"I Don't Know How I Got Away With It For Half My Career" | Malcolm Stewart on Being Back at the Nationals

Malcolm Stewart discusses recovering from his knee injury, being back at the races, fishing, and much more.

As Supercross was coming to an end and the Pro Motocross Championship neared we were all excited to know Malcolm Stewart would be there. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out after re-injuring his knee at Salt Lake City. Malcolm made his return to the Great Outdoors after eight years recently at Unadilla. He called in to the MotoXpod Show to discuss a number of topics.

For the full interview, check out the YouTube video right here. If you're interested in the condensed written version, scroll down just a bit further.

  Jamie Guida

Jamie Guida – Vital MX: This has not been the year you wanted outdoors with the knee injury. How does the knee feel after a couple rounds back?

Malcolm Stewart: Supercross went well. I had that injury at St Louis and then obviously re-hurt it again at Salt Lake City. At first, I thought we're just going to miss the first four rounds and we should be fine. We did an MRI and realized there was more damage than we thought. The healing process is what we were dealing with. It just wasn't going the way we wanted it to. It's one of those curveballs that you didn't really expect. I got back on the bike and I’m not going to lie, I felt like I missed so much. It's like hitting the reset button again, you know, trying to do the 30-minute motos. You lose so much endurance. Everybody knows you can never replicate a race. From May until August, that's a long time with no gate drops and to be honest, I don't know how the hell I got away with it for half of my career. It's been eight years since I raced outdoors. I really don't know how I got away with some of that stuff. But now obviously it's changing. The game has changed, everybody's getting better. You’ve got to be out there with the guys. 

TJ Smith – MotoXpod Show: Coming back after all that time off to a whole new bike for outdoor riding, has that affected you at all? 

Malcolm: I would say I didn't really get a good chance to test, so I've been running off everybody else. You can see that the guys are still struggling a little bit. It's been an up and down year for all our brands, obviously the Austrian brand, but we're trying the best we can. It's gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season. A lot of the ideas and the components that we used in supercross, we're using outdoors. That means it keeps it pretty standard. I'm testing a little bit at the race, you know, because I missed so much, but I had a lot of good teammates. I've kept an open ear and been asking, “hey, how was the weekend? How would you feel this and that?”. But man, once you're out there yourself everything that they said doesn't even matter, right? It's really about getting the gate drops and getting back into it and just being healthy and do the best you can. Next year hopefully we have a great supercross season going in 2023 and then we’re fresh going into outdoors. I feel that I'll be right back up there.


Vital MX: We have to assume it feels good to just be back at the races and going through the routine.

Malcolm: Yeah. Like it's not even if it's indoor or outdoor, it doesn't matter. It's just having the gate drops. And of course, seeing the guys that you haven't seen since supercross. Everybody's friends before the gate drops. It’s like a family reunion.

TJ: When you were off the bike, did you get any fishing tournaments in? 

Malcolm: You know, I didn't do any fishing tournaments. I thought about doing one. But man, I was kind of put in a situation where I couldn't really do too much. As a racer, you're just sitting there and you're like, ‘Man, I know what I should be doing on Saturday right now’, you know? So, it bothered me, but I obviously dedicated all my time to watching my teammates. But yeah, I thought about some tournaments, that crossed my mind. But I don't want to get hooked, man. That's my thing. Anyway, I'm a sore loser, too, you know?


Scotty Thomson – MotoXpod Show: You’re known as being laid-back and you race because you enjoy it. How do you compartmentalize that versus taking it seriously when it’s time?

Malcolm: It's weird, my background was more that I like riding, but I didn't care for racing, right? I was dedicated to fishing. I wanted to grow up to be a fisherman. But something clicked. I don't know what it was. I think it was just the reality of it. I would hate to try to pursue my fishing career and it may not work out. I always had a lot of natural talent at riding a motorcycle, so my mind just got made up. Once I turned 17 to 18, going into my rookie year of racing supercross I was like, ‘You know what, let's just try to have a good year’. I said I'll do one year pro, see how it goes. And you know, I'm still young enough. I had a really good year, and I made a little cash, you know? Not bad for a little 18-year-old. I signed a two-year deal with JGR, and I was like, man, this is actually pretty cool. The moral of the story was you could always go back fishing. You can't ride dirt bikes when you're older at that level of being pro. And here we are 15 years later.

Vital MX: You're locked in with a Husky contract for 2023. Is it a weight off to know where you’ll be?

Malcolm: It feels good. Knowing that I can have a really good off season going into next year and not stressing. The deals I've been on since being on a 450 have been one-year deals here and there. I started riding every brand that was available. And you get these calls late. It's not like you're getting them in July. I'm getting them in November. So, it's November to December. It gets a little harder and it puts a lot of pressure on you. But I'm glad Husqvarna saw something in me, and they locked me in for two years. I just needed a shot and let me have a successful off-season. And here we are. 


Scotty: We had a listener question. They wanted to know your favorite and least favorite thing of the Baker's program.

Malcolm: I think there's a lot of least favorites. My favorite thing is training with all the guys, the good group of guys. Aldon has a phenomenal facility and it's close to home. I’d say the least favorite is probably the random weigh-in day. You kind of have to keep yourself sharp. There are many times he's texted me and said, “I want to see a picture of you on the scale”. I’ll send a picture of the scale and he goes, “No, no, I want to see black feet”. When my brother was training with him, I was eating powdered doughnuts and stuff like that. 

Vital MX: You talked about getting back to the races and the feeling of a family reunion. Recently, one of the family members had a little incident. Do you have any thoughts on Barcia/Ferrandis?

Malcolm: I don't know who originally started that. But at the same time, I already know what it feels like. I know how it feels to get blown off the motorcycles.  If you're asking me if I'm surprised, no, not at all. If it was only his first time doing it, he can get a pass. But yeah, it's been going on for a little bit now. I have to race the guy, you know. Just hopefully Ferrandis isn't hurt or anything like that. I feel like he's going to get it back out of retaliation and maybe this weekend, maybe another one, maybe practice, who knows? 


Scotty: Is it safe to say that your dad is the GOAT of moto dads? He's been doing this for like 30 years now.

Malcolm: He's been doing it for a while now. But yeah, Pops, he's been in the game for a while, you know? He loves going to the races. He's a dad. They're happy their sons are out there. He had one son with a very successful career and now the other one is doing his thing. He's just a happy dad. I will say, something about his hands just makes you look. He was standing in front of the mechanics area, and I was looking at him and not even reading my pit board. If I’m coming around the corner and he's clapping I don't need the pit board. I know what those hand signals are. The cool thing is he actually comes to Aldon's a lot and helps. It helps me, it helps RJ, Jalek, and everybody else. I always tell him, “You ain't just coming up here for us”. He does this little roundabout and there's a massive car auction. And they also have a swap meet that's not too far away from Aldon's. He does his little scenic route on the way home. Literally, my mom says, “he can't control himself”. 

Vital MX: What'd you think of your brother's announcing?

Malcolm: It's good. He always has that little sense of humor. I think he did a phenomenal job of announcing and he actually, to be honest, he reminded me of Grant Langston when he was doing it a lot. You know, they have their ways of talking about riders and stuff. Yeah, it's cool. It's cool.


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