Justin Brayton has not quite met the expectations that most had prior to the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series, but it seems as though he knows the reason for that. It all comes down to starts. What has caused something that was once his greatest strength to become a disadvantage? It is all covered in this exclusive MX Vice interview from Anaheim 2.
MX Vice: Everyone kind of looks at these Triple Crown races and your name immediately comes up, but tonight, I do not know, I guess you had a bit of a black cloud following you. It seemed like whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. Eleventh overall is not too bad though, I guess.
Justin Brayton: Yeah. It was a really strange night for me. Honestly, I do not know why I get labeled as that. I guess I did have some good results, but all my podiums last year and my win was a normal twenty-lapper. I guess I did do good in the Triple Crowns, but tonight was not good. It was strange. I was okay first main and crashed and went way back, then second main I somehow stalled my bike in the first turn. It took a while to get started and I was last there again, then in the last one I just kind of ran around in eleventh and that was about it. Really strange.
It was tough. I qualified fourth in practice. I felt good. Everything was fine. Just one of those nights where I never ever in any of the races had good track position where I could really ride and really race at the front. When you are in seventeenth and trying to come through the pack, it makes things difficult. I am not going to hang my head. It is all good. I had some good speed. Just need some track position. I do not know where my starts have gone, but I have got to get those figured out.
I guess it was a tough track to make passes on as well, aside from maybe waiting for a mistake in the two long rhythms?
Yeah, pretty much that was it, but then if somebody made a mistake in front of you, you did not really want to go big because you did not want to land on them. Difficult track to pass, but I have honestly just got to get better starts. That is the main thing.
What did you actually think of the track as a whole? It was different, I guess. It was better than Anaheim 2 last year, that is for sure, but I felt like there was a lot of open space.
Yeah. I do not really like all the switchbacks. We all know that one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turns are the best way to build a supercross, but it is all good. Shoot… They did an amazing job to just have a dry track. I cannot really criticize them that much but, yeah, I was not a fan of the layout at all. I thought they could have done a better job with that, but in saying that, there were probably several people that might have liked it.
It was not a case of going the wrong way with bike set-up, as far as the difference between the daytime and the night show goes, was it? Maybe because you did so well in qualifying, you rested on that a bit too much and did not change with the track?
No. I just think it was honestly all starts. I think with track position, with a holeshot or a top five start I would just go with those guys. That is just how it is. When you have the speed, you can kind of go anyone’s speed, I guess, especially if you just get the start. I just never had the start. Like you said, the first main I was on the ground. The second main I was last off the start. Third main I was just kind of running around the middle of the pack. Tough night, but all good. Healthy and ready to fight in Oakland.
Today aside, we are three rounds in now. Are you happy with how everything is going as a whole?
Not really. My starts are just horrendous. I honestly do not know what is going on. That is kind of my thing I hang my hat on, getting good starts, and then obviously riding at the front and staying out of the danger in the middle of the pack when guys are not jumping triples and cutting from left to right. It is dangerous back there. I pride myself on getting good starts and I have not gotten any good starts, other than one heat race, and the heat race I had a good start in I won.
I am going to just go home for a couple days. My one-year-old boy just had surgery, so I am going to go and see him for a couple days, then I am going to fly back out here on Wednesday and get to work on Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday doing some testing and trying some different stuff. We will get it figured out.
Finally, with your starts, it is not similar to Bercy, is it? I remember night one your starts were horrendous and then you fixed something that made them amazing.
No, it is not that. I actually switched to a hydraulic clutch the week of Anaheim 1 and I think I am just struggling with that. Just need to get it figured out and test a couple different parts. It is hard when you are so used to something and it is so ingrained in your mind and your left hand, how you feed the clutch with the cable clutch and then switching to a hydraulic. The hydraulic clutch is amazing, but I just think I have got it so ingrained in me that I might need to make a change.
Is ditching the hydraulic clutch an option or can you not really go that way?
No, for sure it is an option. My teammates are on cable clutch. It is definitely an option.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX