Privateer Profile: Jarred Browne

July 30, 2009 4:35pm
Prior to the Washougal National, many of you had probably never heard of Jarred Browne. But when the checkered flag fell on the second 450 moto last Saturday, his #425 Suzuki City RM-Z450 crossed the line in fifth place. It was an impressive ride for the 21-year-old Californian, and he’s the subject of today’s Privateer Profile.

  • Jarred Browne scored the Muscle Milk Recovery Award for his fifth-place in the second moto at Washougal.
Racer X: Jarred, I’ve got to say that your fifth-place finish in the second 450 moto at Washougal was a bit of a surprise. What do you think?
Jarred Browne: Yeah, it was a surprise. I knew I had it in me, but I knew it was going to take just about a perfect ride from myself to get it done. In the amateur ranks, I’ve run up with guys like Villopoto, Alessi, and Grant; I grew up racing those guys, so I knew I had it in me. I just had to dig it out.

I was looking through the results and lap times on, and you qualified thirty-third. That’s kind of surprising.
Yeah, practice didn’t go so well. The first session I went out and I felt okay, and towards the end I lost my rear brake. I think I was eighteenth in that session, but I knew in the second session I could pick it up a little bit. We put the new brake pads on my bike and I went out and I did a sight lap to check the track out, then I started getting going and the brakes started fading. They’d work, then they’d fade, so I never did get a good lap in the second practice, and everyone else did. So that is why I was thirty-third.

What’s the highest you’ve been in timed qualifying?
At RedBud I qualified thirteenth.

Does it hurt your confidence going to the line thirty-third?
Not so much at Washougal because I knew there was a reason why I had a bad time, but it was definitely a bummer being out that far on that start. At Millville I qualified thirty-fifth, and there really was no excuse besides I couldn’t figure the track out. But I got eleventh the first moto and fourteenth the second moto for twelfth overall.

Was that your previous best finish?
Yeah, my best overall finish has been twelfth overall, then at High Point last year I got tenth in the second moto.

Tell us a little about the moto when you were running in the top ten; what was your mechanic telling you?
He was just keeping me updated on what position I was in and stuff. It was actually kind of hard to see the pitboard because you were going into a left-hand turn and the mechanics’ area was on the right, so I was focusing on the turn, but I could tell that he was excited.

How did you feel physically?
I felt good, but I definitely was maxed out. But it didn’t affect my lap times. My last lap was actually as fast as my second lap. Nick Wey was behind me the whole moto, so he kept me pushing forward. We were also catching Millsaps, so I had him to focus on as well. Having those two guys to keep me pushing definitely helped.

You passed Millsaps at the end.
Yeah, I think with like two laps to go I passed him.

What goes through a privateer’s mind when you’re passing a factory Honda rider?
It’s pretty crazy. Davi is another guy I grew up racing, and I don’t think I ever beat him as an amateur. We battled and stuff, but I’ve never reeled him in and passed him. I could tell he was tired, but it’s pretty cool to catch and pass a factory guy when you’re a full-blown privateer.

  • Jarred Browne is getting support from Suzuki City for the rest of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
For those who don’t know you, give us some background about yourself and your racing career.
My racing career started off sort of like it is now; I always kind of struggled to get support and stuff. I got a break in 2004, and I started getting support from Suzuki in the B and Schoolboy classes. I had a decent year and they bumped me up to the factory team for ’05, and I went out and won five championships in the B class. I moved up to A in ’06 and it looked like it was going to be me and [Josh] Hill battling for the championships, but I got a bunch of concussions at the beginning of the season, so that set me back. I then had a decent run at the Mini Os and won a championship in the A class.
       After that, I tore my ACL, and then I left it and continued to race. After Oak Hill that year I crashed again and blew out my other knee. I was riding with two blown-out ACLs. I did what I could, but then I broke my wrist and my ankle at the same time and then came back just in time for Loretta’s, but then went there and popped my knee out. After that I called it quits and went home and got double knee surgery.

When did you make your pro debut?
Glen Helen last year was my pro debut. I came back from my knee surgeries and had two months on the bike and raced Glen Helen on my own dime. We live real close, so I went out with my family. I got thirteenth in the second moto, so it was a decent showing.

Last year at High Point I remember seeing you up front as well.
Yeah, last year at High Point I got twelfth overall with a 20-10. I fell twice in the first moto, and the second moto was pretty good with a tenth.

What was your goal when you turned pro?
I have a good level of confidence in myself, but it’s always a lot harder than what it seems. At Glen Helen last year my goal was top fifteen, and I did that in the second moto, and the guys in the top ten weren’t very far ahead of me. I knew with a good start and a solid ride, I could run in the top ten.

After High Point last year you kind of disappeared. What happened?
After my ride at High Point I got sick and missed Colorado. I came back for RedBud, and I think I was thirteenth fastest in practice there, but early in the first moto I crashed pretty hard. I hit the eject button in the air and landed on my butt and fractured my lower back, so that put me out for basically the rest of the series.

  • Browne finished 12th overall at Millville.
Did you ride any supercross this year?
I did try to ride a few. I actually bought a Kawasaki—a guy helped me out and we got a Kawi the Tuesday before Anaheim 1. It was a last-minute deal, but I had nothing to ride. So I struggled a little bit. I was also dealing with some head issues, headaches and stuff. I was feeling pretty good at Phoenix, but then I crashed and hit my head and had some blurred vision. I then missed qualifying for A3 by one. After that I crashed again and had blurred vision and a migraine. I went to the hospital and found out I had a small bleed on my brain, so that put me out for three months, which also took me out for the first three rounds of outdoors.

You 100 percent now?
Yeah, 100 percent. That head deal was pretty scary. It was almost a career ender. I guess when boxers have that injury they pull their boxing license, so that was a scary deal. But I’m feeling 100 percent now and riding the best that I ever have.

That’s good, man. I’m stoked for you. Who’s helping you out this year?
Suzuki City. They also helped me out last year. This year when [Matt] Goerke got hurt, I got the opportunity to fill in for him at High Point, Colorado, and RedBud. Those guys were real cool over there, but they weren’t sure if they’d be able to help me out when Goerke came back, but they were able to throw something together. I’m not under contract or anything like that, but those guys have been great and are able to get me on the track every week, so I’m pumped.

Goerke scored a top-five in the first 450 moto, then you scored a fifth in the second, so the Suzuki City team has to be stoked.
Yeah, for sure. They’re a smaller team, but they’re putting guys in the top five, so that’s really good for them. I’m planning on finishing out the nationals with them, try to land some top tens overall and land myself a good ride for supercross and outdoors. I feel like things are starting to finally fall in place for me and I’m figuring things out. It’s been a tough road these past few years.
You earned national #84 for this season, but you’re running #425. Why?
It was my amateur number and I think it looks cool. There’s really no other reason behind it. I just run it that way. People who knew me as an amateur can spot me easier.

Well, again, congratulations on that fifth-place finish at Washougal. Who do you want to thank for helping you out, Jarred?
Suzuki City. Michael, the team manager, and my mechanic, Jim. I want to thank Moose gear, Utopia goggles, Shoei helmets, TCX boots, Hammer Nutrition, Tallon Management, and my family and friends, and my buddy Jake Weimer for talking me up and reminding me I can get it done still.