A D V E R T I S E M E N T
  • Details

    Name:James Stewart
    Nickname:Bubba
    Lives In:Haines City, Florida
    United States
    Hometown:Bartow, Florida
    United States
    Age:28
    Birthday:December 21, 1985
    Gender:Male
  • What Really Happened: High Point MX

    Dungey perfect, Tomac comes from behind, Stewart a second moto DNS
    Words and photos by Shan Moore of Motocross.com

    James Stewart was fastest in qualifying, but his injured hand was not up to the task.

    If you were excited when James Stewart tweeted that he was racing at High Point this past week, then you were surely disappointed to see that he wasn't able to line up for the second moto after finishing fifth in moto one.

    However, even though Stewart was unable to challenge Dungey at the latest round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Pennsylvania, the race was far from boring, with Mike Alessi posing a series threat to the Red Bull KTM rider in both motos. And there were serious fireworks in the 250 class, as well, with Eli Tomac making an unbelievable charge from way outside the top five in moto two to take a last lap win over Ken Roczen. The race was a nail biter and quite possibly the best of the year so far - in either class!

    Here's the scoop on the High Point MX.
    James Stewart

    James Stewart said his hand went numb midway into the opening moto and he couldn't hold on.

    After starting the season with four-straight moto wins, James Stewart has now had to sit out three of the last four motos after injuring his hand in his first-moto crash at Lakewood.

    And while he posted the fastest time in morning qualifying at High Point, Stewart got pinched off in the first turn of moto one and came out of the fray in about 10th, while Alessi and Dungey went at it out front.

    Stewart worked his way up to fifth by lap seven, but that's where his charge ended. In fact, on the final lap, he was almost passed by Monster Energy Pro Circuit's Broc Tickle.

    When moto two rolled around, Stewart was still in his motor home, and his team issued the following response from him: "Halfway through the first moto I could barely hold on," said Stewart. "I was struggling a bit because I got a bad start, but I was working my way up. I was trying to do my best to hold on and I almost fell over a few times. At this point, I came out here and I tried. I knew I wasn't 100 percent and I felt like I at least needed to try and do that, but I couldn't. I was still going to try and give it another shot for the second moto, but the team knew about my riding. We'll see what we can do maybe next weekend or in a few weeks."

    According to team manager Mike Webb, Stewart's hand started to tingle on lap three, and by lap seven he had no feeling at all, so he elected to sit out the final moto.

    Look for Stewart tweets this week as the series heads to Budds Creek.
    Ryan Dungey

    The "Dunge" went 1-1 for his second straight overall win.

    Ryan Dungey may seem like a "goody two-shoes" to some out there, but hard work, consistency and, above all, patience have paid off big time for the Red Bull KTM rider, and he's one of the few to remain healthy though all of the devastation that's currently going on throughout the sport. In fact, I expect the well-mannered and hard-working Minnesotan to "goody two-shoe-it" all the way to the 2012 title. His resolve to ride conservatively at times and not push the envelope has garnered him plenty of criticism on Internet forums, but Dungey seems to be the one coming out on top of things right now.

    At High Point, "The Dunge" took his time getting around Mike Alessi, who had jumped into the lead in both motos. But once around, Dungey pulled a comfortable gap each time and only once, when he ran off the track late in moto two, did Dungey look out of control on the uncharacteristically hard-packed and rough High Point course.

    At the end of the day, Dungey added to his massive points lead and now sits 42 points ahead of Alessi after just four rounds of the series.
    Mike Alessi

    Mike Alessi led both motos.

    Mike Alessi seems to be returning to the form that made him a series frontrunner a few years ago, when he beat his Suzuki teammate Chad Reed by over 30 seconds in Texas. Alessi is one of the most fit riders on the circuit and now that he's getting his speed back to where it needs to be, he could certainly challenge Dungey for a win or two this year. Alessi wants nothing more than to get a win, and I think he'll work hard until that happens. You have to give props to MotoConcepts Suzuki, as well, for giving Alessi a bike that's competive with the factory bikes on a satellite team's budget.

    It's worthy to note that Mike's mechanic is Chris Laredo, and Chris' wife, Holly, gave birth to a baby boy at 3am on the morning of the race. Congrats to Chris and Holly.
    Jake Weimer

    Jake Weimer went 3-3 for third overall.

