African-American James ‘Bubba’ Stewart was born in Bartow, Florida on 21st December 1985. His father, also called James, was an avid motocross enthusiast who took his son out on a bike when he was just two days old. James Jr. started riding a dirt bike himself at three, entered his first race the next year, and won the first of his amateur titles when he was just six.
In 1997, James Sr. bought 40 acres in Haines City in order to create a practice track for his son, and the duo soon developed an aggressive riding style that could challenge the fastest competitors. After picking up a record-breaking 11 AMA amateur national titles riding for Kawasaki Team Green, he was named 2002 Rookie of the Year in his debut pro season.
In 2003, James was crowned 125 West Region Supercross Champion, and the following year he went even better, winning both the East Region Championship and the 125 Motocross Championship. For 2005, he moved up to the premier 450cc class for both supercross and motocross, and went on to take the 2007 Supercross series title.
In 2008, despite only just recovering from knee surgery, he became only the second rider in history to complete a perfect motocross season. He went on to win the Supercross Championship again in 2009, and the 2013 Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, but injuries and illness have forced him to miss many races and a number of entire seasons in recent years.