2008 AMA Motocross Champion, Motocross of Nations winner and undoubtedly one of the main stars of American motocross and supercross, James Stewart, will make his first European appearance on his new Yamaha YZ450F at the Bercy SX in Paris, France, in just over two weeks time.
The 22-year-old from Florida only recently joined up with his San Manuel Band of Mission Indians/Land M Racing Supercross team and displayed that his combination with the 2008 AMA Supercross title-winning YZ450F will be a forceful one by winning both nights of the lucrative US Open indoor event in Las Vegas, beating reigning AMA champion Chad Reed.
"You always want to do good for the first time; to be fast on this track, and to be winning, it's a good step. I had four days on the bike, and I'm stoked. I think we're going to be really good going into the future," said six-time champion Stewart who completed a perfect 2008 outdoor motocross campaign by winning every single moto (24) of the 12 rounds.
"We've still got a lot of work to do," he added. "I've got a lot of time to figure this thing out though, and everybody from Yamaha and San Manuel, helped me out and they made it really easy to get on."
"Seeing James Stewart start out on a winning note with the Yamaha YZ450F was a real high point," said Supercross team manager Jim Perry afterwards. "With his brilliant speed and his charisma, he's a true champion and I'm glad to have him on our team."
Stewart joined Yamaha several weeks ago in a Hollywood presentation that also saw fellow Florida native, Kyle Chisholm, introduced as his teammate. The tall former amateur winner will make his professional debut in the senior class in 2009. "I know I face a tough challenge, but I'm really excited about riding a YZ450F and proving myself in the AMA Supercross class," he said.
"I am excited by the change. It is a new beginning for me but it is a strong team," Stewart said at the unveiling of his famous No. 7 in blue, where he confirmed he will be contesting both AMA Motocross and Supercross series' as well as the X-Games and being available for the '09 Motocross of Nations. "Larry Brooks (team owner) has just come out of a supercross championship and I have just won a motocross championship so hopefully with both of us together we will be able to win again. I know I have the ability to win and I know this bike is more than capable of it. I will still be the same old James, and now it will be even more fun so I hope the fans like it."
"Our relationship with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians/L and M Team has been great," said Racing Division Manager Keith McCarty. "With a supercross championship in 2008 and the addition of James and Kyle for 2009, we're sure it will be an exciting season".
The 26th Bercy SX, the most prestigious supercross event in Europe with a glittering list of former winners, will see Stewart again go head-to-head with Reedthe defending 'King' of the French spectacle. It will be Stewart's second trip over the Atlantic this season after he helped Team USA in a successful defence of their Motocross of Nations title in the UK at the end of September.