In order to field a two-man team, Monster Energy Kawasaki has announced they will hire a rider to finish out the supercross series in place of the injured James Stewart. It is always difficult to find a factory-level rider who is unemployed, particularly after the series has already started.
The Racer X web site is reporting that Travis Preston, a Honda factory rider just two years ago, will be testing with Kawasaki next week for the spot. It would be somewhat ironic if Preston took Stewart’s spot.
The highlight of Preston’s career thus far would have to be his Western Region Supercross title in 2002. Preston defeated none other than James Stewart for that title.
More recently, Preston t-boned Stewart while landing a jump at a Canadian round of the World Supercross series. After an off-track excursion, Stewart re-entered the track in the landing zone of the jump, causing the collision. Preston was so angry he grabbed Stewart’s helmet after the race while Stewart was on the ground writhing in pain from the impact.
Preston is a big guy, and it looked like he would get even faster on a 450, but he did not capitalize on a factory Honda 450 ride in 2006 — earning an overall 7th place in supercross and 5th place outdoors. He switched to the Sobe No Fear team in 2007, and is presently unemployed as a racer.