Ricky Carmichael had an uncanny ability to stay focused when he had no real competition. Before James Stewart moved up to challenge him, Carmichael would routinely win Outdoor motocross races by a minute or more. With Carmichael now retired, can Stewart do the same thing?
Assuming Stewart returns quickly following his injuries during practice last weekend (and we hope he does), he will have to find a comfortable pace while riding out front, just like Carmichael did a few years ago. Stewart has always been blazing fast, but he has a tendency to crash. Racing without his nemesis to push him could be a positive or negative for Stewart. It will be a positive if he finds a comfortable pace that allows him to win without taking unreasonable risks. It will be a negative if he cannot find a good rhythm below his normal warp speed.