba, what about next season? Well, this is just rumour and certainly not a lock but we’ve heard Stewart is going to ride Honda in 2017 on his own team of sorts. He’ll run his own Seven graphics and have his own personal title sponsor – it would be cool to see Mookie running out of the same truck. It’s also believed that ’17 will be JS7’s final hurrah.