The toilet bowl that is the internet is swirling with rumors this week that James Stewart was released from the JGR contract and is riding Suzukis (again) in prep for the Nationals. JGR has since denied the rumors but can we really believe anything we hear from anyone these days? It’s like the term “official statement” these days has become synonymous with “Listen to me spin a web of lies, puppets.” If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a moto mogul, it is that you cannot always believe what you read in a press release.
People seem to think that James getting off a Yamaha is the secret to him getting back to where he was at in ’08. The argument holds some weight to it; racers generally do better when a change is made simply because they know a change has been made. The psyche of a motocross rider is very delicate – most of these guys would snap into Vietnam flashbacks if you dropped a pot behind them. And James is the most delicate of them all; a journey into the mind of James Stewart would probably be like taking a bus into Mexico – you have no idea what the hell is going on, there are lots of voices that you cannot understand, and for some reason there is a goddamn chicken running around with its head cut off. I firmly believe that his string of crashes is much. much more rooted in his mental game than in his equipment.
But I think the real key to Bubbsy getting back to where he needs to be is to ride the outdoors. James has proven that he is completely incompetent as a Supercross-only rider. His only success doing so was in 2009, and that does not actually count because he rode the outdoors in 2008. James now rides very erratically (like a chicken with its head cut off) and it would be much easier to polish that outdoors than it would indoors. He’s always done way better outdoors, anyway. Take Carmichael out of the picture and James has only lost like 5 races outdoors. Supercross-only has really worked for three riders: McGrath, who is a boss; Windham, who is a boss; and Reed, who is also a boss and decided to ride outdoors anyway to further demonstrate his boss nature, similar to Windham last year. It works for Hansen too because he hit the jackpot with his relationship with Monster. They resurrected him (or told Mitch to do it or they’d pull the plug on the team). But Hansen’s a boss, too, so we are kind of tracking a pattern here. James – not a boss. Boss abilities on the bike, for sure, but not a boss. Bosses don’t crash every race, they win races then pay dudes to crash for them. Like a boss.