Steward Baylor is now may favorite rider ever!
If you don’t follow off-road racing you may have never heard of the Stu, but he’s amazing. A straight shooter from Belton, SC, the Stu adds a certain flair to GNCC, etc. The four-time National Enduro Champion returned to GNCC over the weekend on a practice bike loaned out to him by the AmPro Yamaha team.
Stu hasn’t raced since GNCC since mid-March when he split from the FactoryONE Sherco team. Well, the Stu went out and won the whole damn thing at the Mountaineer GNCC in WV. According to an interview with Racer X, Stu said he had an “hour and 20” on the bike before the race!
That’s impressive and all, but the reason the Stu is now my favorite rider, are the following quotes via his interview with Racer X (the entire interview is worth a read):
“It’s cool to see, the fans keep me pumped up, but at the end of the day the fans aren’t paying the bills. I wish the guys who make the decisions at the end of the day would actually come to the races and see I have the right persona. If I’ve got to change to make money, I’ll do it, but when you walk around from campfire to campfire at these races, you don’t see people in suits. You see people in cut off T-shirts holding a beer. Those are the guys that are buying motorcycles. I think the corporate play is all wrong. From my perspective everything is completely backwards. They should be trying to relate to their customers. The only people wearing buttoned-down shirts are on pro row.”
So, you think they know you’re fast, but you think your reputation is working against you?
I think it’s 100 percent that. Everyone is scared of what I might do or say. Granted, I’ve ridden for factory KTM, so I’ve raced in a corporate environment, but again, people forget things real fast. I can work in a corporate world, but I would prefer not. I want to enjoy racing. It’s not fun sitting on a bicycle and sweating in the South Carolina heat all summer. But it’s fun on race day and I want to keep it that way. That’s the hardest part to get across to the manufacturers and teams. We’ve got to have our differences. In every other sport you’re allowed to act however you want because that’s marketable. In ours, it’s such a small loop and everyone thinks there’s only one way to do things. It’s definitely tough.
This is straight fire. Slaw, like the Stu, likes to drink beer and wear jorts and a tank. Like the Stu, Slaw ain’t for everyone. Good for Stu for just spitting the truth and worrying about the rest later.
Main image: Mike Vizer (follow Mike on IG).