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2 Tribes: Chad Reed & James Stewart

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Our popular magazine feature, Two Tribes, ran longer than we expected in the November issue of Racer X Illustrated, and we weren't actually able to fit everything on the pages we had available. So, with the release of our latest issue, today we're giving you the full transcript from an interview with the two most powerful forces in motocross, James Stewart and Chad Reed.

James Stewart and Chad Reed are the pointy end of the spear in regard to modern motocross rivalries. They don’t like each other in the slightest. Actually, they flat-out hate one another. Let’s see how the two best riders in the sport compare in this edition of 2 Tribes?

THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
JS: The Taking of Pelham 123.

CR: The Hangover.

WHAT DO YOU WATCH ON TV?
JS: HGTV and the shows Property Virgins and House Hunters.

CR: Whatever’s on. I really like MotoGP and NASCAR, so that’s what I do on Sundays. And the TV show Brothers and Sisters.

THE LAST PERSON WHO MADE YOU FEEL NERVOUS?
JS: Todd Potter, probably. I saw him today.

CR: I met the new American Suzuki president at Washougal, and I wouldn’t say it made me nervous, but he was the guy who might give me a job next year.

YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SO FAR?
JS: This supercross season, winning the championship.

CR: Growing up in Australia, everyone before me eventually failed in America, and I stuck to it and didn’t let it deter me. I’d say that’s probably it.

A TALENT YOU WISH YOU HAD?
JS: I wish I could golf better.

CR: I’m pretty happy with my talents! I guess it’d be cool if I could dance.

FIRST TIME YOU WERE ON A MOTORCYCLE?
JS: I was 3 days old, and my dad rode me around on one. I’ve seen the pictures.

CR: It was 1985, and my first race was in 1986. In Australia, you have to wait until you’re 4 years old to race, so I had to wait until March of 1986.

  • Hands free!
ONE THING YOU ALWAYS TAKE WITH YOU WHEN YOU TRAVEL?
JS: My cell phone, for sure.

CR: My cell phone! I need to be able to communicate with the rest of the world.

WHAT SPORTS ARE YOU GOOD AT?
JS: I’m not good at anything, but I’m decent at a few things. If it’s racing, I’m pretty good at it, though.

CR: As a kid, I was always pretty good at everything. I played football and cricket. I was pretty well-rounded athletically, and I’m sure that helps when you’re racing motorcycles.

YOUR FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH ON TV?
JS: Probably either NFL or golf.

CR: NASCAR and MotoGP, like I said, and basketball. I love watching the finals.

ONE SPORT YOU WOULD NEVER TRY?
JS: Probably rugby.

CR: Bull riding. That’s just stupid. That and freestyle motocross pretty much go hand-in-hand, I think. You just go until you fall off! That’s what Best Trick was like this year too.

  • We believe you, James.
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
JS: I listen to everything. Seriously.

CR: I don’t know. I’m not a huge music guy. It’s kind of random. Once in a while I listen, but it’s just whatever’s on the radio.

MOST MEMORABLE MUSIC FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD?
JS: Probably Tupac Shakur, honestly. It was before he got killed, but my parents never liked me to listen to it, but he was my guy.

CR: I don’t even know! I didn’t care at all about it. When I was a kid, my brother got a stereo for Christmas and I got a TV and a video player so I could watch American supercross.

A MUSICIAN PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED YOU LIKE?
JS: Moby.

CR: I don’t really know, honestly.

FOUR-STROKE OR TWO-STROKE?
JS: Four-stroke.

CR: Four-stroke!

FAVORITE RACING MEMORY?
JS: Probably Orlando in 2006 or Millville last year. Both of those, I dominated that day and no one stood a chance all day.

CR: The race that always comes to mind where I felt like I rode great and strong was Daytona in ’05. I just felt that I rode really well, and I had struggled all year with the new frame on that bike, and Ricky was heavily favored for that one and just killed it. He had nothing for me that night. That was one that really stands out.

