The last two weeks we tapped GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn to give us his take on the action from Unadilla and Indiana. He did such a great job we decided we asked him to do it again, and he agreed. Read on to for Wil’s words of wisdom on the last national of the year.
On changes to facility…
I think it’s always good [to make changes to a facility], because last year was the first time and there is always going to be first race issues and stuff like that. It’s cool to see what they learned last year and applying it to this year, and even next year. To me, that is cool that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make improvements on the facilities. As far as the facilities in general, I don’t think it gets much better. We are on pavement, and as far as the paddock and things like that it doesn’t get much better. Especially for a mechanics because they are usually washing bikes in the dirt and stuff, so it’s probably nice to be on asphalt. You could tell they definitely worked their butts off trying to make it better. Unfortunately Mother Nature struck again, and I think may have hindered it a little—as far as being able to see the changes. You can tell that put a lot of effort into it, though.
On raining the night before…
It can either wash the sand out or wash more sand in. There are going to be soft spots now—it kind of changes everything. I wasn’t there but I remember how last year was and when it gets rain like that, it’s slick. It looked like the track came together really well from practice to first motos. With every track it’s different. I remember at some tracks, I was hoping it would rain to make it better. At other times, it was like please don’t rain. But everyone approaches it different.
On Roczen’s feelings when it started raining…
Honestly, after last weekend he had to be pretty confident in it. I don’t think it even bothered him. Last weekend was about as muddy as it can get, and he handled it like a true champion. To me, at that point, he was probably like, “Oh, well, whatever.” It does cause more problems as far a DNF or possible mechanical failure, but at the same time it doesn’t get much worse than last weekend and if he can survive that I think he knew he would be fine.
On handling championship pressure…
I think everyone has to find their release. I found myself going back to what I ate the week before St. Louis. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I’m going to eat the exact same thing. At the end of the day it probably didn’t matter, but its one of those things you start to second-guess everything. Everything weighs on you. Then you put a lot of pressure on yourself and once you’ve put yourself that far up you want to bring it home. For me, I bought a CR125 and would work on it at night to relive the pressure. I’m sure he has stuff he likes to go out to do to take his mind off it. In my opinion, I would try to approach it the same as every other race. It’s hard to remind yourself of that when you want it so bad.
On how Dungey would approach Utah…
Unfortunately he lost a good amount of points last weekend, so this weekend he had to be straight up and say, “I need to go 1-1 and let it play out.” That’s all he could do. He’s not the type of guy that’s going to try and cause trouble or knock someone down or anything like that—I don’t think anyone would really do that in that situation—but it’s one of those things where he had to go out and do his best and let the cards fall.
On approaching the last race out of title hunt…
For me there was always pride involved. I always wanted to go into the off-season on a good result. It was always nice leaving and being able to say, “I did good that last race, I can relax a bit before we go back to Anaheim.” It was always that chance to forget all the bad races and really end on a good note. That’s how I always approached it. I wanted to go out and to my best so I could go home and relax.
On approaching the off-season…
I’ve done it differently in the past. But these last couple years I’ve taken three weeks off, at least. I would still train because I do enjoy riding my road bike, but I wouldn’t do anything serious, and if I didn’t feel like doing it that day, I wouldn’t. If your injured or not, you’re still kind of hurt in a way. Your body is broke down at the end of the season. Taking a break give you get that time to get back to 100 percent and hit the rest button and get that fire back, because it is grueling. I always wanted to go home, take a few weeks off, relax, and hang with the buddies. We’re all normal, but really be a normal kid. It was nice not to have to stress about this and that. Maybe eat some chicken nuggets … I don’t know, just be normal for a few weeks.
Trey Canard, 1-1: Everyone is excited Trey is riding like this. It’s been a long road for him, something I’m familiar with as far as injuries, and to see him comeback and be this strong right now is great. To go into the off-season after a 1-1 performance peaks your confidence and mindset. Kudos to him. He’s rebuilt himself, he’s riding awesome. There’s not one person that isn’t pumped for him right now.
Ryan Dungey, 2-2: No one can be bummed on a 2-2. Yeah, it’s not what he wanted—he wanted to go there and go 1-1, but it was an awesome year for Ryan. He’s riding awesome, he ended it well. It’s just one of those things where sometimes … he gave it his best effort and sometimes that’s all you can do. When he looks back, he’s not going to have any regrets because he gave it everything he had every weekend.
Eli Tomac, 4-3: He waited, he came back strong and I think he was on the podium just about every round he was in. To me, he would have been a title contender had he been in it the entire time. It was pretty awesome for his first year outdoors to do that. He’s rode awesome the last races he’s been in.
Ken Roczen, 3-4: I mean, what a day. I’m sure it was probably pretty emotional. He capped off an awesome season. He rode great in supercross, he rode great outdoors and just keep it rolling. He rode like a veteran, and that’s something that’s hard to do. It’s a huge accomplishment what he did this year.
Brett Metcalfe, 7-5: Awesome year for Brett. He was basically a fill in guy. I hate to call Metty that because he’s such a great rider. I think he got fourth or fifth in points, and that’s something he has to be proud of. He rebuilt his career after a big injury and to be back after Canada, he did great. Really nice guy and really happy for him.
Jeremy Martin, 1-1: He went from not qualifying in supercross to coming outdoors and looking like he’s been winning for years. Today, obviously the pressure was off because he had already locked up the title, but he went out and put a big stamp on the #1 plate.
Blake Baggett, 3-3: I think that he had tough couple weeks these like few weeks so for him to end the season on the podium, he has to be happy with that. I know he probably wanted to win, but at the same time after how the last couple weeks have been, you have to be happy to end the season with a podium.
Cooper Webb, 2-4: He’s a good kid. I spend a lot of time with him. He works his butt off so it’s cool to see all that hard work pay off and have a great year like he did. I think he has a bright future.
Justin Bogle, 6-2: I think he was getting stronger every weekend and it showed. I saw him in the hospital before supercross and if you would have told me he was going to have the season he just had I would have thought you were crazy. But it just shows how much grit and determination he has. It’s something you can’t buy. He has a lot of motivation.
Marvin Musquin, 4-5: Marvin is a strong guy. His knee injury is not an easy thing to come back from. You have to be proud of yourself for his season. He probably didn’t have much prep time and it’s so hard to build on an injured leg because we are just recovering for the next weekend. I’m a big fan of his.