Photos: Chris Kimball
Although we don’t have the official word yet, all signs are pointing to a TLD Honda CRF450R, branded with the number 32, lining up on the gates at Hangtown come May 18th. The last time we spoke with Malcolm Stewart, he was saying his final goodbyes to his former team, J-Star/JDR KTM, and his immediate future in racing was uncertain. Now, with an injured Christian Craig sidelined for the rest of the 2013 season, a vacant spot on the Troy Lee Designs team roster leaves Malcolm with a possible option for the upcoming AMA National Championship. TWMX ran into Mookie at Milestone today, where he was with the TLD team testing out the 450 for the first time, and we had a chance to ask him about the opportunity.
"Well Christian Craig got hurt in Vegas,” Malcolm recalled, “and everyone knows I don't have a ride for the outdoors. So Troy Lee came over the day of the race and asked me if I wanted to try their bike, and I told him ‘yeah all I want is a shot.’ That would determine if I was going to be good enough. Today is my first day, I felt good, and everyone seems like they're happy. Hopefully it will carry over into Hangtown so I can go racing for outdoors. For it being the first day, I feel really happy with myself, and I guess we'll just go from there. We'll have to wait and see what Troy and Tyler say, and sit down and have a meeting. If it's yeah, then cool, if it's no, then at least I tried the bike and did the best that I could do.”
Until the TLD press release is sent our way we won’t know for certain, but chances are we will see the two Stewart brothers race head-to-head in the premier class this summer.