  • Newcastle, Australia
WHERE WOULD YOU RATHER BE IF NOT AT THE RACES?
JS: At home.

CR: At the beach somewhere. I love the water, whether it’s just hanging out swimming or wakeboarding.

HARDEST THING ABOUT MOTOCROSS AS A SPORT?
JS: That you’re never home. With the supercross-only thing, at first I didn’t like missing the outdoors, but now I love it.

CR: The hardest thing is that the industry is so small and you can never escape from it. The season’s long, and then it immediately goes into testing and stuff. I think that’s why the age of retirement is so young. Amateur to pro, it’s just go, go, go, go.
 
BEST PLACE ON EARTH?
JS: Probably church. That’s the only place I know of where people always try to come together and don’t have a lot of drama. They want to help each other.

CR: I love where I grew up in Newcastle back in Oz. I love to be around the water.

WORST PLACE ON EARTH?
JS: VitalMX.com!

CR: Sometimes I hate Europe…. I’ve never been to Afghanistan, though, and I have to say that’s probably pretty horrible.

SOMEWHERE YOU’D LIKE TO TRAVEL TO?
JS: I would like to go to Japan or China, somewhere in the Orient.

CR: I haven’t been to South Africa, and I’d love to go there. I’ve heard a lot about it.

YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE RACES?
JS: Honestly, winning. There are a lot of things that go on, but winning is the best part. You can have a good day, but if you don’t win, it’s not that fun.

CR: That’s easy: the excitement of going racing. Everything you’ve lived your life for and worked so hard for, and you’re going out there to showcase all of that. You’ve got people who like you and who hate you, but you go give it your all either way.

MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT YOU?
JS: I probably take my racing way too seriously, and it makes people nuts. All I do is think about racing, and my whole life revolves it. If I have a bad race, get ready for a bad week at home.

CR: Probably the fact that I procrastinate so much. I hate living on a schedule. If you give me a schedule, I get grumpy. I hate being on time, and I hate waiting on people, too.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
JS: Probably Denzel Washington. He’s a little older now, but he can be funny but serious too. He’d be perfect.

CR: If there’s a movie, I’d like to play me!

YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
JS: Winning! I have to have it.

CR: Ice cream, for sure. Chocolate ice cream. I could eat ice cream 24/7.

BEST MOTORCYCLE MOVIE?
JS: I don’t know. I can’t think of any that are any good. Sorry!

CR: I don’t know. Everyone always says On Any Sunday, but I haven’t seen it. I’ve watched Rad like a thousand times, though. I used to watch races, not the fantasy bullshit.

FAVORITE STORE?
JS: Probably Nike Town. I love that place.

CR: I love electronics, so probably the Apple Store.

LAST BOOK YOU READ?
JS: I don’t remember the first book I read! Probably The Cat in the Hat. I read magazines.

CR: I haven’t really read a complete book. I get bored easy. The last one that I read page after page was probably an Australian fighter named Costa Zoo who had a book out.

FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
JS: I used to like Math, and I figured one day if I ever killed it, I could count all my money.

CR: I didn’t really have a favorite subject, but I always did well at Math.

FAVORITE MEAL?
JS: Chicken, baked beans, and potato salad.

CR: If I’m just at home and I want to eat something, the one I always eat is Kobe steak and eat that with some fried rice and veggies.

THE WORST THING YOU’VE EATEN?
JS: Probably shit, actually! Like at an outdoor national when you get roosted, I’m sure that’s shit. It tastes like it!

CR: I was on a flight to Europe on Japan Airlines or something to London, and we connected through Japan, and I had some fish noodles that were disgusting. Ever since then, I can’t eat anything combining fish or noodles in any way.

FAVORITE DRINK?
JS: Red Bull.

CR: I pretty much live on water. We don’t have soda or anything like that in the house. It’s not that it’s bad for us or something, we just don’t enjoy it. Just bottled water and alcohol in our house.

