27-year-old American rider James ‘Bubba’ Stewart is the first African-American to dominate in motocross. After racking up a record-breaking 11 AMA amateur national titles riding for Kawasaki Team Green, he was named 2002 Rookie of the Year in his debut pro season. Just two years later, he won both the AMA 125 East Supercross Championship and the AMA 125 Motocross National Championship.
In 2008, despite only just recovering from knee surgery, he became the second rider in history after Ricky Carmichael to complete a perfect motocross season - 24 wins in 24 races. He capped off his incredible year by winning the 2008 AMA Speed Athlete of the Year award.
Stewart was born in Bartow, Florida. His father, also called James, was an avid motocross enthusiast who took his son on a bike ride when he was just two days old. James Jr. started riding a dirt bike himself at three years old, entered his first race the next year, and won the first of his amateur titles when he was just six. In 1997, James Sr. bought 40 acres in Haines City in order to create a practice track in the family’s backyard.
James Sr. tutored his son from the beginning and the duo soon developed an innovative and aggressive riding style that could shave seconds of the fastest competitors. However, James has struggled with injuries and illness throughout his pro career, and it is only his incredible competitive spirit that has kept him coming back for more.
- Age: 18
- Height: 1.70m
- Weight: 75kg
- Nationality: USA