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There are plenty of unanswered questions out there at the moment, but there's one that surpasses them all. What are the Stewart family going to do? Malcolm Stewart, the reigning 250SX East champion, is in the same situation as his brother, but is eager to stay relevant by competing in various European events. This past weekend saw him venture across the Atlantic for the last time this year and, after finishing third overall in Geneva, we managed to track the flamboyant American down for an update on his future plans.
MX Vice: The results maybe weren’t what you wanted but, overall, you did show good speed and I thought it was a good weekend really…
Malcolm Stewart: It was a great weekend. Started off with yesterday; yesterday was good. I had some really good battles with Barcia, Musquin, and Brayton [going] back and forth. I ended up getting second last night, so that was good and I came into tonight. I saw Marvin and Brayton were getting into it a little bit so I tried to catch up, but those guys were just a little bit better than me tonight. I felt like I wasn’t riding that well, but I didn’t want to crash either and just blow it all away. Barcia was coming and we kind of had some little battles here and there, but overall I can say I’m happy. I can say I’m happy when I get to go home and see my family.
Speaking of those battles, were you happy with it all? Anything maybe cross the line?
No, no, no [and] as soon as we got done we shook hands. The first thing he said was, “That was a great race." I said, “It was a great race." We got into the pits and he came over and said that was fun. We didn’t do anything that was out of the ordinary. We both stayed on two wheels – that’s what mainly counts. Those battles like that, I’m okay with. It’s when they start getting to a point where it starts getting a little dangerous is when it’s not okay. But we’re already in a dangerous sport as it is so the little battles like that just make it more interesting.
You had that triple-quad-quad pretty good. You were one of the only guys to do it, obviously Marvin was the other, but he had a full-factory bike and you didn’t. Were you surprised you could do it so consistently?
Until it got really rutty before it, where you kind of needed that power, but I was surprised I was getting it. I did a lot of crazy things even when I was on the Lites bike so, now that I am on a 450, it made life a lot easier. I’m just going to take everything I’ve got back to the ‘States and I don’t know, honestly. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve got to get my bike back. From here on out I don’t know what we’re going to do for the next five weeks.
There have been no developments since I last spoke to you in Arnhem then? Still privateer at A1?
I’m still privateer as we speak right now. The way things are looking; it’s probably going to stay that way unless something happens. I’m not trying to say I want something to happen, like any rider get hurt, by any means; I’m not saying that. It’s a dangerous sport as it is. Something will come up here soon. If not, try to do the best I can on my own. I got second last night and third tonight. I mean, it’s not like I’m slow. There’s a reason why I won the championship this year. We’re going to take everything we’ve got and keep moving forward.
Was there anything to those videos of you on a Yamaha? Have you been on blue long or were you just trying it out one day?
No, I was just trying it out one day. I’m going to try every motorcycle out, try to figure out which one I’m going to pick and go from there. Time’s running out.
Those social media posts from Chris Crossland proved to be false. There’s nothing going on there. Rock River did something similar when those photos came up. Nothing there either? Is there maybe a possibility?
No, I wish they would do something! Maybe it would take the pressure off of me. No, as it stands, nothing right now. I would like for those people to call me, please. I ain’t really trying to pay out of my pocket to do this. What guy do you know who wants to pay to work or pay to go to their job? I guess it’s all part of it. There’s a reason why I’m in this situation, so I’m dealing with it. I feel like I’m dealing with it pretty good.
When I spoke to you in Arnhem you said if a ride didn’t come up you’d have a good season watching from the stands. It seems like that’s maybe changed a little bit and you will go the privateer route no matter what?
It has to make sense. I know what the price is to have a good bike and to do all the races and stuff like that [with] gas, food and bike parts. Just having suspension alone, you’re talking about having three sets alone. So there’s a lot of rotation and money that’s involved. It depends; you can have a good year where you may not crash [or] you can have a real bad year where you’re blowing motors up, swapping the sub-frames out and every kind of thing.
It just has to make sense, honestly, for me. We got five weeks to go and if it doesn’t make any sense from here on out, then I got a lot of thinking to do. This is a real deadline for me to show up at A1. If things don’t go the way it goes I would say honestly in the next week or so; I won’t be racing A1. I’ll try to make the best of maybe A2.
So say Anaheim 1 or a race you are going to compete in is tomorrow. You’ve tried plenty of bikes, but what would you choose? Husky? Yamaha?
Honestly, whatever’s going to give me the most support at this point. You can ride any of them, but it’s whatever is going to try to give you the most support. As it stands right now, I’m not really getting much support from anybody. I guess I’ve got to go the cheaper route and whatever motorcycle is the cheapest!
When you’re looking for that support, are you sort of going to these manufacturers and sponsors with James [Stewart] and saying you could have both of us? Or are you going off on your own and trying to do your own deal?
I’m not even bringing James into this. He’s just doing his own deal. For me, it’s just trying to get people to pick up the phone. Everybody’s busy though. What do you expect? You can’t expect to ask for much when you’re talking five weeks away from Anaheim 1. Teams are testing and all kinds of things. I didn’t know it was going to be drug out this long; I wouldn’t be stressing so much in October. We’re in December – Christmas is right around the corner! These pockets are getting deep!
I don’t have much to say, but I’m hoping that I will show up at Anaheim 1. That is the goal. If not, I’ll show up at Anaheim 2. If I don’t show up at Anaheim 2, I’ll show up in Oakland! I don’t care! There are seventeen races. I’ll pick one of them!
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Image: Sean Ogden