In The 85 Year history of Motocross there’s never been anyone like James “Bubba” Stewart.
James “Bubba” Stewart is one of the fastest men in Supercross motorcycle racing. Known for his incredible speed, spectacular crashes and huge smile, James Stewart is one of the greatest motocross & supercross riders ever to have entertained the crowds. Known as the “Tiger Woods of supercross” he became the first African-American to reach the top of the sport, and in doing so has attracted a huge amount of attention, fame and money.
He has dominated dirt tracks ever since he was in elementary school. But James didn’t become a great racer overnight. He practiced every day in his own backyard, from age 3 on. Through this experience, he developed the skills that helped him win the World Supercross title in his first full season of competition in 2006. His courage, strength, and skill make him almost impossible to beat.
BORN WITH A BIKE
James Stewart Jr. was born December 21, 1985 in Bartow, Florida. Even before he was born, James was full of energy. His father, James Sr., said: “I’d press on my wife Sonya’s stomach and he would move around like he was dancing.” His nickname at birth was Boogie.
James’s father was a former Motocross rider. He raced at local tracks. When james was just two days old, his father took him for his first motorcycle ride. On his third birthday, James got his first motorcycle – a Yamaha PW50. His father taught him how to ride safely. By age four, James began racing. “I wasn’t good when I first started,” he said. “But I always wanted to be better than everybody.” James was seven when his little brother, Malcolm, was born. Malcolm later would race motorcycle too. By this time, James was already proving to be a special rider. He was filling his bedroom with thropies. He knew his future was motocross.
When James was seven years old, Kawasaki signed him to a long-term contract. Kawasaki would give James bikes and equipment. They would pay him o race for them. For James, it was a DREAM COME TRUE.
He went on to win many events including an impressive eleven Amateur National titles. Because of this there was a huge amount of hype surrounding James’s entry into professional supercross. And although named 2002 Rookie of the Year he failed to claim the 2002 125cc West Supercross title due largely to crashes and mistakes. But since then he has gone on to win a number of National and World titles in between injuries.
Forming the back bone of James’s success is his close, loving family. His mum (Sonya), and James Stewart Sr are the people responsible for getting James involved in motocross, and they continue to manage and support him today. And although things look pretty sweet for them now, it wasn’t always easy. In the earlier days they struggled to pay the bills and even slept in their car eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while they were traveling and racing because they couldn’t afford a hotel. They also home schooled James to allow him to travel and compete at a young age while still gaining an education. Seems to me it was a winning formula!
Like all superstars, James Bubba Stewart has his fair share of both lovers and haters. He’s been accused more than once of reckless riding after taking out other people on the track. And it seems that a lot of people don’t just turn up to his races to see if Bubba wins, but also to see if he has another one of his infamous crashes.