Tomorrow night when the gate hits the dirt at Angels Stadium of Anaheim for the start of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series, James Stewart will be nowhere in sight. That’s not a comment meant to pander to the plight of the former champion, it’s just a fact. Stewart has had plenty of eventful instances and issues (rookie debut in 2002 tire gate in 2012, collision with rival Chad Reed in 2009, crash to win charge during the main event in 2006, concussion in 2016, first-turn crash to second place win in 2008, WADA/USADA suspension in 2015) at Anaheim over the years, but this one might very be strangest. Over the last year Stewart has struggled to show his past speed or skill on the track and with the restructure of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Supercross division, his place in the pit area is gone too. Talk that JS7 had a plan in works for A1 have run rampant over the last few weeks, but as the date drew closer, the likelihood of it happening shrank.
For younger brother Malcolm, it’s been an eventful offseason. After clinching the 250 East Coast SX title in 2016 with GEICO Honda, Malcolm opted against racing through the summer during the Nationals in favor of signing a 450 class deal for 2017. Much like his brother, opportunities and options were limited for Mookie.
On Friday night, roughly twenty-fours before the opening ceremonies started at the stadium, Stewart released his first public statement in weeks. With a simple Instagram post that featured a shot from a past photo shoot with Red Bull, Stewart announced for the first time on his own that he will definitely not participate at Anaheim One. The message quickly took a turn and says that at some point in the near future, Stewart will be back on the track with the support of longtime sponsors. It’s posted in full below.
Malcolm released a post on Friday morning, which is also shared below.
We’ve spent the last two days at the stadium with the mass majority of the industry and this situation has been a major talking point. It was even brought up during the Thursday press conference and addressed by Chad Reed.
What round the Stewart’s plan to return is uncertain, but with another full day at the track set to start shortly, we will figure out a few answers…