Sept. 2, 2009
This 15 year old moto-sensation has it in the bag. He’s one of the smoothest and fastest intermediate riders in the country and at just 15 has already swiped 9 national titles. Honda Red Bull rider Jessy Nelson of Templeton, California has a very promising future, but after his accident at Loretta Lynn’s he’s been MIA! So where has Mr. Nelson been and what’s his current status? Simply scroll down for the answer…
Hey Jessy! With a very impressive come back in the 2009 season, you were one of the top intermediate riders coming into the Loretta Lynn Championship this year, but something went horribly wrong in the first moto and you were no longer able to compete in the week event. So let's kick this off with one simple question. What exactly happened at Lorettas?
JN- This race was a disappointment to me. I had been working so hard to get ready for Loretta’s, then on top of it that “fantastical” (Danos word) 38 hour drive. Well, when the gate dropped I got pinched off on the start so I was in 23rd place, I pushed hard and by the second lap I made it to 10th. In the sweeper my front end just washed out slamming me on the ground, the outcome was an injured shoulder. It was swollen and painful!
With that crash it was apparent your shoulder was in bad shape! Tell us the current status of your injury and what you’re doing to ensure your 100% healthy before jumping back on the bike?
I just got back on the bike. My shoulder is feeling really good! My parents and doctor made me take it easy for the weeks after Loretta’s. To ensure that I was 100% healthy and able to ride at that level, I went to physical therapy and kept in shape by riding my stationary road bike. I continued eating right and doing everything the doctor told me to do. At my age they feel I can take the proper amount of time to heal properly, I'm not riding pro yet, where all that changes.
Of course, cutting healing time short can pose a disadvantage for a rider in the long run, though being 15 years old your body can recover at an astonishing rate. Can your fans expect to see you blow away the competition again before the end of the year at any of the upcoming races?
JN- (Laughs)...I plan on attending the Dodge and hopefully the Mini Os in Florida. The trip to Florida is pretty costly, so we will have to see when that time comes…
Every year we see new amateurs cross over to pro to further their careers. Can you tell the readers of Vurb what your plans are as far as turning pro and if we'll be seeing you with the Honda Red Bull crew for the 2010 season?
JN- I can't turn pro anytime soon. I just turned 15 in May and with the new AMA rules I have to be 18. I just got into the 250 intermediate class last year so I plan on riding the intermediate class for the 2010 season.
Known by many, you had a bad luck streak going for quite some time! A broken femur, severed thumb, broken hand and a knee complication were a few injuries you sustained before making the switch to big bikes. Have any those issues affected your riding ability on bigger bikes?
JN- No, not at all. I have always taken the proper time to heal just so that it won't affect my riding in the future. The big bikes fit me well; I got too big for the 85s, that is why I moved up. I could still be riding in the 85 class......no thanks!
Everyone has a role model or someone that inspires them to be a better athlete and competitor. Is there anyone while you were growing up (or currently), that you looked up to and thought, “I want to be just like them?”
JN- I have so many! Lance Armstrong is one, who wouldn't want to be like him.
You definitely don't live the life of an average 15 year old; in fact you're on a path many can only dream of! When you're not racing and working hard on the track or training what do you do for fun and just be a kid?
JN- I fish with my friends and my Dad, I go to the beach, I go to the movies, mountain bike, road biking and I know that road and mountain biking are part of training, but it’s something that I really like to do. We live in the country so we do a lot of fun things.
Setting yourself up mentally for a race is important to ensure you're focused and ready for anything that comes your way. Do you have any pre-race rituals or habits that you have to calm your nerves before the gate drops?
JN- You've been watching! After we've done all the gate prep, I get on my bike and clap my hands a few times then shake them. I know it seems funny but it’s like shaking the jitters out.
If we could set things in place to guarantee our successes for the future everyone would have their dream job. We wish it were that easy! Where do you see yourself in five years with racing, education and your career?
JN- I believe you can set things in place for your future by working hard and doing what it takes to get there. In five years I would love to be riding pro on a factory team, as far as a career goes, it would have to be something in the industry because I love this sport so much. It would be hard to imagine doing something else. I plan on being done with high skool (just kidding) SCHOOL, before I turn pro and I definitely see myself going to college. It is so competitive out there and a college education could only help further my goals.
Anyone out there you want to thank or mention?
JN- All of you at Vurb Moto, Honda, Red Bull, FMF, Thor, Factory Connection, Decal Works, Electric, Alpinestars, Works Connection, DP, Maxima, Renthal, Dunlop, Twin Air, Dano at DVS, JGR, Muscle Milk, Cytomax, Cycra, Ted Bailey mx, my family for all their help and support without them none of this would be possible, and of course my grandma Alice for packing the ice chest and making awesome lunches for my friends, Ted Bailey, and I when we go riding!