    Jake Weimer was mister consistency at High Point, although, perhaps a bit too conservative, by his won admission. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider had a good race with Andrew Short in moto one, passing the Chaparral Honda rider on lap four to take over third position and leading him all the way to the checkers. In the second moto, Weimer started near the front of the pack and pretty much rode a solitary third for the entire distance. "In the second moto, we made a few changes to the bike and I got a good start. I almost had the holeshot but I just faded way too wide. After that, I just rode my own race, really. Mike and Ryan were doing their thing up front, and I was trying the best that I could. Nevertheless, it was a good day, and a lot better than last week. Last week was tough for me," said Weimer.
    Davi Millsaps

    Davi Millsaps admitted to being a little rusty after sitting out the last two races.

    Davi Millsaps made his return to racing at High Point after missing the last two rounds due to a training crash, which left the JGRMX/Yamaha rider with a bruised abdomen. Millsaps was a bit rusty in the first moto, but came on strong in moto two, ,oving up the pack to fifth and then passing Brett Metcalfe on the final lap to take fourth. His 9-4 tally was good enough for fifth overall. "I've only had one good day of riding in the last three weeks and I've got a few cob webs," said Millsaps. "But I think I'm getting better each time I ride and I'm anxious to get on to Budds Breek."

    Brett Metcalfe

    Brett Metcafe finished sixth.

    Brett Metcalfe struggled in the first moto with High Point's slippery surface, however, in moto two, when the track dried out and became more hard-packed, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider came on strong, running in fourth for much of the race before giving way to Millsaps on the final lap. "In the first moto, I wasn't aggressive early on; I didn't feel it, and I got eaten up in the first couple of laps. The track started to dry out, though, and I got going at the end of the moto. It wasn't anything spectacular, it was just one of those motos where you ride from start to finish and take a result. We came back and changed a few things, including our Dunlop tire setup, and that was just killer for the second moto, we really got it right. Plus we did a couple of small adjustments to the suspension and it was a much better bike for the second moto. I rode better in the second moto, got a better start and ran fourth for most of the race, and then Millsaps caught up on me at the end of the moto. I was losing a lot of time on this double section and I know he had something good going on down there. I was really good everywhere else, but I made a mistake on the last lap and gave up the spot to Davi and got fifth for the moto."

    Broc Tickle

    Broc Tickle nearly passed Stewart at the end of the first moto.

    Broc Tickle was sixth overall, via 6-9 moto scores. The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider was running as high as fifth in moto two, before a slip in a turn cost him valuable time. "The first practice was horrible, I was 26th fastest, but the second practice I was seventh, and things started looking up," said Tickle. "I got two good starts and Me and Metcalfe had a good battle going and I passed him to move into fifth in the first moto and then Stewart got me and I ended up sixth. At the end I almost got Stewart back but I think he was having trouble with his hand again. In the second moto, I had a big get off. I was running fifth behind Metcalfe again and I high-sided coming down the hill and lost about 30 seconds, but I'm riding better and we'll work on it for next week."
    250/Lites
    Eli Tomac

    Eli Tomac is the first repeat winner of the season in the 250 class.

    Eli Tomac became the first repeat winner of the series with a strong come-from-behind performance in moto two, which gave him a 2-1 tally for first overall. Tomac started in seventh and passed Blake Baggett when Baggett slipped down in a turn; he then passed his GEICO Powersports Honda teammate Justin Barcia with an aggressive pass with three laps to go; and then caught up to leader Ken Roczen when the Red Bull KTM rider slid out, and then passed him on the final lap to take the win. "That second moto, it was a lot of work," said Tomac. "I just never gave up and kept fighting and Ken made that little mistake there at the end and gave the me the chance to win and I capitalized on it. I didn't see him go down and then I looked up out of a corner and he was there, and I though, 'man, I can win this thing."
    Justin Barcia

    Justin Barcia led all 16 laps of the first moto.

    Justin Barcia broke away from the pack and led all 16 laps of the opening 250 moto. However, the reigning East Lites SX champ struggled in moto two when the track got hard. "I felt the first moto was really good for me," said Barcia. "The second moto was a little tough for me, however, and I struggled with the track. The track dried out in the second moto, and it was a little slick and bumpy and I usually struggle with that sort of stuff. I wanted to finishes stronger, but I was glad to keep it on the podium and go to Budds Creek, which is one of my favorite tracks."

