Chatting with James “Bubba” Stewart

With his supercross debut less than 48 hours away, we caught up with Team Kawasaki’s James “Bubba” Stewart to see what thoughts were running through the 16-year-old’s mind. Here’s what the kid from Florida had to say about baseball, pressure and Pro Circuit…

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TransWorld Motocross: Is Ken Griffey Jr. here with you?

James Stewart: Yeah, he’s here hanging out with my mom and dad.

TWMX: Is he a good friend of the family?

JS: Yes. He comes out to the house a lot and rides his bike. He is pretty good!

TWMX: Ken Griffey Jr. rides motocross?

JS: He rides motocross better than I can hit baseballs!

TWMX: How did you come to know the famous home run hitter?

JS: I met him at a local track. Scott Taylor from Fox Racing hooked that up. I just went out there and he was there riding. We have gotten to know each other real good and we have been good friends ever since.

TWMX: He was into motocross before he knew you and your family?

JS: Yes, I think he had already been riding for a while.

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TWMX: Everyone is talking about the pressure you are under. Do feel any pressure to perform?

JS: I am going to just go out there and do my thing. There is a little pressure, but I am going to try not to think about it.

TWMX: What are you going to do, to not to think about it? There will be 50,000 people in this stadium on Saturday night!

JS: I am not worried about the fans. I think it’s actually a good thing that the fans are there watching, The fans keep me exited about the race! I am going to just not think about anything and ride my race.

TWMX: You’re a factory rider for Kawasaki. Weren’t you going to ride for Mitch Payton under the Pro Circuit tent? What happened there?

JS: Umm.. (Pauses) I really don’t know. You will have to ask my mom and dad about that one.

TWMX: Would you rather be riding for Pro Circuit or Factory Kawasaki as a rookie 125 rider?

JS: It?s nice being under the Factory Kawasaki tent. If I had to ride for Mitch, I would not have a problem with it. Pro Circuit makes great stuff and it’s a great team.

TWMX: Originally you going to ride the 125 East, weren’t you? Why did you switch to the West, because it would be easier with less competition?

JS: Both Kawasaki and myself thought it would be a good idea. I felt I was riding good and they thought I was ready.

TWMX: If you get out in front of the other 19 guys on Saturday night in the main, who do you think is going to be breathing down your neck?

JS: (Pauses) I don?t know. I really don’t know who I am racing against! (Laughs). I really haven’t been thinking about it. I just want to go out and have fun. I think I have the speed. I have been working hard, so I know I can go the distance.

TWMX: What do you think of your mechanic Jeremy Albrecht?

JS: J- Bone? He is like family already! I love that guy. He is so cool. I remember growing up watching him when he was working for Jeff Emig, I would say, “Oh my God, he is such a cool mechanic.” I never thought that he would be my mechanic. Never! It’s cool!

TWMX: I was talking to him the other day asking him about you, and he said you are crazy. He told me you are the first one to jump stuff.

JS: I know. He would come up to me and say, “You think you can hit that?” Then I would say, “Naw, I don’t think so,” and then I would just go and hit everything on the first lap. I don’t like to think about it too much, I would rather do it than think about it.

TWMX: Any last shoutouts?

JS: Come out to the races and I will be out here for you guys. I would like to thank my mom and dad, Team Chevy Trucks/Kawasaki and all the fans!

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