James Stewart Discuses Supercross, The Internet and His Future with Mike Martin
James Stewart took the win in Salt Lake City. Photo by Brendan Lutes of TWMX.
James Stewart is a superstar of the motocross industry. He rides with incredible flow and style and is constantly raising the sport to a new level. In addition, he is the most well known motocross rider, outside of the industry.
After writing an article on Stewart's new website and Twitter account, I recently got a chance to interview the motocross sensation. Below is the interview in both audio and text format. Enjoy!
Note: This interview was conducted prior to the Salt Lake City Supercross, where James once again bested Chad Reed. He is going into Las Vegas with a 6 point lead over Chad Reed
The interview was conducted via telephone, so here is the audio of the interview. It is not the highest quality, but it is certainly listenable.
You need to have the Quicktime Player installed, which is free for both Mac and PC from Apple.
If you would like to keep the interview for your records, you can download for free.
Download Mike Martin's interview with James Stewart (10mb, .m4a file format)
In addition to the audio interview, I have also done my best to convert it to text for your convenience. Enjoy!
Mike Martin: Alright, So, First of all, congrats on taking the points lead in Seattle
James Stewart: Thanks man, its felt pretty, pretty good, I would say its been going really good. You know, a couple bad races here and there but overall its going pretty good. I mean, last week I was able to take over the points lead which was a good feeling.
So, you're going into Salt lake City With a 3 Point lead over Chad. It must feel really good to have come back from crashing out of the first round…
Ya I mean it was. For sure. I came back after Atlanta and I had the points lead, but unfortunately I had two bad races. I got second in one, which wasn't bad. But I got 7th in the other and Chad won and ya know that was 11 points lost for me right there. it was one of those things where I've just kind of been putting myself in bad positions all year long but if I can somehow wrap this thing up, I'll definitely be pretty proud of myself.
So, one of the readers of my site asked about the little rivalry between yourself and Chad. Is there like actually something there or is it mostly just played up by the media and the fans?
Well, uh I think its played up more by the media and the fans. but I'm sure there's some animosity and stuff. I mean we both want to win the championship and we're both living the dream so uh there's a little bit of animosity. But, nothing to the point where I hate him and, at least I don't think he hates me to that point. You know, we've had some great races this year and I hope we have 2 more.
So, speaking of Reed, there was a poll on Racer X a few weeks ago asking the fans who they though was going to win the championship, and Reed won with 55% of the votes. Does this type of thing bother you, or is it just more motivation?
Honestly, it doesn't bother me. I mean, obviously its easy to say that because he had the points lead and there were only 3 races left, so I probably would have voted for him. You know none of that stuff bothers me. I try my best every week. I've been riding really good and I believe in my talent and I believe in my work ethic and we'll see what happens. I didn't even see that poll but you know its pretty cool to see what everybody's thinking.
Regardless of the outcome of this years supercross series, you've won almost everything there is to win in professional motocross, what are you goals going into the future in motocross?
Uh, I would like to uh, I want to do the X-games, which I'll have a chance to do this year. Just win more races. Like I'd want to win more championships. I mean, the ultimate goal is to get to 72 [wins], but I've been kind of stalemate for a little while here for a couple weeks. But I've got a couple more personal goals. I don't know if I'll ever get to 72 but I think thats my main one.
Theoretically, If you were to retire after vegas, would you be happy with what you've accomplished in mx? Or is there still more you want to do to complete your career?
Well I mean, I would be happy. Because I never even thought I'd be racing professional motocross and supercross when I was a kid. I used to watch them and it was a dream, and I wished I could do that one day. So, if I quit racing I would be happy, but at the end of the day it would kind of hurt me a little bit because I know I have more to prove, but, I wouldn't be bummed out.
Have you ever considered going to Europe for a few years to show how you match up against their fastest riders?
Honestly, I like racing in the states for some reason. I really do. It's close to home for me. Europe would be a huge change. It's something I would be up to doing, I wouldn't say I wouldn't go over there and do it. I might have an opportunity to race a couple GP's, I don't know how everything's falling together now, but I mean I would like to go over there and see how I stack up against the world.
You are one of the most well known motocross riders outside of the industry.Do you have any plans after you retire to do something outside of motocross.
You know, it depends what opportunity present themselves. Maybe my own TV show. I'm working on a reality TV
show now, we'll see if that goes through. You know, if I had maybe the option to do something, we'll deal with that when we get there.
What exactly is James Stewart Entertainment, one of the sponsors of the San Manuel team?