YOUR CHILDHOOD HERO?
JS: My dad was, to be honest. It’s funny how people think it’s Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or someone, but it’s my dad, and that’s probably true for most people.

CR: Jeremy McGrath, for sure. I also looked up to my older cousin Craig Anderson too. He started winning pro races when I was pretty young. I always defended him, and I already hated all the pro guys in Australia by the time I moved up.

YOUR REGULAR CREW?
JS: My dad, my mom and my fiancée, Brianna. Then you have Anthony Paggio and Rado and Aldon Baker too.

CR: Ellie and our Florida crew, Mike and Megan, JT$, the Ferrys, and Dani and Byrner.

WORDS TO LIVE BY?
JS: When in doubt, gas it!

CR: Never leave anything on the table. Treat others as you expect to be treated. Respect your elders.

WHAT’S THE WORST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
JS: VitalMX!

CR: Just like what I said before about the industry being so small, and I think it’s dictated by things it shouldn’t be. I don’t like politics.

WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BEING IN THE SPOTLIGHT?
JS: That you can’t really be who you really are. You can’t say what you want to say. Sometimes I feel like I want to talk, and I end up talking when I’m not supposed to, or not talking when I’m supposed to.

CR: You have a love/hate relationship with it. You love being in the spotlight. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re lying. But you’re also scrutinized for everything that you do. It’s give and take. But the benefits outweigh problems.

  • Sir, are you aware you forgot to signal before that lane change?
WHAT’S YOUR FUNNIEST STORY FROM THE RACES?
JS: Probably my endo when I nose-wheelied in San Diego… or when my wig caught on fire at the Houston Supercross this year.

CR: I’m sure there are some, but nothing comes to mind! It’s kind of funny around me every day. Most of the people are jokers in the pits, so it’s usually funny. In Europe, though, Ellie and I were driving home from the last GP in Austria back to Belgium in our motor home. It was registered in Italy. It was right after 9/11, and we get pulled over by unmarked cops, but they’ve got full bulletproof vests and they’re checking us out. The motor home was registered in Italy, and we were Australian with Dutch passports living in Belgium, so we looked pretty shady, I guess. They made us get out and went through the motor home. It was pretty intense, but after the fact it was pretty funny. Two 18-year-old kids with eyeballs as wide as ever.

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN?
JS: My dad always told me never to give up, and that’s why I have a hard time in racing sometimes. I can’t give up.

CR: I take a lot on board, but I guess I’m not that good at recalling specifics.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN FOR FREE?
JS: My Bentley Continental GT from Red Bull, as far as what I can see or touch, but my faith is probably the best thing I’ve gotten and it didn’t cost a dime.

CR: I get a lot of stuff, but when you get stuff for free, it’s hard to really appreciate it.

WHAT’S THE ONE THING MOST PEOPLE MISUNDERSTAND ABOUT YOU?
JS: Where should I start? They think I’m cocky. I guess it depends who you talk to, but I’m not cocky. I could never do something to hurt someone. I care about people’s feelings. If my worst enemy was drowning, I’d throw them a rope because I couldn’t watch them get hurt or die.

CR: I guess probably the way I say things is different than the way I want it to come across a lot. I think I’m a pretty relaxed, fun guy, and some people get that wrong and think I’m pretty intense. I don’t think I’m the guy people think I am, that’s for sure.

WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE AN ON-TRACK RIVAL YOU REALLY LIKED, OR WOULD YOU RATHER DISLIKE THEM?
JS: Either way is fine for me. I was friends with Ricky Carmichael, and I still wanted to beat him. But with the ones you don’t like, at least you don’t have to talk to him afterward or shake hands. You can just be like, “Yeah, I beat you.”

CR: For me, it goes both ways. I’ve never been somebody who has to dislike or hate somebody to want to go kick his ass. Some of the best rivalries I’ve had have been with some of my closest friends, or even family, like racing my cousin Craig. So I never felt like I needed to. But I can go either way. We don’t like each other, but that’s okay. It makes it easier to do what you’ve got to do sometimes.
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