James 'Bubba' Stewart: The motocross megastar who pushed boundaries

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A motocross force of nature, James ‘Bubba’ Stewart has left a lasting imprint on the sport, not only for his sheer dominance, being one of only two riders in history to win perfect championships, but also for his sensational all-or-nothing style, which earned him the title of ‘the Fastest Man on the Planet’, as well as pushing the limits of MX to levels previously thought unreachable.

A child sensation, Bubba (a nickname he picked up racing in the junior championships) graduated to the American professional ranks in 2002, aged just 16 and already with 11 amateur titles under his belt.

In his first pro season, he broke records by becoming both the youngest rider and the first rookie to win an AMA MX championship, as well as going down as the first African American to win an AMA crown. And it all started thanks to a little help from his old man.

James 'Bubba' Stewart tacking a title

“My dad used to race when I was younger,” Stewart said. “So he didn’t put a basketball in front of me, he put a motorcycle.”

In fact, James Stewart Sr has since admitted that his son’s motocross education began the very day he came home from the hospital, with the proud dad introducing his three-day-old son to his Kawasaki KX250 even before stepping foot inside the family home in Winter Haven, Florida.

Although, after buying Bubba his first motorcycle at age four, his father found himself working 70-hour weeks in order to fund their joint love of the sport… and something had to give.

James 'Bubba' Stewart jumping in a race

During Stewart’s 14-year record-breaking professional career he earned a trio of AMA motocross championships (two 250 class titles and one 450cc), and has earned his place in history as the sport’s most dominant 125cc rider, taking 28 wins from 31 starts.

He’s also the only other rider, alongside fellow legend Ricky Carmichael, to compile a perfect championship-winning season, taking a straight 24 wins en route to the 2008 450cc title. He also led team America to wins in the 2006 and 2008 Motocross des Nations.

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