Malcolm Stewart was the star of the show in Paris over the weekend, even though he did not quite claim the King of Paris title. A first-turn crash on night one effectively put him on the back foot but he still rebounded in an impressive fashion on night two. What did Stewart make of his time in Europe? A handful of different topics were covered in this exclusive MX Vice interview from the stadium. This interview was originally shared as a podcast.
MX Vice: I think it is fair to say that you were the fastest guy this weekend, but you were stuck under your bike in one of the races and whenever that happens it is going to be tough to win the overall. You can leave here saying you were the fastest guy though and that's something, I guess.
Malcolm Stewart: Yeah. I was just out here having fun, man. That's like the ultimate goal, to just really enjoy myself. It's good to be back here in Paris again. Last time I was here I raced in Paris-Lille, so I got to see the Eiffel Tower and do a little bit of sight-seeing for once. Overall, I felt good all weekend. Luck was not on my side. Me and Dylan crashed – I did a front flip in the last main last night. I was like, "Hey, no more crashes. I have got enough scars as it is." It's just good to be back racing.
Like I said, tonight we went 3-1-1. I remember going into that last one like, "I'm going to get this start. Why can't I do this all the time?" Again, we rode good. Dylan got really close. I could hear the French fans getting loud. They made it seem like he was right on me, but I just started pulling away from him a little bit and kind of put my head down. I knew he did a couple of sprint laps to get me. I'm like, "No, I can't let him catch me… I can't let him catch me. We're out here running up front. This is not going to look good."
For us, we just rode good. That's kind of where the night ended. The cool thing about coming over here is everything is much more relaxed. We had a lot of heavy hitters. Dylan Ferrandis, Justin Barcia, my teammates Vince Friese and Justin Hill, Joey Savatgy, and Chad Reed. It's kind of cool, because we are all just sitting on the gate just talking. I got a lot of time to talk with Chad and stuff. We were just talking about things that him and James [Stewart] used to do back in the day.
We were laughing about his kids playing Fortnite – just cool things that you don't really get to do. Everybody is so uptight back in the ‘States, and I get it, but that is one thing that's cool about coming over here. At the end of the day when the gate drops whatever happens, it happens. The respect level is a lot more different. We are not trying to kill each other. At the end of the day, if we kill each other then we have got to see each other the next day and not only that we have also got to eat dinner together.
It's just not the smart thing. I can't thank the whole Smartop Bullfrog Spas Honda team, my mechanic Jason, Roger Larsen, Seven, Scott, Gaerne and Toyota of Escondido. Just everybody who has my back. For me, it just feels really good. Again, here we are and let's just have some fun. We have got a couple more weekends coming up for Geneva and then A1 will be right around the corner.
Let's be honest. This race is a million times better than Lille, huh? The stadium is better. The location is better. The track's better. The soil is better. Do you agree?
Let's just say I like to travel. I am not going to sit here and say what's better than what, but let's just say I like traveling. These French fans, they show me a lot of love here. You can't set a location. Every location has its own thing. Like I said, I like Geneva. I love Paris. I got to see the Eiffel Tower, but there are a lot of things in Geneva that I like too. Got good chocolate [laughs]. I can't sit there and say that. It's just all about having fun.
Montreal was really cool. I just like enjoying where I'm going. It's a lot different than just going to Florida, Dallas and California. It is totally different. Like I said, when you come over here and the promoters really help you out… They really hook you up and make you feel like home. Even though you are thousands of miles away from home, they just open the doors up for you and it just feels really good.
What'd you think of the programme here? Does it get a bit repetitive doing, I don't know, two thousand laps on the same layout?
We did do a lot of laps. I am not going to lie. I'm not even going to lie. We did a lot of laps. This is the most laps I've done any time coming over here. I guess I would use this as fitness. At least that part is good. It did get to a point where you are like, "We have done a lot of laps." Especially in practice we all just did one lap and called it a day.
Again, it's fun. Don't get me wrong. That's one thing that's special about Paris. You already know. You sign up for this. We are professional riders. This is what we do for a living. What's the difference between coming over here and racing or going to the local test track and doing a thousand laps there?
Whenever someone comes back from injury, like a broken femur, there's always a little period where they have to get used to things and build themselves back up. You have kind of come back with a bang. Are you still building yourself back up, or is this like full Mookie?
No, I have still got a lot left in the tank. Only way I can really kind of prove that is with a little bit of gate drops. We have still got about a month and a half of training, riding, testing and stuff. By the time A1 comes around, we should be sitting pretty good. I'm happy about where I'm sitting at, but I'm going to use this weekend to take a few things to work on and just go home. Just go home safe and see my family.
The best thing about everything is you actually know what you are doing next year, which has not happened the last few times you have come over. That is a nice place to be.
Yeah, the whole team. I signed that contract earlier this year in May. The team believed in me. They knew coming in he is a good rider. For me, that was definitely a relief. All I did was just spend some time in the summer training just to get back the riding and kind of enjoy myself. I didn't want to train too hard, over train or anything like that. Just have some fun. It is just a big relief. Here we are months later: We are getting ready to close out for the end of the year and get ready for next year.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Ray Archer