Do you think all of the sport’s top riders take private jets to the races? Think again. We caught up with Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki's Branden Jesseman on a Southwest Airlines connecting flight from Indianapolis back to California. The Pennsylvania native finished fourth place in the East Regional Supercross Lites class at Luca Oils Stadium and now also sits in fourth place in the series standings.
Congratulations on your finish last night. It was your best so far this year.
Yeah, it wasn't too bad. I'll probably do better before the season is over.
So you have higher expectations for yourself?
Yeah, much higher. I've been working really hard and the team is good and I just want to get up on the box.
How has the team been so far? You are essentially on Pro Circuit machinery but it is a different effort than the Monster Energy team.
So far it's been pretty good. The team works really hard and they are doing everything they can. Now I'm trying to do the same. I think they expect me to be a top five guy and were happy with how I did the last two races, but I really want to be on the box each weekend. I want to keep working and build up some more speed, but I definitely need to get a better start.
Have starts been an issue for you recently?
The last couple of races this year have just been bad starts. In Supercross, 15 laps ends up feeling like a ten minute main event, and it just goes by too quick.
It probably didn't help that they had to restart the race after that first turn craziness.
I don't know what the deal was with that. All of the good rider went down in the first turn; I barely got through, but I was kind of pissed that they red-flagged that. I'm not sure where I came out after the holeshot. I didn't fall down but I was off my bike and had to run to jump back on. I wish they hadn't restarted it.
Stepping back to last season, what happened with you after the Supercross season? We didn't see you at many of the nationals.
Actually, I got a concussion in Las Vegas. I kept trying to ride with it but wasn't able to. I went to see a doctor and he had me stay off the bike for about six or eight months so I didn't start riding again until I came back in November to ride for Bill Keefe. I rode for three days and then broke my wrist (laughs). I rode a couple weeks before the first race and I wasn't quite ready for it. I just needed some more time. Now I want to keep getting better every weekend and get on the box. That's the goal.
Did you see the same specialist as Broc Hepler, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center?
Yeah, I had to go there and take a computer test. It was a pain in the butt; I had to take it like ten times (laughs). I don't think anyone could ace that test.
Does it test reaction times?
It actually tests things with the memory. It's hard to explain the test but it was difficult.
You don't remember it?
What about the rest of the season; what is your deal for outdoors?
Right now I have a Supercross only deal with the team, so I don't know…we'll see. They are planning on doing the outdoor series, it's just my deal that is Supercross only. I want to get on a 450. They already have a 450 program with Tommy Hahn so we'll see how things go.