Rider: James Stewart
Location: Muddy Creek
Photographer: Some TV camera guy whose career can only go downhill from here
I hope everyone saw this while watching Muddy Creek and had the same reaction that I did. It just made me feel good, like seeing a dog safely cross a busy road or seeing a cat fail to do that. Just knowing that James still can do it, he still has it in him, warms my allegedly cold heart. This is a brief yet glorious glimpse at the Stewart of old, the most talented rider ever in this sport. Yes, I say that without hesitation, the most talented rider ever. Villopoto cannot do that. He can beat the rider who can do that, but he cannot do THAT. He’s pretty much scraping side panel at 3rd gear wide open (possibly 4th, I wasn’t paying attention). Might have qualified in 17th, but still the best rider on the planet. If that does not make sense to you, you either don’t ride or hate black people. One or the other. Or both, if you’re from the South.
Final Rating: 2/2. This is the type of scrub with whom you will actually leave the lights on. And make breakfast in the morning.
Pre-race: The last time Stewart led a race was the last time he won. Mull that over.
Holeshot: James. 3rd in, 1st out. All that matters.
Lap 1: Stew 1, Villopoto 2. No one else is even in this race, right?
Lap 2: Stewart’s line in the rhythm is a straight pin-and-pray, but *spoiler alert* he and basically everyone but Villopoto hit it every lap.
Lap 2 (cont’d): Villojoseph gets out of shape in the triple-triple section before the whoops. As Ralph put it, he “showed a little bit of a wiggle.” Whatever, BRO.
Lap 4: RC saying Stewart is on his way to his 45th win. On lap 4. Since James actually did end up winning, this was the equivalent of betting a grand on a half court shot and sinking it. While blindfolded. And drunk. And being shot by a machine gun.
Lap 5: Fro discussing the utility of one footers in SX, but failing to mention “for the kids”. Big miss, chief.
Lap 9: James crossruts the step over after the rhythm almost every lap. But he has factory suspension so he’s all “Eat my ass, lines.” Like a boss.
Lap 10: Ralph mistaking Alessi for Millsaps. BRO, you speak for a living. Stop sucking at it.
Lap 11: Tomac cruising through the pack. Took him forever to get past Alessi (color me shocked) but he’s around Weimer no problem.
Lap 12: Reed jumping through the whoops. Only cool guys jump through the whoops.
Lap 14: Reed into 9th. He’s not even riding poorly. Getting a bad start in this class is like being the designated driver at a blacklight party – it just ruins the whole experience.
Lap 16: Are we really looking at a battle for 13th when Stew and Poto are 1-2 on lap 16?
Lap 17: Despite this hilariously timed boner photo, Millsaps is actually right there. Only 2 seconds off of Villopoto.
Lap 18: Villopoto closing on Stewart. They’re talking fitness but seriously BRO, we’re on lap 18 and James hasn’t crashed or fucked up at all yet. He’s nursing this one home.
Lap 19: Stew’s mechanic held up the pitboard with “2 laps to go” at the end of this lap, so that white flag might as well have been 50 Christmases in one.
Lap 20: James doubling through the rhythm. RV is closing but one more lap? James is prepared to road block the shit out of this one.
Finish: Stewart. I called it. Just didn’t tell anyone.
Pre-race: Suzuki hasn’t won here apparently but you will have an intimate familiarity with that factoid after it is mentioned a thousand times tonight.
Holeshot: Millsaps is first to the whiteness. Ralph is calling him Magic Man now. That’s a Ralph nickname all day long.
Lap 1: Reed up to 2nd past Tickle. He is all about a whale’s vagina.
Lap 2: Pretty sure Ralph just said RV is showing an 8th. First he dealt with rule 4.20, and now this. They are all about the green at Kawi. [That whole joke was a reach. Ralph said "in", but I took some artistic liberties.]
Lap 4: Stew and The Dunge around Tickle for 5th and 6th.
