James Stewart | Hyped For Red Bull Straight Rhythm
Earlier this year, we attended the Straight Rhythm test run. Click here for video!
By Donn Maeda
Photos by Brendan Lutes
Hundreds of riders flocked to Milestone MX Park for this weekend’s Red Bull Straight Rhythm Amateur Day, and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart was on hand to do some demonstration runs down the course in the morning before it was opened to the public. James and his brother Malcolm did several runs, side-by-side, with huge whips over the larger jumps. We caught up with James for a few minutes afterwards…
James it’s nice to see you back in SoCal. What did you think of today’s Red Bull Straight Rhythm Amateur Day here at Milestone MX Park?
It was cool! At first, it looked kind of narrow, but it was fun to get out there and play around. It was cool to get out there and give the fans a preview of what’s to come at the real thing, and to put on a show for the kids. Malcolm and I had some fun runs, side-by-side with each other.
So what have you been doing with your off-season?
We actually started testing about two weeks ago. Testing is going really well. The new 2015 Suzuki RM-Z450 is really good, and it is a better starting point for us to work with. I really like the feel of the new chassis. Before that, I enjoyed about four weeks off the bike. It was refreshing. It is always nice to take a little break off the bike to do other things.
So during those four weeks, did you take any vacations or buy and new cars?
[Laughs] No, no vacations or any new cars. I played a lot of golf, though!
So you’re probably hitting 10 under par now, right?
[Laughs] No, if I was hitting in the 60s I’d quit this dirt bike stuff and I’d be on the money list on the PGA tour.
Do you go fishing with Malcolm?
No, I don’t fish.
[Malcolm, interrupting] He won’t fish because black men don’t fish, he says.
No, I just don’t like fishing, ok? I don’t like being on boats.
[Malcolm, interrupting] He doesn’t like to fish because he can’t swim! He can only barely swim good enough to save himself!
And what’s wrong with that? I’m not some lifeguard wanna be or anything like that. I’m gonna save myself if that boat flips over: I’m not getting paid to save other people.
[Malcolm, interrupting] You on your own!
I mean, somebody has to live to tell the story! [Laughs]
Okay, so what are your thoughts about the real Red Bull Straight Rhythm coming up on October 4? Is there a strategy?
No, not really. It is what it is. No real strategy; just go fast. I mean, I won’t have to worry about this guy coming over into my lane and trying to cut me off [points at Malcolm]…
[Malcolm, interrupting] Stay in your lane, bro! Stay in your lane! [Laughs]
No, it should be good. I’m excited for it. It will definitely be the first event of its kind. It’s gonna be nice to get some gate drops, and it will be nice to get to race against Travis Pastrana if it works out that way.
What are your thoughts about Pastrana racing that RM-Z chassis with a KX500 engine?
Anything goes, man. Anything goes! I think it should be cool. This event will be great for the sport and for the fans. You’ll have me racing with Travis and Ryan Dungey, and even this knuckle head here.
[Malcolm, interrupting] That knucklehead is me, Malcolm. Just want it out there that this is what my brother calls me. That’s not nice…