When the gate dropped on Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross series opener at Angels Stadium, one rider who was ostensibly absent was 2016 Eastern Regional 250 Champion Malcolm Stewart. After competing in last year’s 450 Supercross series aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450 backed by Seven MX and Ride365.com, the younger Stewart took the summer off and hoped that his phone would ring. There was a potential off-season deal to compete in the Monster Energy Cup, Red Bull Straight Rythm, and a few overseas Supercross events aboard the revolutionary Alta Redshift electric MX bike, but that deal never materialized.
More recently, we stopped by Dubya USA to pick up some wheels for a project test bike and spotted some Kite Racing Kawasaki hubs being laced up for Malcolm. A quick call to Mookie revealed that indeed, he was building a pair of Kawasaki KX450Fs to compete on out of a private transporter, again with title sponsorship from Seven MX. A few days later, he put up a video of himself aboard a green machine at home in Florida.
Through it all, Stewart has been training in preparation for the new season, most notably aboard his Specialized bicycles. As Anaheim 1 drew nearer, however, we never saw Stewart testing in the SoCal area, even though he was in town mountain biking. “I’m not ready yet,” he said when we asked if he would be at A1. “Things just haven’t come together as quickly as we’d hoped.”
For now, the latest we will see Malcolm Stewart return to action will be Phoenix on January 27 aboard his Seven MX Kawasaki. In an interesting turn of events, however, we’ve just learned that Malcolm is currently flying back to SoCal for a secret test session with a factory team tomorrow and that he may return to racing as a fill-in rider as early as this weekend.
We are expecting a press release sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned to TransWorldMX.com!
UPDATE JANUARY 10TH | AS WE STATED ABOVE, STEWART CONDUCTED A TEST WITH AUTOTRADER/YOSHIMURA/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND SIGNED A DEAL FOR A FILL-IN RIDE, WITH THE FIRST RACE TO TAKE PLACE THIS WEEKEND AT THE 2018 HOUSTON SUPERCROSS.