Lap 7: Reed all over Millsaps but Davi wheelies into the whoops and hits them like that Dorner dude in the log cabin – straight fire.
Lap 8: Villopoto all over Stewart and Dungey. This is the highest paid battle for 5th ever.
Lap 9: Reed all over Millsaps and now Barcia is joining the crew. They are miles ahead of everyone else.
Lap 10: Reed down in the corner after triple #2. Dorner sniped him because he’s wearing red, white, and blue.
Lap 11: All Millsaps and Barcia right now. Real question: who is Colleen rooting for? Either way, it’s about 10 more joeys signing up for year-round memberships so she’s all good, I guess.
Lap 14: Barcia is all over Millsaps as they hit enough lappers to suffocate a leader’s vocal chords.
Lap 16: Barcia back on the rev limiter program, trying to find a way around Davi but it is not happening.
Lap 18: Dungey is 3rd now with Villopoto right behind him but they are still way behind the lead duo.
Lap 19: With the amount of lappers he’s encountering, Millsaps definitely enters the whoops every lap praying for Haley’s Comet to take a detour and knock them into harmless territory.
Lap 19 (cont’d): Taking Ralph and Jeff a while to realize that Villopoto went down…
Finish: Millsaps just won’t stop extending his lead. This isn’t supposed to happen, something must be broken.
Pre-race: The Dunge all the way outside. Because his shock got too baked in the heat and completely collapsed. True story.
Holeshot: Brayton sticks it in there but Alessi ripped him out and stuck himself in there. Wait, that got weird.
Lap 1: Reedy jumps it straight into Brayton and invites Villopoto to the party, too.
Lap 2: Alessi is leading Dungey, Millsaps, Canard, Stewart, Barcia. Mikey, you are out of your element.
Lap 2 (cont’d): This happened in the rhythm section. Millsaps definitely shit a brick on this one. Alessi goes down, Davi’s all good.
Lap 4: Dungey leading Millsaps but James Bubba forgot what a shitty year he’s having and is on it in 3rd.
Lap 7: Stewie ruins Davi in the whoops, into 2nd. The Dunge is running away now.
Lap 10: Villopoto in 14th. Just showed the replay of his crash with Alessi, what they didn’t show was him straight Hulking Alessi’s bike off of his.
Lap 11: Whatever wind was in James’ sails is long gone. Millsaps and Barcia are all over him.
Lap 12: Barcia’s rear fender is flapping around all over the place. Looks like Honey Boo Boo’s mom trying to do pilates in a tee shirt. Just gross.
Lap 14: Stew misses the triple into the rhythm section, hands 2nd to Davi. No mistakes in the top 3 BRO, you should know that.
Lap 17: Canard and Tickle going at it for 7th. Villopoto 9th. Not exciting but I ran out of shit to say.
Lap 18: Stewart blows it in the rhythm section again and this time Barcia takes advantage. Told you there’s no mistakes in the top 3, BRO. Lap 20: The Dunge taking it slow. Don’t need that shock caving in right now.
Finish: Dungey all day. 2nd in the LCQ to Dr. Boner Air, Jimmy Albertson, to winning the main. That actually happened.
Pre-race: Ralph talking about how it could get weird in the morning. I knew it. And Dianna has the best “fuck me” eyes since Jenna Jameson. Fact.
Holeshot: Brayton first to the turn, but Villopoto swoops in then destroys Brayton in the whoops.
Lap 1: Reed gets into Grant then into Stewart and Dungey moves over and gets into Barcia and Canard is collected in that mix-up somehow, too. Villopoto must have rescued a puppy with cancer this week or something.
Lap 2: That green flag might as well have been the checkers. Villopoto is outro. #BayAreaLingo
Lap 2 (cont’d): Ralph – “He’s got that red number plate because…he is the points leader.” Very good, RS. Fro, give him a cookie.
Lap 3: Millsaps up the inside of Brayton in the whoops. You don’t tussle with Davi in the whoopdedos
Lap 4: Interviewing James now. His jersey looks like a leather vest. We’re in Oakland, BRO, not San Francisco.
