Fast Talk: A Few Minutes with MX Champ Jesse Hodges
Jesse Hodges, 32, has been a fixture in the MX scene at Rocky Mountain Raceways and has won numerous races and championships. In 2015 he captured the Over 25 A class, Over 30 A, Open Pro, 450F pro and was also named 2015 Racer of the Year/Overall Champion. He recently spent a few minutes talking to RMR Marketing Communications Manager Jim Burton.
How did you get started in motocross?: I’ve been riding since I was four. My dad bought me my first motorcycle. He used to race motocross. My cousin (Shane Turpin) is a professional AMA street bike racer.
So, how did you get involved in MX racing, was that just the natural progression for you?: I just decided I wanted to start racing when I was 20, and I did. I started when I was 20 in Intermediate, I skipped Junior and Beginner because I’d been riding my whole life. (Before I was 20) I did freestyle. I free rode, I raced BMX for a lot of years growing up.
You’ve done really well racing at RMR, what was it like for you to progress through the different classes?: I’ve done pretty well in general most of my racing career. I’ve always rode 450s — well, 250 2-stroke — and then 450s. I just started hanging out with friends who raced and I just decided one day, I want to race. So I signed up for Intermediate, got 3rd my first race, decided I liked the competition side of it and just moved up.
During the season we happened to get a picture of you helping your son (4-year-old, Jason) ride his bike in after a race, what’s it like watching him race? It must be fun: It is fun, a little nerve-wracking, but it’s fun. I think (racing) is good for him. It teaches him skills.
As a father, being on a different side of the track, is it sometimes hard to watch?: No. I mean, when he crashes, yeah it is, but other than that, no. I enjoy the progression. I like to see him. I work with him a lot, his mom (Heather) works with him a lot. She was the No. 1 woman (racer) in Utah for a lot of years.
Well, it probably won’t be long before he’s out there dominating. He’s got a pretty good lineage between dad and mom: I hope so, for his sake.
Curt Stewart, our MX manager at RMR, has been working very hard to change the layout of our MX track. Have you seen it yet?: Yeah, I’ve got the layout. Him and I talk once a week. I think he’s just about done screening, so he’s gonna start building now and start cutting lanes. I’ve been going over some jump stuff with him, if I can help him.