Well, its a company I started a couple years ago. At first it was really nothing it was just a name and a company. But now, we're starting to maybe get into some clothes. You know, maybe designing some clothes. For me I think it was just something to be part owner of a team. I wanted to think it out and do something a little different. To see if I could position myself to one day have my own race team. We'll have a couple different things like shirts and casual wear, but my ultimate goal is to own my own team.
You recently unveiled a new website (JS7.com), what is the story behind that?
Well, I just think the more popular I get, the more people want to like know what's going on. You know, before we had the website, but I wasn't really involved. I wasn't involved heavy and I think this website, I'll have a lot of content and a lot of involvement and then the Twitter deal was my idea. You know, I said I wanted to do some Twitter stuff and see where that goes. I do it myself, no body else does it. You're actually talking to me.
The site seems to be structured in such a way that it separates your personality on the bike from off., was this done on purpose?
To separate them?
No, its who I am. Its funny. I laugh because people…obviously I'm serious at the race track and I stay to myself. But I have a lot more fun off the race track. But then there's that side of me. I like doing interviews more and stuff like the Rick James video and talking to people 1 on 1. I feel free in front of the camera, you know? I can do whatever I want and I like that.
Were all the candid videos, like the Rick James video, planned? Or did they just kind of happen?
No, honestly all that happened. People obviously want me to do more now, but now its hard. You know, we were just messing around and said “Hey, lets throw some videos up.” Rick james was the first video that y'all saw, but there were like 3 or 4 more than that which were probably just as funny. But, my computer ended up getting burnt down, so I lost all the information. But for the Rick James video, and we were just hanging out and wanted to do something different.
Speaking of the internet, there's a lot of people on internet chat rooms and message boards that talk and post stuff. Do you pay attention to these posts and opinions? What's your opinion on all the pundits out there.
What are you talking about as far as a…? Like Vital MX?
Ya, like all those message boards…
Ya, I don't pay attention to those. I feel like honestly I've gone beyond what I should just by like getting on twitter and having a myspace and making myself open. And doing stuff like the Rick James video. I put myself out there. If there's negativity off of that then there's nothing I can do about it. Honestly I'm trying my best and I'm having fun at it. I cant and I don't. people have their opinions and thats their right. But, it doesn't bother me one bit at all.
Ya, the Twitter and everything, that's awesome. Your the first major rider to do that. Do you expect more to do it [Twitter] in the future?
I think so. I mean, I'm getting ready to…I'm walking into the gym and I'll probably Twitter that. I'm doing it for fun. And hopefully I can open up some different avenues for some different people. If I can do it, you can do it. Its something fun to do, and we'll find out pretty soon I guess.
So, Switching gears a bit. you ride road bikes as part of your training, correct?
Ya, I do a lot of road biking as far as my training. And a lot of different stuff. Gym work and a lot of different activities and I like it.
I love road biking. Do you enjoy it as a recreational sport?
Umm, I enjoy it. But I don't know how much I enjoy it. To me, its work because I have to do it to make myself better as far as with training and different stuff. I enjoy doing it, but I enjoy doing other stuff better.
Do you ever use pieces of technology in your training? Such as an iPod or a Garmin GPS bike computer?
Ya, I like listening to my iPods and stuff like that, as far as all my training. To do it right, I pretty much have to have an iPod to do it. So, it kind of reminds me of when I'm racing.
Thanks a lot for talking with me, I really appreciate it.
Ya, no problem buddy, take it easy.
Obviously, this interview was kind of a big deal for me. James is by far the most famous rider I have ever interviewed, and it was also the first interview I have conducted via telephone.
As a result, there are a number of people I'd like to thank for helping this interview come together.
- James Stewart: I would like to thank James Stewart for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to talk to me. He is getting ready for some of the most important races of his life, and I am very grateful that he took the time to let me interview him.
- Jordan Miller: Jordan is the Media Relations Manager at Red Bull and is the one who originally contacted me regarding the interview, and was the one who set it up with James.
- Tim Crytser:Tim is the main writer and editor of Racer X Virtual Trainer, and gave me a number of extremely helpful tips on how to make the interview the best it could be. Without Tim, I'm sure the interview would not have turned out as well.
- “JayDub:”One of my twitter followers (@Jenninpg), JayDub suggested a number of the questions used in the interview.
Want to be Interviewed on MikeMartinRacing.com?
I am always looking for more people to interview on MikeMartinRacing.com. If you are doing something cool in the motocross or cycling industries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can talk…