Lap 5: Dungey stuck behind Goerke. Look for a PR on Butler Bros losing the KTM deal this week.
Lap 6: Dungey is stepping on to the 2nd table in the rhythm section, rather than over it like almost everyone. The Dunge’s line is way faster.
Lap 8: Villopoto gets tossed sideways in the 2nd whoops section but it was somehow faster. If you programmed a robot to ride a dirt bike perfectly, it couldn’t do that.
Lap 10: Canard sittin’ sideways on the Honda 450. Actually he’s falling. Like a boss!
Lap 11: The Dunge is sick of the bullshit. Takes out Brayton. A thousand Target gift cards are coming his way, so it’s all good.
Lap 14: Vince Friese has the best line in the rhythm section, and everyone who catches up to him eventually starts doing it. It’s like copying off the retarded kid in class and getting it right. Privateers aren’t retarded, it was just an analogy that I couldn’t pass up.
Lap 15: Case in point: Canard just got up to Alessi’s rear wheel using the Friese line – wheelie out of the sand, then step-on step-on step-off. Alessi hasn’t seen that line yet. Canard up to 4th (!)
Lap 16: General rule of thumb that I just thought of: Any line that incorporates a wheelie is better. Just ask Chino.
Lap 17: Shorty is sitting 7th. Probably just sold more Hondas than anyone. Get that commission check, BRO.
Lap 19: Villopoto’s suspension is so dialed. It’s worth more than your first born child, so it ought to be, I suppose.
Pre-race: RC – “There’s a lot of time to be made if you can keep that wheel from not spinning.” And Fro says the word “regroup” like he has a mouthful of peanut butter. Words aren’t not hard.
Holeshot: Millsaps and Barcia wheel to wheel across the line. The Dunge realizing why qualifying through the LCQ is like eating food through your asshole. He’s off track.
Lap 2: Barcia leading. Villopoto spins out in the turn that is being a real see you next Tuesday out there. He’s back to 8th, right behind James.
Lap 3: Stew and Villopoto split Grant in the whoops. There are not two people on the planet he’d rather avoid racing with in a whoops section.
Lap 4: Random observation – it’s amazing how riders progress on the track through the day. The big quad after the second triple was huge in practice. Now everyone who does not hit it is a huge pussy. Oh, and Villopoto’s all over Stewart.
Lap 6: Stewart miscues the same corner that Villopoto joe’d in. He drops to 7th.
Lap 7: Weimer hits the quad after the whoops, Villopoto triples it. Villopoto passes Weimer. This does not add up. Big air = winning. Everyone knows that.
Lap 7 (cont’d): No one mentions this but Villopoto is jumping into the berm where Davalos ate shit earlier, while everyone else soaks up the jump. Villopoto’s line is fast as fuck.
Lap 9: Villopoto now all over Canard and Reed in third. Barcia meanwhile is out like Ralph in a gay bar. #gotem
Lap 10: Battle for third has caught Millsaps. I’ve always said foursomes are great in both porn and moto.
Lap 11: Reed about 6 inches away from an endo that his grandchildren would have felt. Stays up but gets passed by Trey.
Lap 13: Villopoto around Reed for 4th. The crowd goes as wild as it can get for a pass for 4th.
Lap 14: Trey around Millsaps for 2nd. Villopoto all over them. Barcia still gonzo.
Lap 15: Fully thought that Villopoto was passing Davi in the whoops, but Millsaps straight cavemanned his way through that shit. RV gained nothing.
Lap 15 (cont’d): Villopoto stuffs a wheel on Davi and fucks up his rhythm. Poto makes the pass.
Lap 18: Villopoto on Canard for 2nd, both have left Millsaps. And apparently James Stewart was in this race at one point.
Lap 20: Canard comes up short on the last triple in the big rhythm, falls then pulls the accidental ghostride getting up. On the last lap. He knows he’s the joe of the moto.