    Ken Roczen

    Ken Roczen led every lap of the second moto except for the one that counted.

    Four rounds and four third-place finishes! That's Ken Roczen's storyline for the season. In the second moto, Roczen led every lap except the one that counted, and that one went to Tomac. A silly little tip-over on the final lap may have kept Roczen from getting his first moto win of the year. "I was able to pull out a good lead and on the second to last lap, there was absolutely no reason to crash, but I guess I lost a bit of concentration and just bobbled and slid out," said Roczen.

    High Point Notes:

    Despite finishing fourth overall, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Blake Baggett retained the Red Plate and holds a seven point lead in the series standings over Barica, with Tomac another 11 points back.

    In the Women's Motocross Championship, Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki's Jessica Patterson took the win following a tough battle with Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda's Tarah Gieger. After finishing second in the opening moto, Patterson came together with Gieger while battling for the lead in Moto two, as the two riders went down. However, Patterson rebounded to reclaim the top spot and secure the overall victory (2-1). Gieger overcame the incident to finish second (1-5), while Japanese rider Sayaka Kaneshiro posted a career best third-place finish (5-2) on her Team Honda Muscle Milk Honda.

    Ashley Fiolek came to High Point prepared to race, but failed the mandatory concussion test required when a rider has suffered a concussion, which she did at the precious race in Colorado. Fiolek was forced to miss the race due to her failing the concussion test, losing considerable ground in the WMX standings.
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  • James Stewart's New Series 'Outsider'

    May has been an eventful month for James Stewart. After a less than impressive 2012 Supercross season, Stewart severed ties with Joe Gibbs Racing to ride with the Yoshimura Suzuki team. The move was heavily scrutinized, but since his decision, it would be hard to argue with the results as Stewart dominated both Hangtown and Freestone-- the first two stops of the outdoor season.

    To the delight of motocross fans, Stewart has decided to document his entire journey with a new show entitled Outsider, which is featured on the Red Bull YouTube channel.



    The first episode airs June 1.
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  • What Really Happened: Freestone MX

    Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
    Story and photos by Shan Moore


    Kyle Regal (36) grabs the holeshot as the first 450 moto gets underway.
    The Freestone National in Wortham, Texas, was to be the race that would tell if James Stewart's runaway wins at Hangtown would be the norm for the season. And while the Yoshimura Suzuki rider led every lap in Texas en route to a 1-1 overall win, Ryan Dungey was in the hunt for the entire distance, the Red Bull KTM rider keeping heavy pressure on Stewart in both motos.

    The 250 race, on the other hand, was an Eli Tomac benefit. The GEICO Powersports Honda rider made his way to the front of the pack in both motos and then separated himself from the competition. Hangtown double winner Blake Baggett suffered from poor starts in each race but still came away with a 2-2 runner-up finish, thanks in part to heroics on the giant wall jump that preceeded the 12-pack whoops section. But more about this later, let's drill down into the 450 class first...

    450/Motocross

    James Stewart and Ryan Dungey were this close for most of the day.

    As usual, it was hot in Texas, but not nearly as hot as it could have been, and certainly not as hot as it was at this race the past few years. Stewart was fast and smooth in practice, while Dungey seemed to struggle and ended the session some two seconds slower than Stewart. Another rider looking particularly good in practice was Jeff Ward Racing's Josh Grant, who ended qualifying with the third fastest time.

    According to Dungey, his team made changes after practice, which paid huge dividends, and when the gate dropped on moto one, it was Dungey and Stewart out front, with Stewart making an early pass to take the lead with a few appropriate jerks and whips.

    Moto two was especially tight, with Dungey pulling to within a wheel of Stewart, and a couple of times he look as though he might find a way around, however, Stewart always managed to be in the right line and never gave up his lead. Dungey was upbeat about the gains he had made since Hangtown, but obviously disappointed at not being able to make a pass.

    "Sitting behind James, I was trying to make a pass happen, but I was just having a hard time getting it done," said Dungey. "At the end of the day, we made some good progress coming from Hangtown with the suspension and I felt comfortable really out there, I just came up a little short in both motos."

    Stewart, remember, is still getting used to a bike that he has very little time on, but he seems to be quickly coming to grips with the Zook and with mechanic Lee McCollum.

