Monday Conversation:  Josh Hill

Monday Conversation: Josh Hill

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Josh Hill didn’t win this year’s Terex Australian Supercross Championship. Although he led the points heading into the final round, his season instead ended in disappointment, confusion and controversy, courtesy of a take-out move by Jake Moss, which knocked Hill out of the series’ finale and out of the points lead. The benefactor? Jake’s brother Matt, who won the main and overcame the five-point deficit on Hill to take the title.

This move is quite controversial, and we’ll try to get both sides of the story by getting in touch with some of our friends in Australia, who will get an update from the Moss camp. For Hill’s side, our Eric Johnson rang up Josh yesterday afternoon to get his take.

Racer X: Okay, Josh I still haven’t seen the video of last night’s race from the Toowoomba Royal Showgrounds. However, I’ve heard all sorts of things from the guys at Transmoto in Australia as well as people in America. Just what in the world happened with Jake Moss that cost you the Australian Supercross Championship?
Josh Hill: I got like a fourth place start and kind of came through the pack and I had just passed Jake Moss about as clean as you could possibly make a pass. I got up on the rear wheel of Matt and had the inside covered about as tight as you possibly could and I just heard Jake coming and he was aiming for the inside of the bales so I tried to get as close to the inside bails as I could and he just kind of hit me from behind. He pushed me and lifted me up and threw me into the bales and I crashed. That was pretty much the end of the story. It was kind of a cheap shot deal because I think he was actually intending [to go to the inside of] the bales just to T-bone me. If you look at the videos and everything and you could see that there was no way he was going to stay within the track markers. He was coming into a 180-degee hairpin.

When he actually hit you, what went through your mind? Do you remember?
He had already been stating that he was pretty much using himself to help his brother win the championship and if that meant taking me out, he’d do it, so I already knew that I had a target on my back, but I didn’t expect him to cut the course to do so, you know?

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Josh Hill would finish third overall in points following a DNF at the final round.
Shayne Rice photo

Could you see what he was doing out of the corner of your eye at all?
Yeah, I made the cleanest pass that I could and I was on the far inside of the corner. I could feel him inside me so I tried to move over and I skidded my angle so he would have to hit his brakes. He was going to cut the course regardless

What place were you in at this time, Josh?
I was in second place at the time. I had just finished the second lap and I ended up turning the fastest lap time of the whole night in that one lap I was timed while I was coming through traffic.

What place did you get back to?
I DNFed. I rung my bell a little bit and bent my motorcycle up and there was really no need to continue. I was definitely seeing stars for a little bit and had the air knocked out of me. By the time I got off of me I was about to be a lap down.

Are you heartbroken or are you more like, “Whatever, man, if that’s how it goes.”
It’s one of those things. I would have loved to win the championship and just brought it home for everybody that put everything into this privateer effort. To win the championship would have pretty cool. I guess that’s just the way it goes down here. It’s kind of disheartening to see the way the promoters and officials handle things here because he made it clear going into it he was going to use himself to try and further his brother.

Did you go talk to the Moss brothers after the race?
You know what … it was one of those things where when I was walking down to the medic unit just to go get some Advil and I ended up walking past Matt Moss. I kind of just congratulated him on his win. There was really nothing to be said. There was really nothing to be done with situation but physical harm, but I figured it really wasn’t worth putting myself in that position and stooping to that level. I was just the bigger man and toughed it out and I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Did you know the Moss brothers before going down there?
Yeah, Matt has always seemed to be a pretty respectable person and I’ve never had any issues with him. With Jake, the last three weekends, every time I’ve gone out to try and set the fastest lap, he’d purposely try to block me from and try to get in my way. It was things like that. It’s kind of funny, I guess. It’s just stuff that wouldn’t really fly back in the U.S.

What was the general consensus after all was said and done? Could you get a read on that?
I think the general consensus of it was that it was a cheap move. I didn’t go the podium or anything like that, but from what I have heard they weren’t shown too much respect up there.

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Hill entered the final round with a five point lead over Matt Moss.
Shayne Rice photo

Have you been able to talk with the RCH guys back here in the U.S after all this crap went down?
Yeah, they’re bummed that it happened but everybody is happy that I’m coming home safe. I think I proved that I was the fastest guy over here and it’s just one of those things that if the brother had not intervened I definitely would have been the champion.

Too bad you didn’t have your brother Justin down there, huh?
My little brother probably would have beat everybody. He’s on the gas right now. I think he’s trying to show the potential he should have shown last year. Injuries and just not having that confidence held him back. I keep telling Justin he is good enough to win and anything else should be unacceptable in his mind. He’s quite a kid and I’m pretty proud of him. I just want to see him do the best he can.

You missed out on this Australian Supercross title, but in the grand scheme of things are you just going to shake this deal off and get back here and start getting for the 2014 season?
Like I said, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I feel like I’m on fire right now and had it not been for that little cheap shot by Jake Moss I would have won the championship easily. I feel the best I have in years. I think that the old me is going to be showing up. I really think I’m going to be in the mix at the front of the pack to remind people why I’m still doing it.

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