Jesse Wright has been killing it in the South African Motocross circuit racking up some great podium finishes this season. He also recently got back from a trip to America where he stayed and raced for just over 2 months. Check out our interview with Jesse where we talk to him about his trip, the racing and his future in MX.
Years racing: 9
Machine of choice: Yamaha/ Suzuki
Sponsors: Monster Energy, Racestar Graffix, Thor, Dirt Nurse, 2nd Gear, Von Zipper and FMF Racing.
Tell us about your recent trip to America. Where did you stay and how long where you there for?
It was a good time I had a lot of fun. I stayed in Ukiah California with the Barbieri family, which did more than I expected and I’m super grateful for that. I stayed there for about 2 and half months.
What was the plan in going over there?
I was just going there to dip my feet into the water and see how it went with the hope of qualifying for Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship.
How many races did you compete in, in which classes and where did you finish up?
I participated in multiple events from qualifiers to amateur days to TWMX series and I think I did better than what I thought I could’ve done. I got two 2nd’s overall in two different classes and a 3rd overall in a class called College Boy. I got a bunch of top 10’s the best of them being in Mammoth where I got two 8th’s overall in the ‘B’ class. I had a bunch of bad races as well that came with a bunch of bad luck but I rode my heart out and never gave up.
You also won the famous bear trophy at the Mammoth Mountain Motocross race, what was the criteria in winning the trophy?
Yes, Mammoth is almost the same as Loretta’s with the exception that qualifying is a little easier meaning that Loretta’s take the top 5 and mammoth take the top 10. If you qualify, you win the bear.
Explain that race to us and how you did in your heats and overall?
Mammoth is a very tough race and you have to do qualifiers to get to the main event and I took the long route by going down to the LCQ, which gave me a 35-40 gate pick. I made life even harder by crashing in the first turn of every moto and coming back from 40th to 8th after a 25 minute plus 2 lap moto was done and deal with the bikes over heating because of the high elevation, not to mention the state of how rough the track got. So I was pretty pumped but a little disappointed about the crashes.
What was your most memorable race while in the USA and why?
Must have been Mammoth because of the fact that the scenery on the way there and in and around the area was just spectacular and that I had my dad with me, which was very special as he risked a lot to be there. Also my riding there. I think I showed a lot of people how good I could actually ride but by then it was a little too late as it was my last race in the USA.
Who do you look up to in the sports locally and internationally and how do you think they will help you on your journey?
I look up to a few people but mainly I’d say Richard van der Westhuizen locally because he’s just such a good man and a incredible rider, and internationally I look up to Ryan Villopoto because he is so dedicated to the sport and he’s riding is just exceptional.
You have just picked up and new sponsor? Tell us about that deal?
Guys named Quentin Foster and Kevin Moran came together and have got me on such an awesome program and I’m so grateful for what they’ve done, the amount of effort they have been putting into me and it might not be the best of bikes but it’s better than sitting around waiting for something to happen, which might never actually come around. I’ve got an 05 Suzuki RMZ 450F. We’ve had a bunch of trouble getting it all set up but I’ve found something I’m happy with, so it can only get better from here.
What is it like riding the Suzuki and how does it differ from the Yamaha’s you were previously racing?
It’s a very big difference but a good type of difference, to be honest I was just happy to be on the bike again and just having fun. It is a 450 as well and full injected which I wasn’t used to because I previously rode a YZ 250F with a carburetor. It’s just a lot smoother and easier to ride.
What big races have got coming up for the rest of 2013, what class will you be racing and where are you hoping on finishing up?
There’s a few and in a short period of time so I’m training hard to get ready for them. There is an invitational on the 25th September and then there’s a summer series in the first two weeks of December in Zimbabwe. I’m looking to win or either get on the podium. I’ll be riding the MX1 class.
What does your training regime entail?
Mainly it’s just a lot of riding, the better you want to get at something, you need to do it a lot and repeatedly. Although, you also need to have good cardiovascular fitness and some good gym work to help with endurance and strength.
Where do you see your motocross career taking you?
If I can get the financial backing I need, I know I can go back over to America and make Loratta Lynn’s, pick up a factory ride and make it to the pro ranks. Not saying I can’t do it now with what I’ve got but it’s almost impossible but I know one day with everything going for me, I can make it a career. Something I think about before I sleep and something I think about when I wake up.
Any shout outs?
To my parents for everything they put into it and the risks they take financially and with family and friends is huge, so a big thank you to them. My sister for all her support. My friends, family and sponsors that have helped me reach my goals and dreams and for never giving up on me. And to LW Mag for the sweet interview, you guys Rock!