Pre-race: No one knows what the funk is going to happen. No one.
Holeshot: Millsaps grabs it. Hey wow, Davi’s leading. Good for him. Sure it won’t last long though.
Lap 1: The first whoops section is as NFG as NFG gets, because there are just big enough that holding it wide open through them is sketchy, but the real sickos do it anyway.
Lap 2: Top four pulling away. Villopoto is working in about 12th, hating his life one speck of roost at a time.
Lap 3: Jeff says the word “parity” a lot. It’s one of those smart sounding buzzwords that most people don’t actually understand. A classic announcing technique. Oh, and Villopoto is in 10th or something.
Lap 4: RV now directly behind James Bubba, who is flacidly working his way around the track in 9th. And yes, flacidly is the only word I would use to describe it, and it is not even a word.
Lap 5: Villopoto tries to jump past Grant on the outside after the first rhythm. It was a bad idea, probably because that never works ever. Off the track.
Lap 5 (cont’d): Villopoto skips the whole next section getting back on the track. But he rides for Monster so it’s all good.
Lap 6: Millsaps is still in the lead. Good for him, that’s basically like a win for him. Canard and Barcia are right there though.
Lap 7: Alessi all jacked up. His handlebars look like Tony melted them with his mind. Oh no, I’m done for.
Lap 8: You know you are a boss when people are afraid to pass you. Dungey is not making any moves on Barcia, because Justin hasn’t given a fuck since he exited the birth canal.
Lap 9: Villopoto trying to go inside of Stewart on the triple out of the turn and seatbounces himself into oblivion on a Thor tuffblock. If you crash on your own sponsor’s tb, it shouldn’t count. They should stop the race and let you get back in position. That would mix shit up.
Lap 12: This race has been the best ever with no passes made. It’s like staring at all the Christmas presents under the tree and knowing that, eventually, you are going to open them all.
Lap 13: Canard and Barcia are airforking the shit out of the wall stepdown thing. Nasty scrubs.
Lap 14: Villopoto one gloving it. Call him Michael Jackson. Watch out kids.
Lap 15: Dungey washes the front end like a boss. Carmichael seen’t it. He seen’t it.
Lap 17: Canard around Millsaps on the inside after the NFG whoops and triple. The crowd goes wild. Barcia meanwhile crossrutted the double before that section and ate shit.
Lap 17 (cont’d): Ralph claiming Millsaps is a privateer, another shining example of how that term is looser than his mom.
Lap 18: Showing the progressive pass of the race right now (Canard’s on Millsaps). Jumping the gun a little bit…
Lap 19: Canard misses the huge quad. This is a crucial mistake that no one has mentioned.
Lap 20: Millsaps literally screaming “NFG!!” as he holds it wide open in the whoops and passes Canard in the exact same spot he was passed. No one is even breathing right now.
Dead on description for this season, even the map thing. All race photos cred to Ryne Swanberg @vurbswanny
450- Stewart crushing it on the Suzuki because Yamaha quit trying after 2009 when they realized that coasting by on 4-strokes AND 2-strokes yields as much paper in a shitty economy as trying to exclusively produce good 4-strokes. Or they just got tired of giving a fuck. 250- Speaking of not giving a fuck, Baggett is back in his element after shitting the bed in SX. Seriously, kids play video games and are scared to try some of the shit that Baggett does. Roczen was leading moto 2 till the very end when he forgot that US riders don’t stop for a cig break halfway into the moto.
WMX - Just kidding
450- Stew and The Dunge going at it and even though Dungey never passed Stewart once in either moto, shit is getting real. Maybe this season won’t suck after all… 250- Baggett is traditionally a “hangover” rider because he generally follows up a race win with a performance like Robert Downey Jr. before someone told him that days don’t actually last 37 hours when you are on coke. He actually managed to kill it but Eli Tomac got on the NFG program after Hangtown and murdered everyone.
