Monday Conversation: James StewartMonday, October 16, 2006 | 1:14 PM
Alpinestars has been delivering performance of the highest level on the motocross tracks of the world for almost 50 years. Racing on Sunday and developing on Monday is a way of life at Alpinestars. Welcome to the Racer X Monday Conversation.Tweet
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Racer X: James, how does it feel? You won the U.S. Open!
James Stewart: It feels good. The last time I raced here was on 80s, and I won that. To come out here for my first time and it win was great. Last night was pretty easy: I just got out front and rode. Tonight, I just rode. Ricky was behind me. I wasn’t really too worried about him. I knew he would push it at the end. I knew I was in shape enough to do it. I was really calm this weekend. It's an awesome feeling.
Tonight was really the big showdown. One of you last night said, “It’s on!”
Yeah, I think Ricky said that, and it was. I was fine. I knew it was going to be on. I knew he was going to race as if it were his last time racing for a while. I knew how we are—we’ll find each other on the track. I came out on top. It feels good. He put a good race in. It’s too bad he fell. I felt like it was going to be a good race. I was going to switch up my lines the last few laps because I knew what he was thinking, to dive underneath me and pass me. I was planning for it.
I went back, and I think I was in third gear instead of second, and I just stalled it. He tried running around me and I was kicking my bike and I felt a nudge, so I just kept my arms straight so he wouldn’t mess me up. He tried going for it again and just went down and fell over. I stalled it and he just ran into me. It would have been better off if he would have let me start it, or get out of the way, at least. I think he was thinking, This is my shot, and he tried to go around and just fell over. I was in the track, but I didn’t make him fall, though. He tried to go around and fell on the concrete.
You must feel this makes up for last year when you didn’t get to race here?
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s definitely a lot better than last year. The whole season, just from the Motocross of Nations, the last national, to this, it gives you a lot of confidence going into 2007. I’m looking forward to getting there and just being myself.
You got a nice gift this weekend, a Bentley from Red Bull! Are you selling your Rolls now?
[Laughs] Oh, no! I’m definitely not going to sell. Those guys have been super cool to me. They always just come around and hand me stuff like that, but when he gave me a Bentley, I was like, I might be the only person in motorsports that ever got a Bentley for a present from a sponsor! It was awesome, and they really shocked the hell out of me.
It feels good. I think everyone feels like that. I came here to race the race, but money was on the line. It was no big deal. If you come here thinking about money, you should just start gambling a lot. I came here to race. The last race, when you have the title on the line and it’s a hundred grand or go home broke, things change. I’m sure Ricky and I and everybody are thinking about that. I have a good time no matter what. I was really stoked on how I rode.
Do you think Ricky has been stepping things up in the last twelve months?
Yeah, he’s been riding really well. I rode strong tonight, and I knew it was going to be a battle. It’s going to be great and go on a real supercross track and just try to do my deal.