With plenty of creativity and the ability to blend smooth style with a fearless attack, watching James Stewart ride is always a treat. When we were at Starwest last Saturday watching Bubba at Oakley’s Big Day Out MX Holiday Jam, he was hitting a section as a triple that everyone else would do as a double-double, and even veteran observers (like David Bailey) were left shaking their heads. How did he attack that section? We grabbed a sequence so that we could break it down.
James had to rail the berm in the corner before this, and stay hard on the throttle up the face, and right up until the lip of the jump.
In the second shot you can see how fast he shifts his weight rearward, and how hard he’s preloading the rear suspension… nearly bottoming it as he goes up the face of the jump.
By the third shot of the sequence, you can see Bubba leaned well forward, and reaching for the clutch lever to prevent the engine from stalling as he went for his usual brake tap that’d bring the nose of the bike back down into normal flight pattern.
From there it’s an easy jump, with just minimal body English to set up for the landing. As he begins the downside of the arc, he also lets out the clutch.
The jump that he lands on is the takeoff for the second half of a double-double that most riders. After that it’s a smooth roll-out over the last little jump.
That’s the easy description of what’s going on. Doing it jump after jump, and lap after lap is the hard part. If you give this one a try, be sure to ease into it. Bubba has a way of making the nearly impossible look way too easy.