MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Stewart and Team Quit Outdoor Nationals: “I’m just not ready to race at that level”

Just  a few days after a controversial press release complained vociferously that he had been lied to regarding his opportunity to make the Motocross of Nations team, James Stewart and L&M Racing have announced that they will not compete in the remaining Outdoor Motocross Nationals this year.  Stewart states in the press release below that, despite a third place finish in the first moto at Unadilla two weeks ago,  Stewart and his team “have decided they just aren’t ready to compete in the series at the level they are accustomed to”, and Stewart states “I need more time to prepare so that I don’t put my entire career at risk by getting injured again.”  We admit that reading the two press releases together leaves us more than a little bit confused.

After more than a week of training and testing since his return to racing at Unadilla, a difficult decision was reached today by James and his team to withdraw from the remainder of the 2010 AMA Pro Motocross series. Due to his abbreviated Supercross season, James, with the full support of his team, had hoped to return to the track much earlier in the National series. Thanks to a slow-healing wrist injury, however, James did not receive the medical clearance he needed until just a few short weeks prior to Unadilla.

Unfortunately, despite a sincere attempt to make a strong return to racing, the rush to do so was quite visible when the dust finally settled in upstate New York on August 14th. Though James had a good run in Moto 1, the lack of physical preparation and challenges with bike set-up forced him off the track early in Moto 2. Though they’ve had some time to make adjustments since leaving Unadilla, James and the team have decided they just aren’t ready to compete in the series at the level they are accustomed to.

“At this point, I honestly just hope my fans will understand,” James commented. “I said before that I wanted to be on the track starting with Hangtown, but the slow healing nature of my wrist injury made it impossible to do so. Watching race after race and not being a part of the series has been very difficult. All along my motivation was to get back to racing and return to the outdoor series for my fans and sponsors. And though my wrist is feeling great, it became obvious that I’m just not ready to race at that level yet. As much as I’d like to be out there, I need more time to prepare so that I don’t put my entire career at risk by getting injured again. I’d like to apologize to my fans first and foremost, as well as to the series and my sponsors for being unable to continue.”

James’ planned return to racing is now set for Anaheim 1 in January. Of all people, James knows exactly what it takes to prepare for a Supercross championship run, and he’s now digging in deep to put in the hard work required over the next few months to have a successful 2011 season!

“We had every intention of racing Southwick and beyond,” commented L&M Team Manager Larry Brooks. “But sometimes you have to see the bigger picture and make a decision based on what’s right, not on what you’d like to do at the time. We’re a Team and we have to do what we feel is best to ensure we have every opportunity to win the next Championship.”

18 Comments

  1. Justin says:

    Yeah bubba should really try to come back strong and he will he is one of the best to ever compete in this sport. For those of you who say “OH the guy who makes cheezy TV shows and does not ride anymore because he quit” is a bunch of crap because you need a break sometimes and when he has been going on nonstop since he was like what 5? Everyone gets burnt out on something he just needed a break so give him a break i bet if he was on top like always noone would say anything but just cause he had injuries people bash its a joke support the rider you like cause of how they ride and who they are dont change your favorite rider to whoever is on top of the podium that next weekend.

  2. Peter says:

    BUBBA WHO? OH the guy who makes cheezy TV shows and does not ride anymore because he quit.

  3. Brian says:

    I was really excited when i heard Bubba was getting his own TV show and very dissappointed now that i have seen it. Bubba gives the appearance of a spoiled rich kid not willing to do anything but play and party. He’s been off the bike for a long time and his results at Unidilla showed it. I am shocked that he would even think he should have been on the Des Nations team. Maybe he can ride for Team Porta Rico with Zach Osbourne and Kyle Regal. I miss the Bubba/RC battles and Bubba has struggled every since RC retired. Back then, they were head and shoulders above the rest.

  4. michael says:

    Hard to say anyone would ever be the next RC, but I would put Dungy in that role before anybody else, including Stewart. Heck, Ryan has already done a few things this year that RC never did.

  5. scott says:

    The next Ricky Carmichael. I don’t think so.

  6. dawg says:

    He’s got spoiled and is not willing to work to do what it takes to be a consistant winner. As far as being compaired to Ricky Carmichael.. I don’t think so.

