James “Bubba” Stewart at Unadilla in 2005. There is a handful of races and pictures that induce nostalgia in me and this is absolutely one of them. James going absolutely full tilt boogie on his KX 250 SR. If you have raced a two stroke you know the commitment necessary and lack of mistakes needed to win. In 05 the majority of the field switched to four strokes and while this wouldn’t phase James, unfortunately Ricky Carmichael and Factory Suzuki switched over to the 450 as well. They used their one time works bike exemption. James was underpowered against the mighty and easy to ride 450. Not only was the two stroke already underpowered, but in 04 the AMA banned the use of leaded fuel. Two strokes thrive on leaded fuel while four strokes were left unhindered and found quick substitute in oxygenated fuel. In an attempt to compete against the 450s Kawasaki would fail a fuel test and get penalized later in the year.
Photo Credit: Motocross Action Magazine