Young Floridian is only the second rider ever to win East and West 125 titles
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 16, 2004) — James “Bubba Stewart clinched the 2004 AMA 125 East Supercross Series with his fifth straight victory Saturday night in the St. Louis Supercross. Stewart, who rides for Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki, became only the second rider in AMA 125 Supercross history to win both the East and West titles. Stewart won the AMA 125 West Series last year. Ernesto Fonseca also accomplished the feat winning the East title in 1999 and the West in 2001.
Stewart has a chance, if he wins the final three rounds, to become the first rider since Ricky Carmichael in 1998 to win every round of the AMA 125 East Series. Stewart has dominated the class this season like no other in the history of the series. His average margin of victory in the five rounds so far this season is 23.4 seconds and it’s not uncommon for Stewart to lap into the top 10 in the 22-rider field. Much has also been made of the sheer speed Stewart has shown. At a few races he’s actually turned faster lap times on his 125 machine than riders in the 250 class.
Stewart revealed a little bit of the mentality it takes to win by such huge margins in a press conference in St. Louis. “The whole race I ride like the rest of the riders are right on me, Stewart claims. “Unless I have a plus-15 on my pit board I feel like one mistake can cost me the race.
In spite of wrapping up the title as early as any rider ever has, Stewart claims he’s not going to back off his training. “Last year I relaxed a little bit and it cost me at the East/West Shootout, he said. “I crashed and it cost me the first four rounds of the outdoor season, so I’m going to everything I can not to make that mistake again. I’m looking forward to the final rounds of the East Series and then the East/West Shootout.
Stewart went on to say that he couldn’t wait until 2005 when he steps up the main AMA Supercross Series to challenge the likes of Chad Reed and Ricky Carmichael. “I’ll be ready, I hope they’re ready too. Stewart boldly proclaimed.
Stewart reached two other major milestones this season. He passed Jeremy McGrath to become the all-time winningest rider in AMA 125 Supercross history and he also won the 125 East round at Daytona International Speedway in his debut there.
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