Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Justin Hill won his first career 250SX main event in San Diego on Saturday. Following a tumultuous rookie season, the Washington native’s career has turned the corner in his second professional season. We spoke with Hill following his win.
Racer X: You’ve been going fast all year, especially the last couple weeks. So when you go to the gate now are you thinking tonight could be the night? Were you thinking that?
Justin Hill: Absolutely. I line up every race thinking, “Hey, I need to win this thing.” Definitely couple weekends ago, my first podium in Oakland, I led a lot of laps and it was just a great experience because I just learned so much being out there with those guys, up front, leading laps, figuring out where I made a lot of my mistakes and where I needed to cut the track off. I really took a lot of that knowledge in the night, and when I got out front I was like, “Hey, this is familiar, now I know what to do.” So it was great. I felt really comfortable out there. I think I had, if there was ever one, a perfect race. I was pretty flawless. I didn’t make any mistakes and never really got out of shape. It’s a great night. I’m excited.
And you proved it because it was some of the same guys you battled in Oakland and this time they didn’t catch you.
Yeah, Anderson and Deano, they both got me at Oakland. I just capitalized on all the mistakes that I made last time and wasn’t going to let them catch me. I’ll tell you what dude, lap 9 I see Anderson, he’s in 2nd, that’s not a good feeling. But I just tried to be solid. I tried to hit my marks and just be smooth and just ride like I know how and it worked.
What changed with you between last year and this year?
Definitely being healthy. I have had very minimal injuries in my life and my career. I had three in a very short span of time and it just really messed with me. I hadn’t been off the bike that much before in my life. That messed with me a lot and I just needed that confidence back, really. It was just the confidence. After the season I went home and just kind of found myself and had fun riding again and came back to California with a vengeance. I wanted to do this. I wanted to do this all last year. Deep in my heart I knew I was good enough to win the whole time, I just needed to find the ingredients to make it happen.
You look like you’re more aggressive, charging harder. Is it that simple sometimes?
It really is. It sounds really stupid, but honestly, yeah. I’m just out there and being that I’m comfortable I can just drop the hammer. That was what I lacked last year and that’s what I’m hoping I can carry into outdoors now and to the rest of the rounds in supercross. It does sound stupid, but yeah, just a little bit of extra juice and you can just drop the hammer. Now that I’m confident and comfortable it’s all uphill.
Do you wish you had a race next weekend?
I actually do now. I wish I could show up and be like, “Last week’s winner, Justin Hill.” That’d be a cool deal. But it’s all right. I’m just pumped. I’m third in the championship now I believe, and that’s great. I love that. Nobody made points on me tonight so that’s a good feeling. That’s a good way to make the night. I’m going to cherish it and Monday morning get back to work!