Between the  Motos: Josh Hill

Between the Motos: Josh Hill

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While many top contenders for Monster Energy Supercross were on full display at the Monster Energy Cup, Josh Hill was half a world away racing the Terex Australian Supercross Championship. After a rough start to the season, Hill now leads the points with just one race to go in three week’s time. He’s back in the U.S. for a bit, so we called him for an update.

Racer X: Okay Josh, a few things to talk about here, but first lets go back to last week. We ran an interview from our friends in Australia, and some things either got misinterpreted or misquoted about the bike. Just explain your bike situation in Australia again so we can all understand this.
Josh Hill:
Yeah, I got misquoted in an interview that wound up going up last week on Racer X where, it made it sound like I was bashing the Pro Circuit bike. I didn’t mean to come off like that at all. I made a comment that I would have been better off on a stock bike for the weekend, but I was referring to the way the track was. It was more of an outdoor style track, and it was really rocky. I was more referring to the suspension, I had a full blown supercross bike on a non-full-blown supercross track. It made it sound like I was bashing on the bike, and that wasn’t the case at all. We’re still running Pro Circuit pipes and some motor specs, and we’re happy over there.

This is all kind of confusing when you go overseas. You rode a Suzuki here this year, you’re riding a Suzuki there, some of the logos on the bike are probably similar. We’re assuming you’re just riding the bike you rode here back in May, but that’s not true.
No, we’re on a full privateer effort over there. Cale Wallace from Air Style Imports, who imports Hart and Huntington clothing, has a race truck. He just likes to go racing. He got together with Insure My Ride, and got whatever aftermarket stuff he could get through Kenny Watson, you know, little trinkets, like we have Works Connection stuff, some Pro Circuit stuff, and actually Carey Hart has let me borrow some of his A-kit, non-factory suspension. That’s what we’re running over there.

Wow. So it’s not like you shipped your bike from Vegas supercross!
No it was a completely new bike. And kind of everything we went there over with got changed over, because I got a 2014 Suzuki while I was there, we ended up just building that into my race bike.

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Josh Hill has rebounded from a disappointing first round to now control the points lead with one round to go. 
Shayne Rice photo

Where you have it now is pretty good?
Ever since I got my mechanic Jared Pines over there, everything is going good. We’ve been first or second in every race I’ve lined up for. So far together we’ve been good.

What was this weekend like? You had a double-header event combined with the MotoGP. Was the crowd massive?
The crowd was massive, some of them worked there way over to the supercross, but it was a little spread out. We were right in between, I think, the Moto2 and the MotoGP races, so everyone was trying to get sorted. Saturday we had a good crowd. I heard there were 100,000 people there, so there were a lot of people coming through the pits, but most of them were really there for the MotoGP.

You won the second race that weekend, now you’re the points leader. When you went over there, did you think “I should win this title?” Or did you have no idea what to expect? Is this where you expected to be?
This is where I wanted to be when I left to do the Australian Championship, but after the first weekend at Darwin where we had bike problems both nights, it wasn’t looking very good. I think I was 19 or 20 points down. I knew it was something I might be able to overcome, I just needed to have some good races. Things have come together pretty good.

What’s the competition like over there? We know what Weston Peick is capable of, and it looks like you’ve been battling the Moss brothers, too. Are those the main guys?
Yeah the Moss brothers are really fast on the types of tracks they have there. They’re pretty fast and the jumps aren’t as tall and steep, and the Moss brothers are fast there, they carry a lot of corner speed. You almost don’t have to worry about the obstacles, you just pin it. Yeah and Weston Peick was going fast, Daniel McCoy is really fast, Lawson Bopping was riding really good until he got hurt. And Kade Mosig, the kid I’m staying with, he’s really, really good on a full blown supercross track. That’s what he has at his house. But he’s had the worst string of luck, he had a broken collarbone, and once he came back from that, he broke his wrist this weekend at Phillip Island. Yeah, he’s an awesome rider, just hasn’t had the chance to show it.

Okay so now you’re the points leader and you have a few weeks off. You mentioned the bad luck some others have had. Are you nervous?
Hey, you have the possibility every time you’re on a dirt bike. I’m just trying to keep riding like I’m riding. I think I’ve put the injuries behind me and I’ve just been riding like I know how. And when I’m riding good I’m riding smooth. Everything is going good so far.

So you’re not going to just stay off the bike or anything crazy for two weeks?
No, I’m going to be riding as hard as I can. Yeah there is a championship on the line for me, but the big goal for me is to get these kind of results in AMA supercross.

Well that’s what people over here really want to know. What kind of a boost is this? Where are you compared to where you were a year ago?
As far as the way I’m riding and my conditioning, I’m really far along. I feel like you could put me up to almost anyone right now as far as that goes. But, I’m not even signed yet.

What?
Yeah.

So, anything happening there?
Yeah, we’ve got some stuff in the works, but everything has just been so drawn out. That’s kind of why I went to Australia, just to stay on the bike and keep moving. You kind of get depressed when you’re hanging out and it’s almost November you don’t even have a ride yet, so I just wanted to do somewhere where I didn’t have to think about it and I could just ride and train and let everything unfold.

So, just because you’re riding for Hart and Huntington over there doesn’t mean your next deal is locked in. I think that’s what we all thought!
Yeah everybody is kind of pointing in that direction because it seems that way because our bikes kind of look similar, but no, not a done deal yet.

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Hill has a five point lead over Matt Moss with one round to go.
Shayne Rice photo

So what is your living setup over there? I know Americans who have gone over there have been treated pretty well.
It’s been great. I’ve really just been going where I can work and train and ride. I haven’t really gotten to experience the nice beaches of Australia, or as much of the fun stuff. I’ve mostly just been at Kade Mosig’s family farm where he has a supercross track and a motocross track. We just ride motos, train and then hang out in the garage, and get ready for the next day.

Just dirt bike life?
Yeah! It’s just dirt bikes all day. Kade, I’m so heartbroken for the guy, he’s been putting in such hard work and he hasn’t gotten the chance to show it.

I have to ask: if you win this title, and with the wins you already have, can you make some good money doing this?
Um, I didn’t really set up my deal to try to make a bunch of money. I wanted to go hang out in Australia, I wanted to race this series and see what it’s all about. Yeah, you can make some money over there, but to me it was more about going somewhere where you could race on tracks close to what I’m racing in the U.S. I’ve kind of got it right, the tracks I’m practicing on are close to what we have in the U.S., but the race tracks are a little different.

Finally, the question we have to ask in every Josh Hill interview ever: how’s the foot and leg and all that?
I’m walking and I’m riding dirt bikes. I had a surgery after the Las Vegas Supercross to fix a couple of things and make it a little better. I think the way I’m riding you can tell I’ve turned things around. After the bad weekend in Darwin, I’ve been first or second every time. So things are coming around, I think.

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