    "I'm out here every week learning," said Stewart. "As the race goes on, I'm still learning the motorcycle, which is a good thing because I know we can still improve. The cool part is - I was telling my dad - we haven't had the fork or the shock off since we've been here. I think we have a good base and I think we will just continue to get better and better as the year goes on."

    Mike Alessi

    Mike Alessi got his second podium in a row with a third in Texas.

    Mike Alessi gave MotoConcepts Suzuki its second podium in a row with a third place finish in Texas. The north California rider had to start from the extreme outside gate in the first moto as a penalty for arriving at the start late. He made the best of it, though, working his way from almost last to fifth. In moto two, Alessi got off the line even up with Dungey and Stewart and settled into a solid third, where he stayed for the remainder of the race.

    Jake Weimer

    Jake Weimer claimed his best 450 outdoor finish with fourth.

    Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jake Weimer grabbed his best-ever outdoor finish in the 450 class with a fourth overall finish, despite the fact that he went down in the first turn of the second moto and had to come from behind to finish sixth. His first moto third was enough to secure fourth for the day.

    "I'm definitely moving in the right direction, and it's better than I've felt in a long time outdoors," said Weimer. "The best race that I've had outdoors on a 450, but had I not fallen in the first turn in that second moto I think I could have been on the podium. I had a good, solid race, and I feel good about it, but it's kind of bittersweet. Dungey out-jumped me and he beat me to the first turn, and that first turn was so deep that it was hard to get through and I just got bumped and went down. "

    Josh Grant

    Josh Grant went 6-4 for fifth.
    After a stellar qualifying run, Josh Grant turned in a solid race to go 6-4 for fifth overall. The Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki rider was not pleased with his performance at Hangtown and convinced the team to make a few major changes to the bike, which he says made all the difference.

    Andrew Short

    Andrew Short was sixth.
    Normally a good starter, Andrew Short wheelied off the gate in the first moto and was around 15th exiting the first turn. The Chaparral L&Mc Racing Honda rider worked his way to an eventual 10th by the end of the moto. In the second moto, Shorty got a much better start and ran in the top five. His 10-5 tally was good enough for sixth overall.

    Davi Millsaps

    Davi Millsaps fell while practicing on Thursday before the Texas race and bruised his stomach and chest. He rode the first practice session but the JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha rider was way to sore to ride the race, and ended up leaving the track early.

    250/Lites

    Eli Tomac was on the gas!

    In the 250 class, Eli Tomac ride the rough Texas track like he was in rails, moving through traffic at will and then pulling to a safe gap once he got the lead. The GEICO Powersports Honda rider was pleased at his performance since the Texas race has not been kind to him in the past.

    "My 2010 and 2011 outdoor seasons have been a rollercoaster, to say the least," said Tomac. "And this place in 2010 basically put the dagger in my season. And to come here this year and win the thing is a big confidence booster for me, to get through the heat and humidity."

    Blake Baggett

    Blake Baggett went 2-2 for second overall in the 250 class.

    Blake Baggett wasn't able to duplicate the amazing performance he turned in at Hangtown, where he came from behind to go 1-1, but he still came away with a pair of runner-up finishes despite getting off to poor starts in each moto. Baggett wowed the crowed with his amazing jumps at the wall jump, which leads into the set of whoops known at the Texas Six-Pack. No other rider attempted this leap and it allowed Baggett to make up tons of time on the competition.

    Ken Roczen

    Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen was not used to the heat but still landed on the podium with a 3-4 tally.

    Ken Roczen didn't like the heat but still finished third.

    "I didn't really know what to expect with the heat and all," said Roczen. "They tell me today wasn't as hot as it was last year, but this is definitely the hottest race I've ever been in.

    "Those guys set a good pace, and Eli and Blake were going a couple of seconds faster than me, so it was good to finish third in that first moto. I just went back to the rig and tried to recover the best I could. But in the second moto, I didn't get a good start. I was trying to move up and I went down in a left-hander. I was kind of bummed because it took a while to get going again because I was kind of out of rhythm. But overall, I think I was stronger in that second moto. Me and the team we have some work to do, but it's a good challenge."
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  • Roost Report: Hangtown to Freestone

    The biggest story leading up to the season opener of the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship circled around one James Stewart. Everyone asked, "Will he kick some butt, will he choke, was his problem with SX all in his head or has he landed on his head too many times, will the Suzuki be his saving grace, if he was so fond of the Suzuki starting last year, why did he ride for another team if he says he does not do it for the money," and a slew of other questions. Many of those questions may never get answered but one thing is certain, Stewart showed up at Hangtown looking calm, cool, collected, kicked some butt and took names. He proved he made the proper call and forward is the only direction in his sights.

