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Three Year Absence and New Bike Can’t Stop Stewart at Hangtown Opener

We don’t cover the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship (formerly known as the “AMA Outdoor National Motocross Series”) on a race-by-race basis, but we couldn’t resist this story. After abruptly changing motorcycles in the middle of the year, James Stewart successfully debuted his Suzuki RM-Z450 at the Hangtown opening round last weekend with perfect 1/1 moto scores. In the first moto, Stewart was helped along by the poor start of former champ Ryan Dungey (KTM), who managed to work his way into third at the checkers. Dungey and Stewart got out front together in moto two, however, with Stewart holding off Dungey and ultimately taking the win.

James Stewart sat out the past three seasons outdoors, after recording a perfect season in 2008 (the only one to do this other than Ricky Carmichael).


  1. Auphliam says:

    I love all the haters…just because he won’t be the MX idol they want to dream about at night. “Yes, he’s very good…but if only he’d live up to MY expectations”.

    I would ask that anybody that has made the “wasted talent” comment, please count up all your SX wins, MX wins, Championships and/or perfect seasons. Any one of you that does not reach ONE in any of those categories can shut your damn fool mouths.

  2. Dave says:

    That ^ is a ridiculous statement. Stewart is respected by nearly everyone who’s been paying attention to his career.

  3. bikerdude says:

    just another tiger Woods….loser in the long run

  4. MotoGraph says:

    Thought I would share these comments from James via GoPro:

  5. Dale says:

    You don’t know by now?

    Same Guy as always. Fast as hell, we’re waiting for him to shoot himself in the foot, yet again.

    If you think about Bubba’s natural talent it’s a Shame to look at the career he’s had. He should be pushing The GOAT’s totals by now. Why hasn’t he? It hasn’t been the Team, the Bike, the Owner, the other Riders… It’s been James Stewart! I’d hate to be a James Stewart fan, “Come on! Come on! Don’t blow it! Don’t… Aw Man!!!”

    The only Rider I ever saw that was as fast as James Stewart was in his prime was RC, he had to Add speed to run with Bubba. They looked to have equal speed at that point (FLYIN!) but one became “The GOAT” and the other is James Stewart, still.

    Another thing that some race fans may consider is Character, both Good and Bad.
    I’m not talking about illegal cop whannabe crap on a car here and I understand that the younger generation may have a different view but for some of us Character does count.

    If you haven’t heard by now I doubt you want to.

    • Dale says:

      I’d meant to reply to “Gary. Let’s see what the Bubba bashers have to say now.” but after multiple tries (the curiously hardest filter on the internet!, I’m on Secure sites All the time, nothing like MD’s (bitch, bitch)) I failed to attach this reply to his comment.

  6. HalfBaked says:

    You do know that he’s not actually being paid at all to ride the Outdoor Series. His contract with Yoshimura Suzuki doesn’t begin until next years SX season.

  7. Dave says:

    How did he quit? His ride wasn’t working out and instead of staying somewhere he wasn’t happy, he made arrangements to leave. And lest you think JGR Yamaha has been betrayed in some way, I don’t see any stories about them feeling betrayed, my guess is that they collected cash from Yosh/Suzuki and freed up a HUGE amount of money that they were paying Stewart. This is a big relief for them. For all we know, JS took a pay-cut to give him the best possible chance at winning.

    If a guy has the pull to define the conditions of his career, more power to him. We all wish we could do the same.

    As MotoGraph pointed out, Stewart is the only rider to ever have a perfect season. In that respect, RC and McGrath will never be in his league.

    • MotoGraph says:

      Dave – yeah good point. Stewart is the only “other” rider to have a perfect season besides RC. I think RC had two perfect seasons (?), which is almost unbelievable.

  8. Vrooom says:

    I thought Stewart’s letter to the Moto X Des Nations team, and his departure from Yamaha were both pretty classless moves, but I gotta say he did perform on that Suzuki.

  9. ziggy says:

    Who cares? He’s just some kid on a bike. Let him ride however he wants and quit if he wants.

    These comments are a motorcycling equivalent of watching The View. Quit bitching and kvetching, think about where your front wheel will be in the next 10 seconds.

    Shut up and ride.

    • Mark says:

      Apparently lots of us care, just not you! I care because I love the sport, and I love racing as well. Been riding for 35 years and hope to see others do the same. Racing is part of the sport. True athletes laying who literally lay their lives on the line to prove they are the best. Great stuff!

