James Stewart was really the dominant rider this past weekend at the always cool Bercy Supercross in Paris, France, but when he couldn’t answer the bell for the final main event due to a bout of food poisoning, in stepped Joe Gibbs Racing’s Justin Brayton. Brayton, the surprise of last year’s event was clearly the second fastest rider all weekend and hounded Stewart. Yeah, Stewie won almost everything all weekend (except for the Super-pole on Saturday which Brayton captured) but Brayton was there and not making it easy. Despite a bit of confusion after the race, when it was said and done, Iowa’s Justin Brayton was crowned the King of Bercy.
*This interview was done before Team L&M’s Larry Brooks handed over the trophy to Brayton, while we were packing up.
Justin Brayton: Yeah for sure, I had some bad luck today with my crash and tweaking my ankle, but for me, being with the JGR team for a couple of weeks, moving to Charlotte and all that, I’m happy and excited to be with them. I’m also looking forward to getting the new bike this week when we get back. Then we can start working toward the goal of doing well in the supercross series.
I felt like I was the second fastest guy to James again here this weekend. He’s fast man, but tonight I felt like I could’ve won the main. I just want to get closer and closer to him and today in one of the match races, I was trying so hard and went down and tweaked my ankle. Going into the main it hurt and I crashed again when I was in second behind [Josh] Hill, and of course I tweaked it again.
What is it that makes you go so well at this place?
I don’t know. I just enjoy this place and enjoy racing in the off-season. I felt like this year I was a little unprepared because I took so much time off after the nationals. I definitely didn’t feel as comfortable this year as I did last, but that’s going to happen when you haven’t been on the bike that long. There’s no better way to get faster than to go out and race the best guy in the world and I came out of here okay; no broken bones and I’ll work towards getting better.
They didn’t bring you up on stage, but I think you got second right?
Yeah, James and I actually tied in points I think but he got it because of more wins. Actually the overall score seemed to show that I won if you go off of last night’s results but they said we tied so I’m not sure what happened there. They had me coming into tonight with 11 points but the sheets we have say I had 12. Obviously he deserves to win and I don’t want to win like that, but at the same time…
[As stated, Justin was awarded the victory after this interview.]
What about the new team and this Yamaha for you? How’s that adaptation been?
I love it man, it’s awesome. Like I said earlier, I moved to North Carolina and the whole Gibbs team is treating me like family. I think it’s going to fit me well, I’m here for the next two years and I’m looking forward to testing and trying to get better as a motorcycle racer.
You’re going to take your new number of 23?
Yeah, I’ll use it. Michael Jordan, Lebron James – here comes Justin Brayton! (Laughs)
Brayton, #114, set the fastest lap on night two.
It looked like you were the second fastest guy in the all-important whoops. How did this bike work for you there?
Yeah, I think I was as well. I thought that a few passes I made were good but a few I made there were surprising to me. The bike works great and I can’t wait to get on the 2010.
Any riders surprise you out there?
Anytime you come here, the French are fast. It’s a tight arenacross-style track and those guys can ride it pretty good. Some of the Americans underrate the riders here, but it’s my fourth year of coming here so I know which guys are good. It seems like they can’t go the distance in the main event, but they can throw down one lap for sure. I knew coming in that I would be the second fastest guy here behind James. I just thought that I could go good here. Unfortunately I didn’t get the win and I’m bummed about that to be honest, but it’s okay. I’m getting to know the team, getting to know my mechanic better and I’m excited about everything.
Thanks for that sandwich earlier, I appreciate it.
No problem Matthes, you’re the man.
I don’t think I am, but thanks bro. How about Heath here getting some chicks? [Brayton’s man-friend Heath was chatting up a blonde after the race and even got her number.]
Yeah, that’s the way I roll. Well that’s the way Heath rolls, I guess. If I can’t get them, he can. I’m just the man in the shadows to him. I’m his man-friend when it comes to getting chicks. I’ll line up the candle-lit dinners and all that while he closes the deal.