Number Cruncher: Branden Jesseman

May 14, 2008 1:55pm | by:

Welcome to the Shift Number Cruncher. We’re throwing a different spin on the column this week, thanks to Todd Galley, who was kind enough to send over some old autograph stock of Branden Jesseman.

Now, we all have “our” numbers we grew up with. But for most of the pro racers, they have used several different numbers through their career. Sometimes you can watch an up-and-coming pro get a lower and lower number with each passing year. This isn’t always the case though, as injuries, bad luck, and bad seasons can see the numbers from the 20s to the 70s. Branden Jessemen is a rider that knows this all too well. Jessemen blast onto the professional scene with an astonishing fifth overall at the 1998 High Point National, wearing #757. Since then, Branden has wore everything from #1E for his regional supercross title, to #77 like he is currently. Let's go back and crunch the rest of the numbers “Brando” has raced with in his career.


photo: Racer X Archives

Branden Jesseman’s first-ever Pro National was at High Point in 1998. He went 11-5 for fifth overall in the 125cc class behind RC, John Dowd, Steve Lamson and Mike Brown. He was aboard a Performance Engineering/Cernic’s-backed RM125 wearing #757. His number throughout his amateur career was #775.

Here we have Branden during his rookie campaign riding a Primal Impulse/Bill’s Pipes/Shift/Suzuki. He got to wear some of the coolest looking gear ever that year, but Branden had a rough year with injuries and rounded out the outdoor nationals 20th in points.

A year later Branden jumped from #67 to #44 and saw much better results. He finished sixth in the East Coast Supercross series and backed that up with an eleventh outdoors.

With Branden showing some huge potential a lot of teams were after his services. The 2001 season saw him switch from his familiar Suzukis which he rode throughout his amateur career to the flexing Amsoil/Honda/Factory Connection squad. The move brought him little luck and he would switch back to Suzuki the following season.


Branden ran #28 for the 2002 season and things began to come around. He would win his first supercross and finish third in the 125 Eastern Regional supercross series.

This was Branden’s best year as a professional. He won the 125 East Coast title wearing #26, then battled with James Stewart in the 125 outdoor nationals.

The wheels fell off Jessemen’s wagon during this period. Injuries, personal problems, and burnout had stricken down one of District 5’s favorite sons, and he struggled hard to shake off the dark clouds.


photo: Matt Ware

Paul Lindsey took a chance on Branden and gave him some support for the 2005 season. Branden only wore #68 for a few races but it was enough to let people know he still had the right stuff.


photo: Matt Ware

A new opportunity arose for Jesseman during the 2006 season as Yamaha of Troy came calling. Branden rode with #121 to some podium performances and finished fifth in points.


photo: Matt Ware

Branden kept his number, but moved back over to the PPG/Motoworld Squad. This time armed with a YZ250F, Jesseman put in one of the biggest comeback victories in supercross history. Five years from his first win, Branden put it back on the top of the steps at the Orlando Supercross.


photo: Simon Cudby

Branden pretty much completed the cycle for riding for satellite teams in 2008. He’s had a good, solid, season riding the mighty #77 Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki. He made it through the supercross season healthy and he knows which side the throttle is on. This is a solid pick for you moto fantasy guys for the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championships.