Malcolm Stewart to Fill-In for Justin Bogle at AutoTrader.com/Yoshimura/Suzuki?
Vital MX: With multiple 450 riders going down at Anaheim 1, instantly the rumor-mill began on giving Malcolm Stewart (who pulled out of racing A1 for undisclosed reasons) one of these rides. We've listed below the updates for Benny Bloss, Eli Tomac, Dean Wilson, and Justin Bogle...and the likeliness of a fill-in ride. We'll cut to the the chase though, JGR is the most likely and you can scroll down to see why.
Benny Bloss - Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS: Benny's status has been updated by his team, while he's got some injuries, they're fairly minor and it sounds like we'll see him back soon. This means there may not be a need for a fill-in rider for just a round or two off. Also, Malcolm Stewart filling in here doesn't make sense as the team riders have to be in Fly gear and helmets, Scott goggles, and Alpinestars boots. Malcolm currently rides in Seven gear, Shoei helmets, Gaerne boots, and Oakley goggles.
Eli Tomac - Monster Energy Kawasaki: Eli Tomac's situation hasn't been officially commented on, but from some comments and rumors we'e heard...he'll be back for the second round at Houston. This means there wouldn't be a need for a fill-in ride at Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Dean Wilson - Rockstar Energy Husqvarna: Dean Wilson commented on his status this morning and while it sounds like he'll miss Houston this weekend, he could be back as early as Anaheim 2. This means the team won't be needing a fill-in rider.
Justin Bogle - AutoTrader.com/Yoshimura/JGR Suzuki: Justin Bogle was unable to lineup at Anaheim 1 due to symptoms stemming from a concussion he received while practicing in Florida pre-season, following his concussion at Monster Cup. From what we heard over the weekend, Bogle's decision to miss A1 was made just days before the race but due to the teams contracts, they need to field two 450 riders.
JGR fields fill-in riders whenever possible and we heard team manager Jeremy Albrecht commenting about being interesting in Malcolm. Also, according to the team member's social posts, they were up in the high desert of Southern California at Carson Mumford's Supercross track today, with a numberless 450. Beyond that, Malcolm Stewart posted on his social media this morning that he landed in LA this morning and is seen driving through the rain into what appears on of the long, open desert roads above the Inland Valley. Rumors pointed to Malcolm testing a factory bike today and Mumford's place is one of the only locations to ride today. Due to Bogle's condition, how long this fill-in would last is unsure but we'd expect Malcolm would only due this if he'll get a few good rounds out of it. The team lacks gear deals outside of goggles with Scott, so it makes things a bit easier on Malcolm who would naturally like to keep his Seven relationship and Shoei deal intact.
Video clips saved from Malcolm Stewart's Instagram Story.
Also, why SoCal? Simple, the JGR team is all on the West coast right now and basing themselves out of the Yoshimura raceshop in Chino, Ca as it's insane to go back and forth to North Carolina during the West swing. It's also snowing and quite cold back in the area of their home shop/track so the riders and team are staying out this way. Hill, Nicoletti, Peick, and Decotis are all out in California for now.
If Malcolm Stewart is at Houston this weekend, we believe it'll be on a AutoTrader.com/Yoshimura/JGR Suzuki
Ben Schiermeyer's IG Story from Carson Mumford's track.