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MXP Chatter With Jess Pettis Presented By Motovan

Finally, after four long months, it’s time for Jess Pettis to head back to the race track. This weekend Pettis will head to Calgary to compete in the final round of the 2022 Triple Crown Series before jetting off next week to Germany for the opening round of the long-standing German SX Series. It’s been a challenging year for Pettis as injuries have most certainly taken their toll. However, the Prince George, BC native is one of the toughest athletes this sport has ever seen and through it all, he’s never lost the motivation to be the best. We caught up with him as he was down at Gopher Dunes getting in some last-minute SX prep before flying to Calgary tomorrow.

MXP: Hey Jess, it’s good to talk to you about the fact that after a tough summer we’re now on the eve of your first race back. How are you feeling?

JP: I’m feeling great and I’m definitely ready to go for this weekend. As you said Palms it’s been a tough summer and really a tough couple of years for me, but hopefully, the injuries are behind me and I cannot wait to get the ball rolling this weekend in Calgary.

I bet you’re excited as not only are you happy to be back racing but you love SX right?

Oh yeah! As everyone knows I’ve done a lot of SX racing and training in the past few years so obviously I love SX and everything that goes with it. Right now I’m down at Gopher Dunes training at their SX track so I feel good and I’m definitely ready.

You’ve been spending a lot of time in Quebec in recent months and it’s too bad you have to drive all the way to Gopher Dunes to practice on SX. That’s a big commitment for you.

I don’t know why there isn’t an SX track to ride in Quebec, I guess it’s not needed for most riders. Even here in Ontario right now the only SX practice tracks are at Gopher Dunes and the one that you guys built at your house. I was talking to Tyler [Gibbs] and I was going to come up to your place and ride with him but it’s kind of far from Gopher. Maybe next year!

Jess is very excited to head to Calgary and get back racing this weekend.

For sure, you’re always welcome here. So when we spoke back in August you had just got back on the bike and you told me that the plan was to take things really slow. It appears that you and your team have stuck to that plan.

Yes, that was the plan as the Nationals were over and there was just no reason to rush back. I would’ve loved to have raced the opening rounds of the Triple Crown AXTour but we decided to just wait and make sure I was fit and strong on the bike. Before that, I was always rushing back to racing and I ended up sitting on the gate and not being completely healthy. That is what happened earlier this season as before Kamloops I had only ridden twice since getting injured back in January. So when I got injured again at Drumheller I told myself that I’m never doing that again unless I’m going for a title or something.

So for the past couple of months you’ve just been training, riding, and getting your body back strong?

Exactly! I needed this time to just take a step back and get strong again. There was no pressure to get ready for a race or anything, I just rode and trained and it was awesome. I was also able to do some videos and content with Red Bull so that was fun. We did some testing and got the new bike working great so that was needed for sure heading into 2023. And then I just reach a point where I knew the next step was going racing and here we are.

Sounds like the past few months were exactly what you needed Jess. So you have this weekend in Calgary and then you’re headed overseas to race the German SX Series. That’s really exciting.

It is and I cannot wait to go back to racing. This weekend is going to be fun in Calgary and I’m excited to see everyone and feel the vibe of being at a race. Then next week I fly over to Germany to begin that series next weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve travelled so that alone is exciting!

The German SX has a lot of history and over the years there’s been a good group of Canadian riders who have competed in it. I was lucky enough to race a few rounds in the late 1990s, JSR has won main events over there, Ryan Lockhart has been there, and Doug Dehann has also. It’s pretty cool that you’re headed over there and I’m sure JSR has told you endless stories about racing in Germany.

Yeah, we’ve spoken about it quite a bit and it sounds like a great series. As I said, I’m excited and hopefully the series goes well for me. It’s a little different schedule with the opening round being next weekend and then the next rounds aren’t until January, but we’ll make it work.

Jess is no doubt looking for more moments like this in the future. Photo by James Lissimore

The German SX Series is great and a lot of people in Europe pay attention to it. Like we saw last year with Dylan [Wright] racing some MXGP’s and then getting invited to the Paris SX, this could most certainly lead to some more overseas races for you?

That is the plan hopefully. If you sit over here and not do anything no one is going to invite you anywhere. It would be great to be able to do a little more racing in the coming months, we’ll see how it goes.

Well, I think I speak for all of your fans when I say that it’s great that you’re healthy and ready to get back on the race track. I’m looking forward to watching you this weekend in Calgary.

Thanks Palms, it feels good to be getting ready to race and I’m excited to head to the airport tomorrow and fly to Calgary. How was your trip last week to the Goat Farm?

It was everything I expected and more. We were able to not only test out the new YZ450F but also got to watch the Star Racing Yamaha riders train on some SX so that was very cool. I’ll tell you all about it this weekend.

Sounds good and thank you for reaching out. See you in Calgary!


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