As perhaps one of the most loyal veterans of the Arenacross series, Jack Brunell is still proving year after year that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
It might surprise you to know that Jack actually spends the majority of his time working his full-time job as an air-conditioning engineer. That means he actually only gets to ride at the weekends! The fact that he still totally holds his own, against some of the best Arenacross riders out there (who do ride full-time), just goes to show the sheer skill and talent that this Brit boy has.
As he returns to the all-British Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki team this year, alongside long-time friend Adam Chatfield, we grabbed a few moments with Jack…
Matt Crowhurst (MC): Rounding off our threesome of Team Green riders we’re joined by Jack Brunell here at Motorcycle Live, at the NEC. Thank you for coming along to join us mate.
Jack Brunell (JB): Yea’ appreciate it. Obviously, we come to these places and try to promote AX a little bit more, but also the thing with Team Green is that they need to get all the promotional photos done too. So we’ve always got to be available for these guys.
MC: The team has changed a little this year. You’ve got some new teammates, and all-British squad for AX ’18.
JB: Yea’ obviously, Dylan was in the Pro Lite class last year, and he’s a Brit but we also had Hugo Basaula from Portugal. So, this year we’ve got the old ginger ninja and I get on with him so well. We train together all the time anyway, so riding together will make us push ourselves harder. I’m getting on with the bike even better this year because we have more time. Last year was all a little bit rushed with the Team Green thing, so I’m really looking forward to it this year.
MC: You still did really well in the last tour at the start of this year. Now with better preparation, will that make all the difference? When you talk about preparation, what sort of things have you been doing, that will make the difference?
JB: I made every round final last year. Didn’t have to get any wildcards or anything so was really happy with that. Got one podium, bit disappointed I didn’t get anymore as I wanted to win a few rounds, but I managed to get through the whole series- made all the finals and got as many points as I could. The last round at Wembley wasn’t that great, I got hit and taken out, but it was a good series and I enjoyed it. This year I am just trying to get ready fit. I did a little bit of motocross this year and ended up hurting my thumb which put me out for a few months. However, I’ve been back riding, did the European championship Supercross in Poland and managed to get a fifth which again, was okay. I just keep plugging away and been doing some training and little races and just trying to get the bike set up correctly.
MC: You mentioned motocross there and that’s obviously the part of the sport that most people get a play with as not everyone has an indoor track to play with. How do you find motocross compared to indoor racing and how does one help the other?
JB: When I did Arenacross, I felt really good, but motocross is something different. I know a guy called Lee at ACIS Scaffolding who had a team. His rider dropped out so I said I would just fill in for the motocross. I wish I never said it, I absolutely hated it, I mean the first round was at Culham and I’d just come out of Arenacross. All nice and clean and get to Culham for practice, I’m smothered. First race, smothered…Last race, smothered. I hated it, so didn’t really enjoy the motocross too much and probably won’t be going back anytime soon, I would rather just do the Arenacross stuff as that is what I enjoy doing and really good at. Obviously, I have a full-time job. So, my skill is Arenacross, I enjoy doing it and motocross you’ve got to train to hard and obviously have a lot of time on the bike.
MC: So that makes the excitement for Arenacross coming around all the more?
JB: It does, you can’t wish for it come any around any quicker. The guys, that are doing some of the French championship races are really lucky but, then again, I couldn’t do that as I would just have to have too much time off work. I just want Arenacross to get started, and get going.
MC: Talking about the races themselves, you mentioned the last stop at Wembley earlier this year. There was a little bit of argy bargy’, I asked Adam about this and it’s always interesting for someone who is kind of new to the sport to know … how do you deal with the fact that this non-contact sport is often quite a contact sport?
JB: There is always going to be contact. It was the last round and it was stupid. The guy that took me out was silly really and it didn’t really have to happen, but it happened. I mean, you’ve just got to try and stay safe. Like last year, I stayed good all the way through, was up there at the end of the championship trying to push. I felt really good in the last round and then that happened, so ended up with sixth in the championship. It gives me number six on the number board, so it should be cool.
MC: What sort of preparation do you do with the bikes themselves to get them ready for Arenacross? How do you set them up differently for each of the stops, are there any changes that need to be made or are they good to go?
JB: Obviously you change the suspension, just to make it harder for supercross and then it’s just the exhaust system and the gearing really. This year we have had a lot more time and hopefully we will have a really good bike with the fes different bits we’ve added to the engine, different ignitions, and so on – it should be really good.
MC: Alright, we will try to keep control of Jeff Perret on the mic and make sure he is not too biased for 2018. But good luck in 2018 Jack!