  7. Ruefus says:

    Translated:

    “My ploy of mailing-it-in to try and be a de facto selection was seen for the self-serving, low effort it was. There’s nothing left to gain, so I’ll step back and might actually prepare before I return to racing.”

    The “Team” concept here is laughable. He’d have all my respect if he’d have stood up and said “I’M not ready. I’VE let the team down.”

    He has to act as if the entire team is responsible for him being out of shape and ill-prepared.

  8. Dave-O says:

    Whew! Hostile crowd. However, I imagine some kind of “Dream Team” with Ricky Carmichael in an advisory role, say, team manager, and Bubba delivers on the promise we saw in their races together: Two un-earthly kids slicing in synchrony through all the also-rans, reading the terrain, whipping over the tough sections, clearing the whoops in a seat bounce. Having run multiple marathons, only to take a couple of years off due to stress injury, and building back up again this year, I can see exactly what James is talking about. The top level fitness was hard to come by. Years of conditioning go away in a few short weeks and take a very long, arduous time to rebuild. He’ll come back. These press releases are his recognition of his current status, and his desire to be where he was. I’m looking forward to his future battles with Chad Reed. Maybe R.V. (Hopefully) and R.D.(Congrats) will make the struggles even more seat-gripping than in years prior!

  9. Eric says:

    There are probably a couple ways to read this, depending on how generous and empathetic you are.

    1. “I’m embarrassed and ashamed at the way my team and I have been behaving. I should have worked harder to rehab, get in shape, and get the bike set up before I tried to race outside. Now I’m going to put my head down for the next couple months and come back for the Supercross season and kick some ass to prove myself again.”

    2. “I’ve gotten really used to sitting around drinking beer and listening to everyone in my posse tell me how g*&#$m awesome I am, and I like it. I tried to go win a race, but once I got there I realized ‘Hey, that’s hard work!’ I have plenty of money right now and life is good, why should I sweat my ass off when I’m already the greatest?”

    I’ve never ridden an MX track so my opinion may carry less weight, but I have felt Bubba is too aggressive at times and tries to overcome everyone with raw speed. To me, the best racers are patient and wait for the right time to make a move when it won’t jeopardize the race or their career. Stewart hasn’t learned that yet, maybe. If he does–and forgets his personal vendetta against Reed–it wouldn’t surprise me if he won the SX championship going away. I’m sure the speed is still there; the heart we just don’t know.

  10. Mike says:

    Losing respect for James more and more every day. To cry about MXdN in front of the whole racing community then to pull this??? Go Ryan (either).
    After the totally childlike remarks about MXdN, I actually thought that he was going to go out and smoke everyone for the rest of the outdoor season, but now it looks like he no longer has the fire that he once had. I hope Chad Reed beats him next year, and I never cheered for Chad previously…

  11. Vrooom says:

    I’m ready for and should be an automatic pick for Motocross des Nations, but really this Motocross nationals thing is just too hard right now. The irony must physically hurt him.

  12. Brad says:

    “We’re a Team and we have to do what we feel is best to ensure we have every opportunity to win the next Championship.”

    A REAL Champion wins both! It should be changed so you have to win both the indoor and the outdoor to be a “Champion”

  13. Pete says:

    I gave him the benefit of the doubt for his press release a bit hastily after this. Seems like DeCoster di the right thing.

  14. EZMark says:

    If Stewart stops riding like he owns the track, he will stop running into everyone else and injuring himself and others. It is not the job of the other riders to get out of his way.
    I’d be scared to ride on the same track as that idiot.

  15. Zaphod B says:

    I agree with the previous article’s sentiment that Stewart needs a press agent.

    When he complained about not getting an automatic spot in the Motocross of Nations team he came across as an entitled whiner. Now he looks like a quitter, particularly after looking like a whiner.

    He’s a talented guy. He should stick to what he does well and let someone else do the talking for him.

  16. Shawn says:

    Well I guess this is what you call a 20 something temper tantrum. My five year old daughter does the same thing when she doesn’t get her way also. To bad really I expected more out James.

  17. Tom says:

    Hopefully this ends any remaining debate as to whether DeCoster was justified in not picking Stewart to represent the USA.

  18. Mike says:

    it seems like a cop out. why make the previous comments when you pull the plug stating your not ready?