Author: Brent Stallo
From being an amateur standout on mini bikes, to seemingly falling off the map for a number of years, to now being one of the top pros in the amateur ranks, Minnesota's, Jesse Wentland has seen his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career. Wentland, now living and training in South Carolina, has his sights set on turning pro and making his dream of racing under the lights come true. Read on to find out more.
First off, let's jump back and discuss your fairly prosperous 80cc career, when you really started to put your name on the map and worked up since then.
Yea, on 80s I had some bad luck here and there, but some good races as well. I did struggle a little bit, because I was the big kid. Once I got on big bikes I definitely felt like it fit my style more. Then I just kind of found my groove. The first year was kind of rough in the B class, it was pretty stacked, but just been working hard ever since then.
So when you do feel like you really started to hit your stride on the bigger bike?
I knew I was finally hitting my stride about 2 years ago in the Schoolboy class at Loretta's when I got second. I really made a statement, and definitely figured out that this was what I wanted to do. I've put my head down and have been working hard ever since then.
Now you live at Clubmx. What prompted that?
Two years ago I trained with a guy named Brandon Haas, who is now a trainer there. We've known each other for quite a long time, as he's from Minnesota, too. One winter, he came to Osborne's with an idea of opening a training facility and mentioned me to Mark, Zach's dad, about helping me out. It all just fell together from there. I became Mark's rider, and started riding for ClubMX and living there.
Well definitely since then, you've really been leaving your mark on the amateur circuit. How do you think it's helped your career, and more so in the A class this year?
Training there has certainly opened up a lot of windows to different sponsors and especially riders. Guys like Les Smith, Davi Millsaps, Alex Martin, Darryn Durham and they've all told me about running the pro circuit, and I'm really looking forward to doing that next outdoor season.
Well that's some news. Let's jump to that in a moment. First off, how do you feel you performed at Loretta Lynn's this year?
Loretta Lynn's. I felt really good. I felt really, really prepared for that race and I just had a couple of mishaps in the first moto of Open Prosport and that hurt my overall results. I'm still happy with 4th in that class, though. Then in the 250 class, those guys are all going super fast and I need to find a little more speed on that bike. Just really hoping that I can be up front on that come Mini O's.
So what's your plan from here on out? Let's talk 2012. Any teams looking at you, and what are your plans for outdoors?Well first I plan on doing the race at Sam Boyd Stadium this year, the Monster Energy Cup, then hit Mini O's. I've been talking to a few sponsors. Hopefully get to talk to JGR, the Rock River team, the KTM team, and find someone that wants to help me out.
But I'll do all the Spring Nationals, and then I haven't decided whether I want to race the full outdoor schedule or go pro after Loretta Lynn's. It's still up in the air.
Sounds amazing, Jesse. Give me a run down of your sponsors and who you'd like to thank.
I'd like to thank Brandon Haas, Mike Evanson, and Bill Haas from Clubmx. My mechanic, Sean Robertson. Todd and Aran from Fox. Pagio from Oakley. Donnie Lutes from Yamaha. My parents. My whole family. Yoshimura, Twin Air, Renthal, and Dunlop.