Following one of the most decorated and memorable careers in the history of American motocross, MX Sports Pro Racing celebrates James “Bubba” Stewart on his induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, representing the “Motocross & Supercross” category for the “Class of 2022,” who were formally enshrined on Oct. 28 at the annual induction ceremony in Pickerington, Ohio. The five-time AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross National Champion joins an illustrious lineage of all-time greats in the Hall of Fame, which includes the likes of his racing peers Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath and Ryan Villopoto.
A naturally gifted talent from Haines City, Florida, Stewart appeared destined for success at a young age. He easily fulfilled the promise he showed as an amateur prospect and captured a then-record 11 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s. He lived up to the hype immediately in the pro ranks, with a win in just his second Supercross start. That kickstarted the single-most-dominant 125cc career of all time that saw Stewart win both the East and West Region crowns in AMA Supercross and a pair of AMA Pro Motocross titles, where he won 28 of his 31 starts in the division — a record poised to never be broken.
As he transitioned into the premier 250cc/450cc division, Stewart had earned the moniker “fastest man on the planet” thanks to his seemingly unlimited level of talent and techniques like the legendary “Bubba Scrub” that altered the course of the sport forever. Over the next decade, he cemented his status as one of the all-time greats, with a pair of Supercross championships complemented by 50 career main event wins, the second-most in history, and a 2008 Pro Motocross title, during which he became just the second rider to ever amass a perfect season, going 24-0 in motos. His combined career total of 98 major wins (Supercross and Motocross) is second only to his longtime rival, Carmichael. Stewart also added 18 wins in 125cc Regional Supercross, which is also a record for that division.
Stewart amplified his legacy even further with two triumphs as a member of the U.S. at the FIM Motocross of Nations. Over the course of his groundbreaking career, Stewart became a transcendent star, with his own reality show “Bubba’s World,” high profile partnerships with Nike and Red Bull, and an X Games medal. He also started his own successful gear company, Seven MX, named in homage to the number he carried for the bulk of his career. For many, Stewart represents the most exciting competitor to ever grace the sport.
MX Sports Pro Racing President Davey Coombs summed up Stewart’s contribution to the sport and his lasting impact:
“James Stewart grew up in the moto spotlight. As a kid from Haines City, Florida, he was the fastest pee-wee rider in the world, until he got on 65s; then he became the fastest 65cc rider on the planet, then the fastest 85cc rider, and on it went. As a matter of fact, Stewart is the fastest 125cc rider in the history of AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross, owning the records for most 125cc wins in both. I can still see and hear him absolutely mopping up fields of 250F four-stroke riders on his Kawasaki KX125 two-stroke between 2002 and 2004. And not long after he got on 450s, he was considered the fastest man on the planet.
“His speed and technique both must rank among the best-ever. His three AMA Pro Motocross titles, two AMA Supercross championships, and his 98 total wins in AMA National Championship competition made him an obvious first-ballot AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer. Congratulations to James and his entire family, as well as all of the members of the teams he raced with over the years, many of which were there to watch him accept this great honor.”
Stewart celebrated the induction with his parents; his wife and two children; and his younger brother Malcolm, a racing star in his own right. Over the past year, he’s made an anticipated and welcome return to the forefront of the racing industry with a popular podcast, “Bubba’s World with James Stewart,” and a highly regarded turn as a guest expert analyst on Pro Motocross broadcasts.
The remaining inductees of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame “Class of 2022” are Kenny Coolbeth (Dirt Track) and Ben Spies (Road Racing) under competition, Effie Hotchkiss (Ambassadors & Industry) and Sandy Kosman (Design & Engineering) under non-competition, and four-time FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Champion Greg Hancock under well-qualified.