450- Stew gets spooked by a bigfoot sighting or something and proceeds to completely eat shit and mangle his hand like Robert Deniro’s character in Casino got a hold of it. Dungey goes 1-1 but the season is still looking promising since The Dunge only won by a collective 40 seconds. 250- Barcia getting in the mix with a 1-2 over Bag’s 3-1. First time all season that somebody’s won on anything other than a 1-1.
450- Stew manages to scrounge up a 5th in moto 1 and sits out moto 2 because it’s his cat’s birthday and he needs to make his favorite cake he’s hurting. Dungey takes another 1-1. 250- Tomac giving come from behind a new meaning and not even a gross sexual one. Roczen once again losing it on the last lap like a boss.
450- No Stew at the Creek. Dungey destroyed the field. This is why kids play no-score T-ball, so they don’t have to deal with the emotional trauma of being shown how relatively bad they are at what they do.
250- Baggett on top of the box again.
450- The return of Stew. Does one moto and finishes a distant 3rd then takes off. But, you know, excitement! 250- Baggett rips the Leap pretty much every fucking lap, including when he has lappers littering the take off like newly-blind children who haven’t figured out the walking stick yet. He also won but that’s really a secondary take-away.
450- This is Dungey’s home track, but the second moto was way closer than that 50 second gap leads you to believe. It was a real nail biter. Also Nick Wey bit the dust when he decided to take a quick dip in the first moto. 250- Baggett crunched his bike trying to get featured on Rate That Scrub. Tomac squeaks a 3-1 past Barcia’s 2-2.
450- Alessi actually manages to hold off Dungey in the first moto but is surprised when The Dunge has no interest in giving him a hug for roosting him and cockblocking his lines for 30 minutes. Dungey of course murders him in the 2nd moto and still wins the overall. 250- Barcia gets another 1-2 to seal the deal on win #2. I actually have to look up these 250 results because it’s difficult to remember when more than 2 people actually win in a season.
450- KTM’s totally-radical-technology gas cap comes unglued for The Dunge and he has to pit stop, which KTM sucks at. I would have had that shit gassed up in 2.5 seconds, just timed myself doing it. Rattray gets a moto win and keeps his streak alive of winning something at Southwick. But Dungey still won the overall. Again, excitement. 250- Tomac’s ride in the second moto is all you need to know about. Came from over 10 seconds back to right in the mix in about 3 laps, then smashed a tree because the Bark Busters sponsorship just didn’t work out. Baggett won.
450- Stew makes his return and wads the fuck up again. And Dungey probably won, I don’t know, fuck you. 250- The GP BROs like ‘dilla, probably because everyone in America hates it. Roczen finally doesn’t get passed for the lead on the last lap and Musquin wins the overall.
450- Nothing’s happening, nothing’s happening. Something about a map. 250- Tomac goes 1-1, Baggett goes 4-4. The points gap is now 14 which is exciting as fuck compared to the other class.
450- Dungey won. 10 in a row. For fuck’s sake, is it 2013 yet? 250- Baggett wins the ‘ship, and Mitch is happy that he doesn’t have to kill someone this year. It’s literally in every employee’s contract at Pro Circuit that if the team doesn’t win a championship in a year, one lucky employee is selected to be dropped into a fiery pit in the back office. Not as a sacrifice, just so Mitch can blow off some steam.
This is all that I have to say about this, and this is exactly what I thought when I saw this fall: There is no such thing as a mistake-free moto. I watch Dungey every week and he fucks up all the time, everyone does. It is impossible to ride a 30+2 at race pace and not make a single mistake, that’s the truth. Part of being a great rider is being able to contain the consequences of those mistakes. Dungey can do that, just about all of the top ten can. Seriously, every week I see a mistake that makes me say “Shit, I would have absolutely died right there,” while they don’t even miss a beat. James can’t do that anymore. It’s like he makes a mistake and the first thing that comes to his mind is “Oh well, shit happens.” This ain’t 2004, chief, you need to actually try these days. Don’t let racing get that boring. That is all.