Official: James Stewart to JGR
As has been reported for quite some time, James Stewart will be racing for JGR Yamaha in 2012 and beyond.
Although the teleconference isn’t scheduled until noon PST, the on-site press conference went down at noon EST and James Stewart is officially a member of the JGR/Toyota Yamaha team.
Some of the team sponsors are still up in the air, but you can count on Toyota remaining on board, and maybe also the addition of Red Bull to the team. Red Bull was a team sponsor for Stewart’s last team, thanks to Stewart bringing them on board.
Joe Gibbs Racing has never had a true championship contender on its motocross team, and now the team has the winningest active racer in supercross and motocross, and Stewart will be racing both indoors and outdoors in 2012. This move also reunites Jeremy Albrecht with Stewart, as Albrecht was Stewart’s tuner in his successful days at Kawasaki.
This is a blessing and a curse for the same reason: There are no more excuses for JGR. The only way for this relationship to be considered successful is for Stewart to win, and win a lot.
“Our thing is, we know he wins championships, so it’s our turn as a team to step up and support him and help that happen,” said team owner Coy Gibbs. “Pressure on that side? That’s easy. Getting him signed and going through all that pressure? That was not easy. That’s a difficult deal. [Laughs]”
On Stewart’s side, it’s not just about winning in motocross and supercross, which he says is the definite goal for his three years on this current deal, but he also hopes this deal will lead him into NASCAR eventually, just like fellow racing stars Ricky Carmichael and Travis Pastrana.
“Number one is I came over here to race for the motocross team and bring a championship to Joe Gibbs Racing,” Stewart said. “Coy [Gibbs] and Jeremy [Albrecht, team manager] and David [Evans, team marketing] and everybody’s been awesome with me, and I think for me, I look at the future, and I think car racing is the future, for sure, but I also think I’ve got a lot of things to do in [motocross] racing first. My first [priority in making this decision] was to come here and win a championship for these guys. I felt like that’s why I was brought here… But, for sure, the car racing, I’m definitely going to get my feet wet in that. I’m going to go do a little bit in a couple weeks and go drive around. But I think the big thing next year is to win the 2012 championship for Joe Gibbs Racing.”
His teammate, as of this moment, is unknown.
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