Part-time schedule being considered to achieve 200-race target.
With the start of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Championship less than two days away, Justin Brayton has confirmed that the upcoming 450SX season will be his last full-time.
The SmarTop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda rider enters his 20th year as a professional, making the switch from the Muc-off Honda team for his final year of competition.
Brayton, now 36, has enjoyed a successful career, a highlight winning the 2018 Daytona 450SX and becoming the oldest racer to win a main event at 34, also achieving a multitude of podiums at the highest level of competition and four Australian Supercross Championships.
“This is it for sure – this is it for full-time racing,” Brayton confirmed this week. “It’s really hard to say those words, but this is my last full-time preparing all off-season, doing all 17 races.
“I can’t say that I might not come back for a few, there is one thing that I have been thinking about, and that is if I do all 17 this year I will be six away from 200 starts, so maybe I pick six the following year, but for sure it’s my last full-time season and I just think it’s time.
“I just want it to end on a good note and I don’t want it to end bad, most things end because they go so badly and I don’t want it to go bad and have to end. I’m on a great team, great motorcycle and still feel like I can compete at the highest level and to go out with a bang and maybe a couple of podiums would be awesome.”
Brayton’s 2021 championship was brought to a premature end following a mechanical issue that caused him to crash at Arlington, with 2021 providing the seasoned contender with the chance to farewell full-time racing on his own terms.
“To come back, I’ve pretty much done everything I’ve wanted to do, a lot of people know my story… I never thought I would qualify for a Supercross main, let alone win one,” he added. “So I just want to go out really on my terms and hopefully not crashing on the track, having a solid season and having my family a part of it is the main thing.”