Stewart Makes It Official – Signs With L&M Racing Yamaha

Kit Palmer | October 3, 2008

It’s never been officially announced, but it’s been widely known for quite some time that AMA Supercross Champion James Stewart is moving on to a new team following the Motocross of Nations and the 2008 motocross/Supercross season, and that team being the Larry Brooks and Mike Kranyak-owned L&M Racing. But at a press conference and luncheon in Hollywood, California, hosted by L&M Racing just moments ago, the “rumors” became official, as it was announced that Stewart has indeed signed with the team. Although L&M Racing’s signing of Stewart was of little surprise, plenty of other questions were answered at the just-concluded press conference, such as the duration of his contract, what brand of motorcycle he will be riding, who his teammate will be and what series he will compete in – in other words, did Stewart make a “Supercross-only” deal, much like the one former L&M rider Chad Reed, who is now with Makita Rockstar Suzuki, did with the team. Those answers and more were finally revealed this afternoon. For the first time in his professional career and most of his amateur career, Stewart will race something other than Kawasaki, as he will now ride a Yamaha YZ450F with support from the factory. The liaison between the L&M team and the factory will be Grant Langston’s mechanic Dan Rambert. Stewart’s contract with L&M Racing is for two years. The team announced that it extended its contract with title sponsor San Manuel through the 2010 season, so the team will continued to be called San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Yamaha. Stewart also announced that he has rejoined his former sponsor Red Bull. While it was not mentioned in the official announcement, when we asked team manager Larry Brooks if Stewart’s contract with the team is a Supercross-only contract, his reply was, “no,” saying he plans on competing in other events, such as the X-Games and Moto-X World Championship. We have since learned, however, that Stewart will only compete in selective outdoor Nationals in ’09. Joining Stewart on the team will be Kyle Chisholm, who will compete in the 450cc class.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.