We were able to catch-up with Justin Brayton after San Diego last weekend. Here is what he had to say about his season so far:
Moto Now: Firstly, I’m super impressed with your season so far. Did you expect these results and to be riding near the front?
Justin Brayton: Yeah I did, I was really confident coming into the year with bike setup, fitness, suspension setting, all of it. I felt really good about it after being in Australia for a few months and getting out there. I felt good and my preparation was really good this year with my preseason testing and all that. You always want more, and to do a little better. But I think I probably would have taken 6th in points after 6 rounds heading east. I would have definitely been happy with that entering the season. Now we are getting to some tracks where I really excel typically. I know west coast I don’t really do that great, so once we go east I normally find my groove. It’s dirt I’m familiar with, so I’m looking forward to it and hopefully can get on the podium.
Traditionally you always have a slower start to the season, and then pick it up once the series goes east. What is it about the East coast dirt?
Just ruts and stuff like that. That’s what I grew up on in Iowa, and I like that. Sometimes it takes me a while to get confident at the beginning of the series, whereas this year I started out pretty confident. Also, just being around my friends who come to the east coast rounds, and my family, and stuff like that. Shorter flights, everything, there are so many positives to it really. I’ve been going home to Charlotte every week, which can be a little tiring, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have my family back home there, and it’s nice to see my kids and wife during the week. We now have a lot shorter flights, so it should be good.
How was the track tonight in San Diego? I feel like it was the opposite of the soft east coast stuff you like.
Yeah definitely opposite. But overall it was okay. I think it was a fun track to ride, but didn’t lend itself to passes very easily. I felt they did a good job building it though. A cool dragons section which was neat, and good set of whoops. So overall, it was pretty good.
Seemed like the whole field really got separated in San Diego; not much going on around you guys. Did you feel the same way?
Yeah kinda. Obviously there was the first turn pile-up which knocked some guys out. The first turn being that tight, you kinda knew it would happen that way. Comparing it the other track we had, it wasn’t the best, but it also wasn’t the worst.
Well, considering you’ve had a better than normal start to the season, we can expect to see even better results from you. What’s it going to take for you to get into that top 5 more consistently?
I think it’s just starts, that’s the main thing. Everyone probably says the same thing. I’ve gotten a top 5 in practice in all but one race maybe, so my speed is there. I just haven’t executed like I need to with the starts.
Does it make a difference now that this is your second year on the team?
Yeah it’s my second year on the new Honda. Gelling well with the team definitely doesn’t hurt. It’s been great, and I’m excited to be a part of it. The Honda is a great bike, so I’m excited to keep it rolling.