Discussion: Justin Brayton

Justin Brayton did not have the easiest time in Paris; he entered the event sick and then had to fight back from average starts a majority of the time. There were still positives to take though and he even secured second overall on day two, so it was not all bad. Brayton sums up his experience, illness and thoughts on a busy off-season schedule in this exclusive MX Vice interview.

MX Vice: A bit of an up-and-down weekend with your results. Poor starts kind of led to that, but when you started up front you kind of stayed there. I guess you learned a lot? 

Justin Brayton: Yeah, we definitely learned a lot. The first night I just got really bad starts. We learned some stuff on the bike that is different from ’18 to ’19, so we switched that over. Tonight I got killer starts. Holeshot two out of three. Felt good about it. Second overall tonight. Happy with that, with how I have been feeling. I have been super sick, so happy to be on the podium tonight and be able to battle up front. I love coming here to Paris. It was a super fun race. A lot of great competition, so it lends itself good to A1 and having some race laps under our belt.


Justin Brayton was fifth overall in Paris, just four points down on second

Jey Crunch

Speaking of the competition, I noticed yesterday in practice you had a bit of a run-in with Jason [Anderson]. I saw the aftermath of it. Explain what happened there and what happened afterwards.  

It was not the first time it’s happened. Just kind of the standard… It happens all the time in America, where somebody’s trying to go for a fast lap and the other person’s trying to line up a fast lap. We just got our laps tangled. He tried to roost me and do his thing. We had some words and we’re all good now. It is what it is. Just part of it. Not really necessary, especially at a race like this, or even in the ‘States. That stuff’s not necessary. I’m over those days of being childish, but all good. We talked and now we’re fine. It is what it is. 

In the last two main events tonight [Sunday], he got you at the end of this rhythm section here. Is there anything that you know now that you were doing wrong on the entrance to the section or something that you would correct if you had another shot?

Yeah, I was actually railing all the way around the turn and he was cutting down. He’d cut off a little bit of track and just could get up next to me. I would definitely change that, but all in all I am pretty happy with how the weekend went. We definitely made some progress on the bike and made some progress with my riding. Happy with how everything went.  

You have obviously done a lot of off-season events, probably the same as everyone here combined. How does this one kind of stack up as far as value for preparing for next year? It is hard-pack like Las Vegas or California, so I guess the settings will come in handy in January?

Yeah. I think all of it’s so valuable when it comes to just racing. There is nothing like racing. Waking up this morning I was sore. You’d never be sore from practice or even a full week of practice. You just never really get sore. I try to put myself in those situations as often as I can. It’s why I have done so many overseas races. I think it’s really important. A lot of people want to pull the injury card and say, “Oh, you can get hurt.”

We race motorcycles and that could happen anytime. I enjoy doing these. Enjoy meeting new fans and racing with the guys over here. This event in particular, there is tons of competition. You had the defending supercross champ. What better way to see where you are at than race against him? I have raced against him the past two weekends. All in all, like I said, it was a great weekend. Happy to be here. This event was incredible. Everything from top to bottom was great.


Justin Brayton still has races in New Zealand, Switzerland and Italy to do

Jey Crunch

You are sick now. You have already done a lot of racing. Is there a point where you begin to question whether this is too much? Has there even just been one morning where you have been like, “Hang on. Maybe I should back this down a tiny bit?”

Absolutely. What’s crazy is the past two years in Australia I haven’t gotten sick. My family hasn’t gotten sick. It’s just been seamless, so you think about that. I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ll do three European races too on top of that.” That’s no problem. This year for some reason in Australia we were just never healthy. Pneumonia and bronchitis. My wife was sick. Kids were sick, so you cannot ever plan that. You can’t plan for when you are going to be sick.

You just do the best you can to stay healthy. I don’t regret it though. Absolutely not. I love racing. Even if I’m sick and at seventy-five percent, I still feel like I learned some stuff. We learned a lot about the motorcycle this weekend. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love doing these. I’ll continue to do them for as long as I can.

You said there that you have learned a lot about the bike. You mentioned that you obviously made improvements with the starts today. Is there another thing that you kind of can pull from this and slap on come Anaheim 1 that will help you out a lot?

Yeah, for sure. I think just continuing to race and continuing to ride different track conditions. That’s a huge part of it and to be comfortable with your bike at every track and on every obstacle. That’s where I think you gain a lot during racing. The tracks don’t deteriorate that much during practice, whereas here during the race… The track’s hammered. That is the way it is in America. Your bike works differently in those situations. Huge component of race testing, not only your body but with your motorcycle. There’s no better way to do that and get ready for Anaheim.

Finally, I guess from here you have got Geneva and then Torino. What is your schedule going to look like in the run up to Anaheim 1? 

Yeah, I’ll be traveling. I hit New Zealand next weekend, then I’ll be in Geneva, then a weekend off and then I’ll be in Torino. Then a couple weeks off for Christmas and holidays and I’ll be ready to go. I think the timing will be great. I’ll be able to rest a little bit, get a couple of weeks in before Anaheim and come out swinging.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: @Crunch724

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