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05.20.13

Race Rewind: Malcolm Stewart’s Hangtown National

MotoXAddicts Interview

By: Dan Lamb / MotoXAddicts.com

The 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown is now in the past, and while both the 450 and 250 classes saw sweeps, the racing was as intense as any outdoor motocross opener. Along with Ryan Villopoto and Ken Roczen’s dominant wins, there were also some surprises at Hangtown. One of the biggest surprises for some came from Troy Lee Designs / Lucas Oil / Honda’s newest acquisition: Malcolm Stewart.

In moto one, Malcolm came from outside the top-ten to catch and pass some heavy hitters. The kid they call Mookie worked his butt off and passed some huge names like Mike Alessi, Andrew Short and Chad Reed and aggressively pushed his way passed Dean Wilson before his 450 Honda expired on him while he was running 6th. In the end, Malcolm went DNF-15—after a horrible start from the last gate pick and a crash in moto 2—for 20th overall, but with his first moto ride, he showed everyone what I have been saying all along: the kid is wicked fast on a 450.

After the day was complete, MotoXAddicts caught up with Malcolm to ask him about his debut with the new team in the 450 class. Hear what Malcolm had to say below.

Can you take us through your 450 debut? How are you feeling at the end of the day?
My 450 debut was actually—I was pretty stoked about it. My results don’t really show it, but everyone knows that my speed was there.  I was in 6th place with a few laps to go, and I had a little bike problems. In the second moto, I went down twice and came back from 39th to 15th, so I can’t be mad about myself. I think today was an excellent day. And I think it’s just gonna get better from there.

Did you surprise yourself at all with what you did in the first moto? You were on the gas.
You know what, it wasn’t really that big of a surprise to me because I know that I can do it. I can hammer down, and what I’m really happy about—I’m really stoked for my brother going 3-3. I want him to do good, and I’m really, really pumped on him. I think both the Stewart’s today showed a lot of speed. The results weren’t there  for both of us, so I think we’re going to come into Colorado and, you know, murder people.

So you’re feeling pretty comfortable on the Troy Lee Designs bike?
I feel good. I’m really stoked about it. It’s only my 5th day riding it today, so I’m just going to keep riding it. It’s a learning curve for me, and the more I ride it, try to get the bike handled and ride it, and go from there. I think everybody knows that obviously the Troy Lee Designs Honda is a good bike, and I’ll just get the suspension setup more and I should be right there, definitely, for sure top five. I’m just gonna do the best I can.

You made me look good this week. I’ve always said Malcolm’s career starts when he gets on the 450.  Did you kind of feel like that?
It started, it did start this week. Like I said, I’m really, really stoked on myself. I can’t be too stoked because we got twenty motos left, so we’re just gonna go from there.

What about the pass on Dean Wilson in the first moto? Was it a little rough?
I didn’t feel like we hit that hard. We kind of just got together, but the hardest hit for me was from Shorty. That was a big hit for me.

I missed that. Andrew Short hit you? 
Yeah, I got hit pretty tough by him, but luckily I didn’t go down. I don’t know. I don’t know who caused it. I don’t know what happened, but all I know is I came out of this race great and I’m gonna go to Colorado and know everything’s okay. I’m gonna go to Colorado happy. There’s nothing I can look back to in this race. It’s the end of the story now. It’s like everything’s in the past, and I feel like what I did out here on this track today was good. So there’s nothing else I can say.

In the second moto, you got an okay start from the outside gate, but did something happen early in the race? Did you crash?
Yeah, I went down with some of the riders in the pack and then I went down again by myself, and like I said, just little spin outs here and there, little mistakes. Then obviously you’re in the back just trying to push to the front. so there’s nothing I could really do.

Alright, thanks for talking with us.  Good luck the rest of ’13, Malcom.
Thank you, man. I appreciate it.
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