And according to Stewart himself, that's exactly what he did at Unadilla. Today, he broke his media silence by dropping, if not a bombshell then at least a small concussion grenade of insight in his "An Open Letter From James Regarding Unadilla and MXoN" (posted by Garth Milan at JS7.com) He "straight up" said:
"...I just decided to pull off, lick my wounds, and learn from the weekend."
Learning is a good thing, but sometimes the lessons are hard. I have a good friend that drove 5 hours to Unadilla to see James race the year that Stewart got injured in practice. He never got to see the man ride (no, television doesn't count), so he actually balked at the opportunity to make the trip this year to upstate New York. In fact, he did not go, because he was afraid he would be disappointed again by his motocross hero. What did my friend learn this weekend?
Last year, I truly felt sorry for the motocross fans in Italy and Australia, who had waited all year for their first ever opportunity to see James race in person, and whose hopes were dashed when James fell ill after the Bercy Supercross and canceled his remaining international race schedule. It wasn't James' fault by any stretch, but the result was unhappy fans nonetheless.
But this time in New York, James admits plainly that he believed he had "nothing to gain" by completing the moto.
Rather than submitting to an interview with his friends and enemies in the moto press, he once again chose to directly address his followers and foes. In my opinion, he took his time to prepare and present his thoughts, and I respect that. But after reading this open letter, it pains me to think that he misses the significance of some of his own words.
I haven't even commented on what he wrote about not being selected for the 2010 Motocross of Nations team. Read it for yourself.
Meanwhile, I will go back to looking forward to seeing Stewart ride at the season finale National at Pala in SoCal. But I might start a new habit of not looking forward to hearing or reading what he has to say.