    Images and Typos: Scott Hoffman

    Side by side at the start of the season, we will have to see if Dungey and Stewart will be in the same position a the final in Elsinore?

    Ryan Dungey and his KTM are contenders and KTM is possibly in a position to have their best outdoor premier class (250cc or 450cc) season in US motocross history.

    With Ryan Villopoto unable to defend his title and Ryan Dungey looking and riding as expected (classic Dungey), the focus has been on JS, even though he kind of says he doesn't want to be in the limelight, he just wants to race and have fun. Yes there are a few other go-fasters that showed some speed such as Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short, and Mike Alessi, but with the storm of what has transpired in the Stewart camp in the last few months, it is very atypical for the sport of motocross and fans are interested to see what is going to be printed on the last page of the story. This is why JS is under the scope and will be for some time or maybe until he retires.

    OK, round 1 is in the books and the series is off to Texas to what is usually a very hot, very humid, and dangerous event with regard to the weather and how it wreaks havoc on the racers. It will be a testament to who is in shape and ready for this sort of abuse. Round 2 will also show if round 1 painted the picture for the entire series or is there speed in the field we are unaware of. It would be nice to see 4-6 winners in the 450 class for the 2012 Motocross Championship but this cynic predicts it will be a Dungey/Stewart season if both racers can stay focused and healthy. Maybe toss in a possible single win or moto wins by Alessi, Millsaps, Short, or Metcalfe. Heat could be a factor and it will determine if Stewie is in shape and not affected by the conks to his head during the supercross season.

    At Hangtown, Dungey had a fighting chance to possibly win the second moto if not for lappers getting in the way during a pretty intense battle. Let's just say the Dunge was not happy and it looked for a second like he was almost pissed, yet he grabbed his composure. Dungey's classic late moto charge is still his ace in the hole and could determine the title. Dungey has that ability to maintain an amazing pace throughout the entire moto, especially during that crucial last 10 minutes of a race.

    Stewart showed up at Hangtown very calm. very cool and very FAST!

    I am very glad Stewart stepped up and decided to race the outdoor series for no money, it does say a lot about him as a racer and his desire to ride. Plus if StewZuki was not on the gate, it could have been a one-rider series with the dominant figure being Dungey. Just image what it could have been if Supercross did not wreck the top talent--the battle royal with Villopoto, Chad Reed, Stewart, and Dungey going at it--that that would have been a season!

    For now we have to be grateful for having a solid series and as time goes by the rest of the field in the 450 class should find their groove and make it to the front. It is kind of a bummer that Tyla Rattray was injured again at Hangtown and Ben Townley never even made it close to racing before re-injuring his hip. Those two could have helped mix it up a bit.

    250 stat with Barcia out front by a nose.

    As for the 250 class it is anyone's game. The talent pool is deep and the speed is incredible. Even after watching the opening round at Hangtown, I can't predict who will win. I can say it probably won't be defending title holder Dean Wilson, his day was over early at Hangtown with what is said to be a shoulder injury, or an extension to the injury he suffered during the SX season.

    Pro Circuit's Blake Baggett looked the strongest with his late race charge in the first moto at Hang, yet he did the same thing in 2011 and did not win the title. One must look at the SX title holders, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac, as top contenders. But there is also deep talent and speed with KTM's Ken Roczen, veteran Ivan Tedesco, or even riders from Rockstar Suzuki such as Martin Davalos, he took a 4th in moto 2 at the Hangtown Classic. It is going to take a few more rounds to discover who has the staying power and the desire to bring their A game each and every week.

    So now the series is off to Texas for the Freestone National and it could be another cooker.

    Previous Round Results and Current Standings
    Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
    FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic
    Prairie City OHV Park - Sacramento


    For additional information please visit AlliSports.com/motocross also, like the American Motocross Facebook page, follow @AmericanMX on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive content and information on the latest Lucas Oil Motocross news and developments.
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  • Hangtown Stewart GoPro: Birds Eye View

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