Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing and James Stewart have reached a mulit-year deal that will keep Stewart with the brand throughout the remainder of his career, the team announced this morning. Details of the deal were not announced.
Stewart is currently serving out a sixteen-month suspension after testing positive for a banned substance following the Seattle Supercross in 2014. Stewart lost his final appeal with the FIM in April and is unable to return to racing until August 11, 2015. In a press release sent out this morning, the team said Stewart would return to racing at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm in Pomona, CA on October 11, 2015. Stewart is the defending champion of the event.
The team also announced he would compete in the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas on October 17, 2015. Stewart will return to a full-time AMA Pro Supercross and Motocross schedule in 2016. Blake Baggett is expected to remain on the team as Stewart's teammate.
“I’m happy to finish out my career with Suzuki,” Stewart said. “The team has been very supportive and I can’t wait to get back on that bike and be around my guys each weekend. I’m really looking forward to coming back to racing. Since I was forced to step away for a time it’s made me realize how much I miss it and how much I want to be there. I still have that competitive spirit and want to get back and give my all in the final years of my career. I also thank all the fans and sponsors who’ve stuck by me. I’m ready to race. I can’t wait to see that first gate drop.”
“We’re very happy to put this agreement together with James,” added team manager Mike Webb. “Even when he wasn’t racing this past year, he’s been very supportive to the team and Suzuki and has been instrumental in helping develop the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. With James joining Blake we’re looking forward to having a full stable of strong riders for 2016.”