Now that one Stewart is back on the track, all of the attention and speculation has turned to the other. Right before the start of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series, James Stewart released a short statement on Instagram that said although he would miss the opening round of the new year, his intentions were to line up at some point in the seventeen round series. After some discussions with a people very close to the situation, it sounds like that time could come soon.
Common knowledge in the pit area is that Stewart has tested out a few different 450cc motorcycles over the last month or so, and according to our sources, he’s settled on Honda’a all-new 2017 CRF450R. The bike’s use has been rather limited at the first three rounds of the SX season, with only Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely and SmarTop/MotoConcepts/Honda’s Justin Brayton having access to factory motorcycles and some parts, but it’s readily available to the public.
Per our source, Stewart has purchased bikes and is acquiring parts, including engines and suspension components, in order to build a race-ready machine. This would reportedly be his own deal, much like brother Malcolm’s, with little to no support coming from the OEM.
When would this program start? Oakland was the original rumor, until Malcolm denied it in an interview with MX Vice late last week and said that Daytona was more likely, but our sources say that he’s spent the last few weeks riding and is hopeful to return before the difficult Florida round.