Last week in Phoenix, Muscle Milk/KTM’s Justin Brayton earned the best finish of his Supercross career, crossing the line second in the SX LItes main event. The Iowa native looks stronger than ever aboard his factory KTM 250SX-F, and he hopes to take the next step up the podium in tonight’s Anaheim 2 main event.
You’re fresh off the best Supercross finish of your career, second place. Did it feel good to accomplish that second place last weekend?
It definitely felt good. I think I had that same speed at Anaheim 1, but I had some bad luck. I was able to rebound last weekend with a second place. I put in my time this week, so hopefully I can go out there and best that by one position and get the win.
Have you thought about the trick you’re going to do when you get your first win?
(Laughs) I haven’t really thought about it. I’ll probably do a big ole fist pump.
You need to do three downward fist pumps like Jeff Ward did at the Tampa Supercross.
Yeah! I may even throw the double fist pump. I haven’t done a no hander in a long time, so I might crash (laughs). Maybe I’ll just go with the one hander?
You look a lot more confident and fit this year. What’s been the improvement in your game?
I think the off-season races helped out quite a bit. I hired a new trainer, Charles Dowd, who has me more physically in shape than I have been in the past. My bike is a lot better, and I have a really good team behind me. I have a lot of good people around me, and I think this is the year for me to do it. I’m moving up next year, so I have this year to win some races… In the Lites class, anyways.
Did racing the KTM 450SX-F during the off-season help you with your performance on the Lites bike?
I think so. It took me a long time to get comfortable on the Lites bike because I was so use to riding the 450. I rode the 450 for three months, so it was definitely tough to switch back. I think racing the bike against all these riders that I’ve looked up to since I was little made the transition to the Lites bike easier. Racing with James [Stewart] at the Bercy Supercross really helped. I was able to study his speed and work on picking up my intensity level during the early stages of the race. It has also helped me with my starts. I never did get too many great starts last year, but I am getting good starts this year, and I know I belong up front
James Stewart called you out as the guy who is going to surprise people with a break out year in ’09. Have you heard that and does it put any pressure on you, or do you think that’s cool?
I think it’s awesome. Any time you hear something from James Stewart you need to believe it. It was really good to race with him at Bercy, and I’m really looking forward to moving up to the 450 class for the outdoor season and then Supercross next year. I’m looking to be up front and battle with those guys.
Was it kind of odd to jump back on the 250F and have to kickstart the bike?
(Laughs) Yeah. It was a little bit different. I was looking for that electric start for a while, but I was able to get use to it again.
How old are you?
Okay. So you’re on the Muscle Milk KTM team, but Jagermeister sponsors the team across the way. Have you been able to get hooked up with some product from over there?
(Laughs) No. I actually haven’t. I am strictly Muscle Milk at the moment.