Jesse Flock put together some solid results throughout the 2019 season, building up to an impressive performance in the 250 Pro Sport and Open Pro Sport classes at Loretta Lynn’s. The Oklahoma native put himself on the overall podium, including a race win in the final moto on a privateer program put together by himself and his dad. Later that month, he showed up at the Ironman National for the finale of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season and scored points in the second moto of the 250 class, proving yet again he has the pace to belong on the professional level. Following the successful month of August, Flock reunited with the EBR Performance Yamaha team before Mini Os and put some good finishes together on relatively short notice on the supercross track. At the start of outdoors, Flock suffered a small knock to his elbow that sent him home a bit early. He focused on getting his points together for Supercross at the beginning of this season and is striving for a repeat performance at Loretta Lynn’s this year, finding his way to the top step of the podium. We got on the phone with Jesse for a chat about being back home in Oklahoma for the last few months, racing in the fog last year at Mini Os, and his ideal path to the pros.
What have you been up to the last couple of months during quarantine?
Really I've just gotten in a lot of family time, that's for sure. I've just been hanging out in Oklahoma, riding some local places around here that I grew up riding and I've been out to Reynard's a little bit. You know, I've kinda just been going through the motions and waiting to see what happens I guess.
Did you go straight back to Oklahoma after Freestone got canceled?
Actually, right after Freestone I went right back to Oklahoma and I haven't gone back to Florida since before Freestone. I'm basically just living back at home.
As seen on Instagram, it looks like some of the places you've been riding at back home are pretty cool, especially the one through the woods.
Yeah, that's my buddy's place over in Tulsa; it's really cool! I used to ride there when I was super young and it's even cooler now that I'm older gettin' to ride it again.
What have you been doing with the extra free time that you've had lately?
With all my free time I've helped my dad a little bit with work. Some bikes rides, just usual fun stuff, some video games and other than that just goin' through it I guess.
What have you been helping your dad with?
My dad does fiber optic communication so it's basically like installing wifi throughout cities and stuff, so I've been out on the job a couple of times with him to just see how it goes and I'll help him with whatever I can. It's pretty cool, I get to learn something new.
Did you take some time off your riding and training when things got delayed?
Personally, I always think it's best to take a break every once in a while. Everybody needs it. So I took maybe a couple of weeks off, hanging out with my family, and just kind of lived it up as a normal kid for a little bit. I always like taking some time off 'cause when I get back on the bike I always feel that much better 'cause I miss riding so much, so when I got back on my bike I felt great. The time off definitely did me good.
Last year was your first year competing in the A class at Loretta's, you had some solid finishes and made some progress throughout the week, ending with a moto win and an overall podium. How was that for you?
I mean, last year the A class was absolutely stacked. It was insane how many factory kids were in it and me being top five, I was one of the only kids that didn't have that. It just made it that much more of an accomplishment for me, and my dad, 'cause he put so much work into it, too. Getting that moto win was a really big moment for us 'cause I definitely felt like I deserved it after putting the work in and Loretta's was probably the best year I had last year in the hardest class I'd say.
You'd been with the EBR Performance Yamaha team before and ended up rejoining forces with them after Loretta's last season. How did that come about?
I'd been talking to them a little bit throughout the year last year but after Loretta's we just decided to pull the trigger on it. I got on the Yamaha before Mini Os so I had probably four days of riding it before I went out for my first race there.
All that considered, you had a strong showing in supercross with a couple of podium finishes but unfortunately, you got hurt there outdoors.
Yeah, in the second moto I got caught up in the start and I was in the back. Coming over the finish line, I jumped a little further than someone in front of me and I clipped their back with my wheel. Luckily they didn't crash, but I did and I dislocated my elbow and so it just kind of ended the week for me. Luckily it wasn't too serious, so I didn't have to take much time off.
You tried to ride through it, right?
Yeah, I went out there but it was just unsafe for me to try, so my dad was just like "We'll just go home, it's not too big of a deal."
Were you happy with the speed you showed in supercross and your results there up to that point?
Oh yeah, I impressed myself 'cause I felt comfortable. I wish I had more time on it 'cause I feel like I definitely could've been a little bit better, but I worked with what I had and it was great. I mean, the bikes I had there were awesome; they were fast and I thought it turned out pretty good.
Did you race in one of the morning fog motos on the supercross track?
Oh yeah, that was the first moto of the week and it was straight fog. I had to pass a couple of kids to get out front and once I got out front I was pulling tear-offs just 'cause the water all over my goggles. I mean I've raced in like pouring rain but honestly that was worst; I was jumping jumps and I couldn't even see the landing, so it was pretty crazy riding in that.
How'd the Supercross Futures go for you at the beginning of the year?
Yeah, St. Louis was good. I got a couple of bad starts but I mean I got my points but I ended up like 2nd I think. At Tampa, I had some bike problems and ended up not being able to get any points. At Arlington, I got 2nd and just had another bad start but I got all my points for Supercross so that's good to go whenever I decide to pull the trigger on wanting to go pro.
How'd Spring A Ding Ding go for you this year?
For me, I didn't feel the best at Spring A Ding Ding. I was having some body issues there. I was like a little sick, but it wasn't anything serious, just like a cold. It kind of hindered me a little bit physically; I was getting tired and I was getting arm pump which sucked 'cause I knew I was fast enough to get 1st, but my body couldn't keep up with my brain. A little bad luck but I still got 2nd overall and it was good to be up there, and it was still fun!
That's definitely not the type of track you want to be struggling with fitness on.
Yeah, normally that's my type of track; high speed, rough, ruts. That's what I grew up on riding so I was super excited gettin' there and then being sick. It was a super bummer for me 'cause I feel like I had so much more than what I put in there. But it was still fun to me, I just enjoyed it and I'm just gonna keep my head up about it.
What're your thoughts on the Super Regionals that are set in place at the moment?
I mean, I think they're gonna have to do whatever they have to do to get everybody to Loretta's. It kind of sucks that we won't get the normal qualifiers because it'll be a little bit more hectic I think with the Super Regionals. But whatever they gotta do honestly, I'm glad they're keeping it going.
Have you thought about what your plans might be after Loretta's this year and your timeline for going pro?
Well, me and my dad were talking about it and I think we're going to end up going to two or three of the outdoors this year before Loretta's. Last year I did one of them and I did pretty good, so I feel like if I did a couple I could do pretty good there. I don't know if I want to jump right into Supercross yet 'cause I mean that's a tough thing to come from amateurs and go straight into. What I would like to do is go pro for outdoors, so that would be best.