News 2 Nov 2022

Brayton intends to extend international career through 2023

Ever-competitive American planning to enter at least one more WSX season.

Image: Foremost Media.

The dynamic of the World Supercross Championship (WSX) has Justin Brayton intending to extend his international career through 2023, planning to race-on for at least one more season despite retiring from full-time US competition.

This year marked Brayton’s 20th season as a professional and he contested the Monster Energy Supercross and WSX championships with MotoConcepts Honda, also returning to Australia with Honda Racing in a bid for a fifth Australian championship.

Earlier this year the 38-year-old – who still ranks as the oldest 450SX winner in history – announced that he would draw a close from a full-time racing career at the end of the season, however, he did say a part-time schedule in the US wasn’t off the cards in a bid to reach 200 starts.

Brayton stepped back from Lucas Oil Pro Motocross after 2016 and came to Australia that year to contest its domestic supercross championship, marking the start of a four-year SX1 title-winning streak with Yarrive Konsky’s Honda Racing team.

Having been in WSX championship contention right down to the final race this year, Brayton revealed across the second round at Marvel Stadium that he would like to compete in the SX Global-led series again for 2023. He’s yet to commit to a team beyond this year.

“I did retire in the US, but over the phase of my career and having kids, if you look at really all sports – I’ve got friends in all sports across the world – I think just stopping anything that you are so passionate about is really dangerous, as far as just your life overall,” Brayton explained.

“The first thing that I crossed off was motocross in 2016 and I replaced that with five or six races here in Australia. That was a big part of a life decision, to experience the world and I was previously able to come here actually with Craig Dack in 2010 and I just fell in love with the country.

“Fast-forward to now, I’ve got three kids, businesses in the US and what’s next to cross off without crossing everything off and that was the 17 rounds in the US. Obviously, it is so competitive, but I think I can still focus on, like they were saying earlier maybe eight to 10 rounds [of WSX] next year.

“I feel like I can do that for a couple more years and go into my 40s. I think you are seeing that overall through sports globally, just being able to balance my family and then also the time it takes. I could race US supercross for another two or three years if I really wanted.

“But I wouldn’t be able to be a good dad and a good husband and I don’t want to do that. I still think I can do that with doing eight or 10 races a year, so I think you will see me for at least another year, but possibly two.”

In its 2022 ‘pilot’ season, the WSX championship was contested across two rounds, with next year’s series expected to expand to up to 10 – more likely six to eight rounds – before potentially expanding to as many as 13 featuring on the 2024 calendar.

Brayton ultimately finished fourth in the WSX title race this year and is currently equal points-leader with CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Aaron Tanti at the halfway point of the four-round 2022 Australian Supercross Championship.