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5 Minutes with... Kevin Windham

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On the Thursday morning of the recently run Summer X Games 15, Kevin Windham stood alone in the entrance of the GEICO Powersports Honda 18-wheeler. Shirt off and drinking a bottle of water, Windham was relaxing after just finishing up the opening practice session for Super X discipline. It had been quite a while since Kevin Windham rode around on his Honda CRF450R motocross bike, sharing a track with other world-class riders. In fact, and if we have it right, the last time Windham actually competed was at the season-ending Las Vegas Supercross last May. Fifth in the final 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, the Honda rider elected not to compete in the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship and that was the last we saw of him. Taking the summer off, Windham had resurfaced in the South Bay region of Los Angeles to compete at the X Games in both Super X and Step Up. Like meeting up with your friends back at school after summer break, it was great to see Kevin again and we walked right on over and stuck a tape recorder in his face.

Racer X: Kevin, it’s good to see you. Obviously, you have not raced in a long time. To that end, how did you feel in the Super X practice that just finished up?
Kevin Windham: Moto X practice went really well. It’s just kind of kicking it all off for me. I’m going to do a National or two here in a couple of weeks. I’m just getting back to things, you know? This is the opportunity to do that, so I’m enjoying it.

What have you been up to this summer?
Well, I’ve got to be honest with you, I went on a little late vacation. It was going to be a seven-day vacation. However, I wound up buying a new lake house and I ended up staying at the lake for like 60 days straight, man. My P.O. Box was all full. They couldn’t even get another piece of mail in there. My grass was tall. I’ve been just like on a permanent vacation. I’ve been wakeboarding a lot and pulling the kids on tubes. I was just enjoying the family. They’re starting back at school this week. We start really early back home and my kids start on Monday. So I had a good, fun-filled summer with my family. It was awesome. We had a lot of fun and now they’re going back to school and dad’s going back to work.

In recent years, you’ve become a regular competitor at the X Games. Nonetheless, it certainly sounds like you don’t have a lot of time on the bike prior to arriving here. All things considered, what do you hope to get out of the weekend here in L.A.?
Yeah, I feel good, you know? I think I had a good time today in practice. The track is super-fun and that’s the thing – you can see all the riders enjoying themselves and that’ll make for good racing. But it seems like every time I come to X Games I kind of have my back against the wall. Like when I did SuperMoto X [Note: In 2004, where he finished an admirable fifth overall], I rode two days before and that was my first time doing that sport. Now, with this Step-Up, I’ve only done it twice: Once at a facility up the road and then last night for a little bit of practice. I always come in here a little inexperienced and just try and let my skills shine through. Nevertheless, I’ll try to take something away from it. I just want to put in a good showing this year. If I can give everyone a little run for their money and take something from it and get better, then that’s great, you know?

Word has it you’re signed-up to run a few Nationals in the next few weeks. Do you know which races you’ll show up at?
I’m actually going to do Unadilla. I’ll probably do Unadilla and Budds Creek. We’ll see.

Okay, buddy, we’ll see you tonight in the STAPLES Center for Step Up and back here at the Home Depot Center on Saturday for Super X...
Sounds good, EJ. Thanks.

Post-Script
One of six riders to compete in Step Up later that Thursday night, Windham was the very first rider to make a run at the bar. No problem for him and the growling Honda, he easily pole-vaulted the 450 over the 25-foot-high bar. At 29 feet, Brian Deegan knocked the bar down and was the first rider to be eliminated from the contest. Windham would be the next to go as at 31 feet he knocked the bar down twice and was also eliminated.

In Saturday’s Summer X Games Super X final, Windham holeshot the main event and rode smoothly out front for the first 12 laps before being passed for the lead by Team Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki stand-in Josh Hansen. After a heated battle for the second place position, Windham would also be zapped by Jagermeister KTM’s Justin Brayton, the KTM rider claiming the silver medal and K-Dub the bronze.
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