From T-Dub’s Mac

Fourth gear, a thirty MPH side wind and a helmet adjustment. Really?

Today was day six. That is James Stewart’s sixth day riding the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450.  We cajoled our way into a Team Yoshimura Suzuki test day where Manager Mike Webb, Johnny O’Mara (James’ trainer) and a handful of techs helped to fine tune the setup for James’s upcoming outdoor debut on the yellow machine. Sharing the track was one other rider, Malcolm Stewart who was dialing in his KTM for the Hangtown opener.

            It was oddly calm at Competitive Edge, a thirty MPH wind buffeting the track where it had been left untouched since the last open day of practice. This made it choppy, hacky and nasty. Water trucks tried to keep it lubed, but it was all in vain.

            James hadn’t seen the track (Malcolm had ridden it on Tuesday) and after a sighting lap proceeded to put in two 35-minute motos. His recent migration to Team Yoshimura Suzuki has pushed the social media network to incredible numbers and every website, blog and insider expert can attest that his commitment to race the outdoor series, with no salary (actually signed a two year deal with Suzuki that starts in January of 2013) has ignited the motocross planet.

Suzuki Tech Gil Luan, James’ trainer and MX legend Johnny O’Mara and Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Mike Webb discuss Stewart’s sixth day on the machine.

            In talking with his trainer, Johnny O we gleaned some interesting insights. This is the first time that James is surrounded by a real factory effort since his Kawasaki ride. Having the factory technicians and a machine that sweats out smooth power and neutral handling play into their game plan of keep it smooth and flow. Johnny told us that this is the most excited he’s seen James in several years and coming to California to test is proof of his commitment. James feels an instant rapport with the Yoshimura Manager Mike Webb, as does J.O. who grew up with in valley with the Webb bros. According to Johnny they’ve had to dial back James’ ability to dissect a course for the last two years due to confidence and performance issues. He told us that James always gives it 100% and believes that with some reps (getting in racing laps) he should get fairly strong as the nationals progress.

With that JO just smiled.

Here’s some pics of the day.

James appeared comfortable with the machine, and the team’s game plan, focused on consistent laps.

Malcolm Stewart shared the track with his brother. He looked strong on the KTM.

This is following a 120-foot table. Oh, and it was his third lap around the track.

A harsh side wind barely affected Stewart’s day. Two hard motos regardless of conditions were the plan.

Mom kept an eye on both boys.

Webb and O-Show have been friends for years, helping the team morph and get stronger.

Comp Edge air courtesy of JS7.

Malcolm hopped out on a 2013 250SX-F at the days end to test out the new engine.

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