Privateer Profile:  Sean Hackley

Privateer Profile: Sean Hackley

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Derailed by injuries, former amateur sensation Sean Hackley has struggled to get his career going in the right direction. But after showing the speed outdoors that once made him one of the hottest prospects in the amateur ranks, Hackley was signed by the Munn Racing KTM & Moto Innovations team for next season. We caught up with the Texas native to talk about his new deal, 2012, and more.

Racer X: First off, congrats on your new deal with Munn Racing KTM & Moto Innovations for next season.
Sean Hackley: Thanks. Yeah, signed with those guys a few weeks ago and just been getting things together for testing and getting use to seeing an orange front fender when I look down.

You’re making the switch from Kawasaki to KTM next year. How are you adjusting to the new bike?
It’s really good. I’m really comfortable with the bike and everything like that. The brakes on those things are awesome, and you’ve got the hydraulic clutch too. And I think the best part of that is that I have a button to start my bike, so it makes it pretty easy [laughs].

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Hackley has signed with the Munn Racing KTM & Moto Innovations team for next season.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

You’ve had some ups and downs to begin your career. Now you finally have a team backing you for an entire season. How much has this deal meant to you?
Ever since my first year it’s been … not so great. But this year I got healthy and started doing some races, and having these guys back me for next year is going to help so much. It’s a huge relief and just stress off my back to be able to actually go to the races now and be able to worry just about racing instead of bike tech, driving, and all of those other things.

Injuries have played a major factor in the early part of your career. How has that affected you on the track?
It was defiantly a big bummer in ’07, which kind of set me back for sure. I guess it wasn’t too many injuries, they were just all back-to-back right at the beginning of the season and it just shut me out. I mean, it took me down a little bit, but I had to keep moving forward. I couldn’t let that get me down—I had to keep pushing and pushing.

And you actually were injured right before supercross season last year, right?
Yeah, I tore the labrum in my shoulder. But when it came out it also messed up some nerves. The labrum wasn’t that bad, it was just getting the feeling back in my arm. They were like, “It’s only going to take three weeks for the labrum to heal up, but give it a couple of months before you get the feeling back in your arm.”

You missed all of the supercross season last year with an injury. How are you getting back into the swing of things?
I really love supercross. We have a couple of tracks around here in Texas now, so I’ve been getting to ride on some tracks recently. Basically just adapting back to it, which hasn’t been bad at all, but it’s definitely a lot better now that I have a support group behind me and don’t have to do it on my own.

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Hackley has experienced his share of ups and downs throughout his career.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

Do you have an idea of what coast you’ll be riding next season?
Actually, no, but most likely East Coast. I still plan to be ready for West Coast if something changes—which I think is always the ultimate goal, to be ready to whatever coast I get called to.

You reached a big goal this season, getting inside the top 100 in numbers. What has that meant to you?
It took me long enough, huh [laughs]? That was one of my goals at the beginning of the year. It seemed like at the last two rounds I was always at 94, and then the amateur kids would come and bump me out and I was just like, “Come on, now!” [laughs]. I feel a lot better now that I can go to a race with a two-digit number—whether it be 10 or 99, I’m just happy that I have two digits now. I feel better going into the race, and it will be cool to also be in the supercross catalog and stuff now.

You were coming off an injury last year to start the outdoor season, but you progressed as the season went along.
Yeah, I definitely feel like I progressed. I got released to ride the Saturday before Freestone, so I went an practiced for two or three weeks and then showed up to Budds Creek. I wasn’t really ready, obviously, being off the bike for that long, but instead of pounding out laps where no one could really see and then getting injured and not being able to race, I just came back into it and started to build along throughout the year. The guys from DEP really helped me out a bunch, getting to the races and stuff like that—you know, got some points, had some good motos, but had some bike problems as well. But that’s just part of racing.

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For the first time in his career, Hackley will sport a two-digit number in 2012.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

Are you going to be training down in Texas all off-season?
It’s November right now, and I think it was 80 degrees yesterday, so I’ll be here as long as I can. When it starts snowing I will probably go to California or Georgia. I think we’re going to have a good winter this year, so I’m looking forward to staying home and basing everything out of my house.

Every guy has a different training routine, things they like to stick to. How big is it for you to be able to do all your training in your hometown?
For me, there’s really nothing better than being home. I have my family here and all that. That’s where I’m most comfortable. Like I said earlier, we have a bunch tracks in different areas. Within two hours of me I have probably ten or twelve different tracks I can ride. And all the riders in Texas get along pretty good, so we all share our tracks and stuff. I’m actually looking to build my own track, and Lance [Vincent] will be able to come down, so it should be a really good off-season.

Thanks again, Sean. Who would you like to thank for helping you out?
Yeah, I would like to thanks Moto Innovations, Ankle Savers, Munn Racing, EBR, DEP Pipes, KTM and KTMTalk.com. And then the people that helped me this past year: Cycle Nation Powersports, the guys at Team Green, Troy Lee Designs, Alpinestars, DP1 Filters, QR Racing, and MGX Graphics.
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