Five minutes with Jimmy Jarrett
Jimmy Jarrett is a full-blooded off-roader and one of the upper echelon in woods racing world. He has several OMA titles, has peppered the GNCC world with strong finishes and is one of our top racers at the ISDE. Jimmy has campaigned for Suzuki (as a full factory rider last year) only to lose his ride this year due to the economic downturn. We chatted with JJ following the Georgia round of the GNCC where he campaigned his new Geico/Monster Kawasaki KX450F and took home a second place finish.
DB: JJ, tell us about the new bike, the team, any teething problems with the Kawa and your plans for the year
The new bikes are great. There wasn’t a real big difference between the Kawa and my Suzuki so the switch was fairly easy. The team is good. Paul and I were teammates last year and Scott Watkins lives in my town and we’ve ridden together our whole lives so it’s very easy and fun. Our plans are to do the GNCC, OMA, both Vegas Enduro-X and I’m doing National Enduros as well.
About the toughest part of my new ride is just getting use to the green front fender- that’s it. It has 2 wheels an engine and handle bars so I’m happy. The thing I like best about it is how easy the thing starts. I’ve always been a good starter and when I went to the 4-stroke I struggled- but with the Kawa it’s easy again
DB: Sponsors? Other than the machine, what are the other big changes in your program from last year?
We all have separate deals with Monster Energy Kawasaki and the JG Off-road brought us on board with the whole GEICO thing. I brought most of the sponsors I’ve had all my life to the team and there are a couple things Paul brought as well and it seems to be working.
DB: Tell us about the racing this year. It seems that the National Enduros would fit right into your style (being a strong single track rider) yet the results although decent, weren’t stunning. And then comes the Georgia GNCC and you get second! What happened? What’s up?
I did one enduro last year and almost won the thing and thought, hey this will be easy and fun…well that’s not the case. The first enduro in South Carolina I couldn’t believe how tight it was and when I saw the results I was like NO WAY!! How can them guys go so fast in that junk? I think I was 15th. The next one I was a little more prepared but still got railed- but I was like 7th so better, but still not good. Then the Alligator was going great I was 4 seconds off of Lafferty and a minute up on Bobbitt and then halfway through I blew a head gasket and my day was over. So I’m still learning and I want to do them so we will see where I go from here. At the Georgia GNCC I was 2nd off the start behind Whib’s and in the second corner I go down…I was like man this is going to be a long day. But I caught the lead pack quick and before I knew it I was leading at the first gas stop. Then Whib’s passed me and we were off. Then with about 2 laps to go I starting realizing I used a little too much energy the first couple of laps and Paul was gone but I was still in good shape for second so just hung on fought off a hard charging Strang and ended up 2nd. Honestly, I don’t know what my deal is but it seems to be working
DB: Are Six Days in the plans this year?
The 6 days are definitely in my plans this year and I think the whole team from last year is committed so I’m pumped and can’t wait to go. I think our goal last year was to be top 3 and this year it’s to win it.
I just want to thank all my sponsors who stuck with me from the start and the new ones that come on board, and my family friends and fans out there cheering us on
Here’s a little JJ Gallery that the Wolf dug up.
Slip sliding for Kato’s Nikon
Roosting in Arkansas
First turn in Florida
2-stroking en route to another OMA Championship