James on the Yamaha YZ450F—joy ride or future deal? Even James doesn’t know. Photo: Collin Speckner

Following the release of photo of James riding a Yamaha YZ450F at his compound, hinting that he had plans to race a YZ450F again (after quitting JGRMX Yamaha in a high-profile controversy three years ago). James left his big buck contract with Yamaha in his wake and moved to Suzuki, where things went from bad to worse in a hurry with his WADA suspension and disasterous 2016 season. James released a statement through Instagram this week that stated his intent, but also left doubts about whether he’ll be on the line at Anaheim 1. Here is what James said:

“It’s been a struggle with putting things together for next year with so many sponsors pulling out of MX and a deep pool of great riders and lack of rides. That being said, I’ve been working on trying to make things happen because I’m not ready to retire. I still have wins in my future, so hopefully I’ll be on the gate soon. If that’s in the next six weeks, that will be great, but whenever it is, I’ll be looking forward to being with the people I love…. Real talk, outta everything—wins, money, fame and traveling, the one thing that keeps me going is my fans because otherwise after this year and the offseason struggles, I would be done! But I’m not, so just wanna thank you for keeping the candle lit. So thank you guys for the love, I definitely see it!!! Also everyone of my sponsors that have and still continue to support me, a big thank you to all of you. It’s not a sponsorship anymore…. it’s family.”