James Stewart, shown here during the 2011 AMA Supercross season, will ride for JGRMX aboard the Yamaha YZ450F.
The speculation is over now that James Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing (JGRMX) have made it official. Stewart will compete next year aboard the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha YZ450F. He signed a multi-year deal to race AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross, bringing the former 24-0 moto winner back outdoors for 2012. The first race for Stewart and his new JGRMX squad will be Anaheim 1 SX on January 7. Both Stewart and JGRMX President Coy Gibbs expressed the possibility of the former MX/SX champion getting seat time in the four-wheeled side of the Gibbs operation.
“I am excited about joining the Gibbs racing family,” said Stewart. “My goal in Supercross is to pass Jeremy McGrath’s record of 72 Supercross wins. I am more than half way there and look forward to realizing that dream during my time with JGR. I have also had an interest in car racing and we are going to explore my potential in that sport through the NASCAR side of the operation.”
Stewart will be riding blue for the duration of his current contract as JGR signed a three-year extension with Yamaha. The Huntersville, North Carolina-based team has been using the YZ450F since it began motocross racing in 2008.
“When we started the Supercross team in 2008 we had a building phase and a championship phase. We spent the past four years learning the sport and the equipment and now we are ready to compete at the highest level with an accomplished and talented athlete like James Stewart along with our founding partners Toyota and Yamaha,” said Gibbs. “James will also have the opportunity to explore his interest in racing some of the four-wheel vehicles we have around here as well.”
Stewart is filling the void left by Justin Brayton who left JGRMX for a ride with Factory Honda. Davi Millsaps will be Stewart’s new teammate if he enters his second season with the team. The Gibbs facility is known as one of the most sophisticated and all-inclusive programs with a full training facility and test tracks at the same location as the race shop. It’s become a trend for riders and team members to move to North Carolina in order to take advantage of the considerable resources. There’s no word yet whether James will uproot from his Florida home, though it’s doubtful considering the amount of training equipment and test tracks he owns personally. JGRMX does not have team gear sponsors which indicate Stewart will continue his deals with Answer Racing, Nike and Bell Helmets.
“Joining our long term partnership with Yamaha along with the signing of James Stewart and the 2012 YZ450F at our disposal there is nothing holding us back from achieving all of our goals for 2012,” Gibbs said.