With James “Bubba” Stewart’s announcement that he will ride in the 125 class again next year, both in supercross and outdoors, some people have accused him of “cherry picking” the class he has so thoroughly dominated (while healthy). The thought continues that he should move on to the 250 class where he can get some real competition.
Sometimes we forget that racing motorcycles is all about selling motorcycles. At the pro level, at least, riders are paid to race in order to promote product of their manufacturer in the dealer showroom. Kawasaki has just introduced a 250 four-stroke motocross bike, the KX250F (see our riding impression here), and it understandably wants to promote this new machine as much as possible. Having James Stewart win races, and championships, aboard the 2004 KX250F is the best way to sell lots of KX250Fs.
The other aspect of this is Stewart’s age. Still a teenager, he has plenty of time to race in the bigger class, against the older riders. At that point, if he is still with Kawasaki, he will probably move to a 450cc four-stroke. Indeed, it is likely Stewart will make that move when Kawasaki introduces a 450cc four-stroke motocross machine for the 2005 model year. In the meantime, Stewart is helping his primary sponsor in the best way he can, and that is really what his job is all about.