      • ziggy says:

        Pro atheletes deserve no hero worship or deristion–that’s for gradeschool kids. The best way to love racing is to do it yourself and pay no mind to what anyone else is doing.

  10. Duncan says:

    Sooo much talent , too little class.
    Doesn’t thank his team who put the bike together on short notice, nor his sponsors etc. I was a fan once, not so much anymore.

  11. soi cowboy says:

    New bike couldn’t stop him, but the backwards blue bike could.

  12. mxman420 says:

    You know what it says about Bubba? It says he is QUITTER! Plain and simple. He signed an agreement for 3 years to ride his a$$ off and try to win a championship. After the first year he felt butt hurt and didn’t like being beaten. So instead of hard work, he quit. Plain as day, he quit. And his overall win at Hangtown has shown that there was nothing wrong with him and proved he he quit. He just wanted out of his contract when he and Pappa Bubba thought they could make more $$$$ somewhere else. You sign an agreement, you should stick to it. In the end, the only thing that we have is our reputation, and Bubba has shown his. If he doesn’t get his way, he quits! And for all the nay sayers who will complain that I can’t compete or do what he does? Guess what? For most of the SX season, I might not have finished on the lead lap, but I could have finished. AND THAT IS MORE THAN BUBBA DID! So yes, I could have beaten him last year, and so could have you!

    • Gary says:

      And tell me … exactly how is this different from Carmichael switching from Kawi to Suzuki? Or Dungee switching to KTM? Or Rossi for switching to … ahem … just about everything?

      • HalfBaked says:

        It’s not any different at all except that when Bubba doesn’t it’s wrong for some reason I wonder why that is…

      • sands says:

        Stewart switched during his contract….Carmichael switched to Honda after his Kawasaki contract was up..Then Carmichael signed with Suzuki when Honda didn’t he couldn’t get an extension on his Honda contract after his knee injury missing supercross despite having a perfect season outdoors.It was like Honda wrote him off.

        That’s the difference…

        That said I think the Suzuki will suit him very well and he’s going to have a dominant year…Supercross will be interesting with him being on possibly the best cornering bike on the track.

  13. Tom says:

    To all the Bubba snivelers: open mouth; insert two fistfulls of crow

    • Yeah, not so much. One good ride, heck, TEN good rides, will not fully account for JS7’s issues. Few have disputed that JS7 is the fastest rider in the world, and I am impressed by his ride at Hangtown. But here’s the deal, and I wouldn’t call myself a “Bubba sniveler”. His story has to be considered one of tremendous opportunity lost. For the speed he displays, he should have dominated American motocross and supercross for the last several years, should be approaching or surpassing McGrath for race wins (but trails by 25 or almost two perfect seasons’ worth, 30 if you count the 250/450 class) and titles (unbelievably in the dust, with 2 supercross titles for JS7, 5 for RC and 7 for McGrath). I do not know, first-hand, all of the reasons for this apparent lack of achievement. But I have some ideas, just as an observant by-stander. As do all of the so-called “Bubba snivelers”. (And I mean no disrespect by regarding a two-time supercross champion as lacking achievement, but as CLEARLY the fastest rider in the world during his tenure, he should have achieved much more).

      • Dave says:

        Do consider that many of the best riders have sat out significant portions of the last few seasons. The 2011 season was the FIRST time Villipoto managed to finish a season on the 450 (and won titles). Had he not won the title before injuring himself out of this season it’d be even worse. Reed, Stewart, Canard, Villipoto, Dungey, and several other less notable riders all sat out injured. It’s a tough sport that requires luck for even the best to get through.

        McGrath and RC were both exceptional for having such good start/finish numbers and it could be argued that both enjoyed seasons where they were so much better than 2nd place that they did not have to push hard enough to crash/get hurt.. Stewart could’ve done better but he certainly isn’t that doing poorly.

  14. Dean says:

    Sure… Give a guy a camera on his head, he will of course go faster! I mean, the aredynamics… Ummm. It distracted the other riders, with a flash, or , or a reflection that would… Umm. That’s not quite bashing I guess.. It looks like he REALLY liked the Suzuki best!

    I would love to see that video! Nice and clean footage without anyone roosting dirt into lens! Maybe some lappers got into frame at some point?

  15. Gary says:

    Let’s see what the Bubba bashers have to say now.