For months, rumors have been circulating that Seven, the fledgling gear concept brand named after the plate's holder, James Stewart, would be recruiting an elite team of amateurs. It was fitting then, that the team including Jace Owen, Chase Bell, Ashton Hayes, Will/Max Markolf and Jalek Swoll debuted the new line at the James Stewart Freestone Spring Classic. Color-matched helmets (sans the Monster Energy riders) completed the kits that were nearly an exact replica of the gear JS7 wears every Supercross weekend.
For James, debuting the gear on the amateur team was a major milestone. From concept with master-painter Troy Lee to it's debut at Freestone, James was involved in every step of the development process. While production releases are still pending, the gear is completely inspired by the racers that wear it, taking the term "Rider Owned" to a whole new level.
The team is captained by Roger Larsen, a long-time friend of Stewart and veteran to brand development in action sports. Speaking with him recently, he explained that the team is really tight knit. The riders work with Roger and James on development and also had the opportunity to spend a day at Atlanta supercross with JS7. There’s a sense of “doing it for James” in terms of performance that lends a cool dynamic of respect within the ranks of the SEVEN am squad.
The "A" class shredder from Charleston, IL carries the torch for Seven gear in the pro class. The Suzuki pilot has been building his career steadily, pulling down top 5 finishes in Loretta Lynn's and battling out front throughout the March nationals.
The Bell brothers are on the fast track to the top. While his brother Zach battles in the 250 East Supercross championship, Chase has been doing damage in the amateur ranks on his way to the pros. At Oak Hill, Chase won the 250B Stock and Modified classes with impressive form. To cap off a successful amateur national sprint, he debuted the new gear with a moto win in 250B Stock and solid top 5's throughout the week.
Max and Will Markolf:
The Wonderkids Max and Will are jack-of-all-trades. They're wakeboard shredders and straight-up rippers in the mini classes, and they are part of the new-school revolution of badass mini kids with ridiculous style before ever swinging a leg over a 250F.
When you meet a kid like Jalek, you know immediately there aren't many like him. He's got style for miles and backs it up with dominating performances on track, like an 85 (9-11) Mod championship at Millcreek. When a kid is having fun there's no limit to his potential, he's clearly on a fast track to the top of the amateur ranks.