On the heels of nearly four years mired by injury and pain staking recovery, Jett Reynolds is faced with the adversity of his personal comeback story. A young man who was once one of the most feared competitors in his division sat on the sidelines while his peers made strides.
Backed by one of the most successful and iconic teams in the history of amateur motocross, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki, Jett Reynolds went back to the drawing board this off-season to map out his return to his former glory. With his sights firmly set on a pro debut at round 1 of the Pro Motocross Championship, step one to getting ready is gate drops… starting last week at the 2023 JS7 Spring Championship at Freestone.
We rang up Jett this week to talk Freestone and his return to racing.
Vurbmoto: After a week at Freestone where the conditions were rough as all week, a true test to start off the Spring Nationals. I must say it was good to see you back on the bike.
Jett Reynolds: Yeah man, it was good to be back! The track was super rough, but it was just good to be back at the races and getting back to what I love doing. It’s been pretty much two years since I had a race under my belt. Came is with very low expectations and I had a blast. The track was GNARLY but I had a decent week. I had a holeshot and lead a lap n a half before I went off the track. It’s been a rough go the last couple years but we’re here to dig our way out of it and we’re doing the right things, so I’m stoked. I still have a long way to go but I’m ready.
One race in the books in Texas, will you be staying in Texas to race Underground as well?
Yeah man we’re staying down here for two full weeks. We just wrapped up Freestone and we’ve got practice tomorrow at Underground MX.
Take us through the decision process of returning to some amateur nationals instead of getting ready for 250 Supercross.
Man, just the way the cards were delt, I wasn’t going to be recovered with enough time to properly prepare for 250 Supercross so that was unfortunately out of the question. Mitch Payton called me up with the idea to hit some of the Spring Nationals in preparation for turning pro at round 1 of the outdoors which is funny because I was literally thinking the same thing the day that he called me so I stoked for him to have my back and send me to a few of these so I can get some much needed gate drops.
On top of racing some familiar tracks it must also be nice to see some familiar faces as well. Our own Wes Williams made a point to mention just have happy you were on the line before one of your motos.
Heck yeah, it’s always good to see Wes and everyone around me was so positive and I remember seeing Wes that moto. I was stoked and I think that’s the moto that I pulled a holeshot so I hope he got a cool video of that one.
Knowing Wes, I’m sure he was able to snag that video. You spoke about having low expectations leading into the week at Freestone. How do you stay within yourself and manage expectations knowing that the standard you’re held to and the results you’ve produced in the past are different that where you’re at right now?
Well, I haven’t raced much at all. Most people probably thought “this kid is done.” And honestly, I don’t know what I would have done had I got these results like I did at Freestone in previous years, but I am happy with how the week went. I know there is a ton of work that needs to be done and I know what I need to do and I’m doing it. There is a race every single weekend between now and the first round of outdoors and I’ll be at every single one of them.
Does that mean we’ll see the 124 machine at Mesquite MX for the return of World Mini April 6 to 9?
That one is on the list, so I’ll be there. I’m so stoked the World Mini is back and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there. April 6 through 9 at World Mini, I’ll be there.
That’s breaking news! Excited to hear! So, tell us more about your week at Freestone. Did you come together with Ryder McNabb and end up racing through the pack together?
No everyone thought that, but that moto was actually sick. He actually went down on the sweeper a bit earlier that lap and when I got up, he was right there, and I think we were like 39th and 40th. We were just shredding and he ended up getting me but I think we ended up 15th or 14th or something I don’t really remember but that moto was so much fun.
The conditions this week in Freestone were crazy on the Friday after torrential rains the night before. Hats off to you and the rest of the A class because the ruts and mud was gnarly but the lap times weren’t that much slower.
Yeah dude that was my best moto! I think I got a 4th which was decent and normally when it rains, I’m like “oh shit” because we don’t exactly get a lot of mud when I’m from but we’ve actually had a ton of rain back home, so I’ve been taking the 450 out on some weekends and ripping it up back home as well as down in So Cal where I live now. This week in Freestone was the gnarliest I’ve ever seen in many years.
Do your goals change at all heading into underground after a successful Freestone?
Not at all, honestly. I’m here to have fun first and foremost and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Course it’s not fun getting 4th, 5th, or 8th place finishes but I’m here to get gate drops and have fun and that’s it. I know the speed, I know I’m a bad dude on the motocross bike and that will show eventually but right now we gotta just work through this and that way to do that is to have fun, race my motorcycle and get the gate drops I need to get back where I want to be.
Who’s helped you with the mental strength to endure this?
It’s everyone around me but mainly Broc Tickle has had a huge impact. I love working with him and we talk a lot. We know, and I know, I need to be patient and realistic about how I approach these races so we’re doing that and we’re getting through it. I knew these weeks were going to be tough and I was prepared for that. I’m on two days rest now after basically three hours of racing and practice after not doing that for like two years so that was gnarly and my hands are really sore but we knew that would be tough going in so we’re working through it.
Racing is a whole lot different than practice no matter how much work you put in during the week isn’t it?
It sure is man. You can only prepare so much, and the rest of the work happens here. I know that. We’re here and I know I’ll get back to where I need to be no matter who doubts me because I believe in myself.
Excellent Jett, Thanks for the time and best of luck this week.
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