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…
It’s been 16 years since a Saturday night in Jan came and i wasn’t in a stadium doing what I love. But all I can say is it won’t last for long!!! Truly can’t tell ya how much I’m looking forward to returning doing it my way. After months of trying to make things happen, i realize that no matter what I would do, it wasn’t going to work. You keep doing the samething then it’s no one else fault besides your own no matter who’s doing it to ya. So we’re doing it on our own👊🏾 To all that supported me… I’ll see you soon. Too all that didn’t… I’ll see you soon. Wanna thank all my sponsors that are supporting me thru this adventure @redbull @gopro @oakley @dcshoes @sevenmx_ @bell_powersports. And most importantly, I wanna thank my fans for being Ultra Patient with me thru all of this. Wasn’t until last week that I actually had a final plan to go at it this way. For those that tried to break me. Sorry… but you can’t get rid of me that easy. Not quite done yet!👊🏾