Justin Hill has been having a great SX season, with 4 wins and a worst finish of 5th, he is poised to win the 250 West Coast. This Saturday at Seattle SX, Justin Hill finished 2nd place on the night and keeps an 18-point lead heading into Salt Lake City. We got a chance to talk to him one on one after the race.
Here’s what he had to say about the race:
Moto Now: Alright so 2nd place, firstly just tell us about that main event.
Justin Hill: Yeah, it’s a bummer, I don’t like to lose, but I think I played it smart and did exactly what I needed to do. There was some stuff I think I could have done to really make a run at it, but it was gnarly and [honestly] there was so much to be lost out there. I’m happy, I rode solid to be on the podium and I only lost 3 championship points which is not the end of the world [as] we still got a good cushion. I’m happy, we’re through Seattle and I thought it was going to be a complete mud hole and it was going to be a major shakeup, so to just come out second, that’s okay and I’m alright with that. We got two more and the chances of me winning the [championship] are greater now than before tonight with the lead I got so I’m happy.
Going into tonight, 21 points is pretty big with 3 races left, is that in your head all day and when you’re racing?
It really wasn’t and I really didn’t think about it, but when I was out there having to take chances and having to really lay it all down while worrying about how the track was shaping up, was when I really thought about it. Then I thought, you know I could float in and get this race over with (laughs), it was almost like a live to fight another day kind of thing. I don’t like to give up and I didn’t, but I definitely played it safe and I honestly think that was necessary tonight.
From the press box it just looked gnarly, I can’t even imagine what it looked like from down there. Can you talk about just how bad the ruts were? it just looked like it was ever-changing.
Yeah, it was some of the softest we’ve ever ridden on. The dirt started out really sticky and then when you rode on it, it just squished, but then towards the main it started to get pushed away and there was more so berms then ruts and it just got so deteriorated. Things that you thought would be there this lap, weren’t there. It just all went away. It wasn’t really what you did right, it was more of what you didn’t do wrong, so I tried to not do a lot of wrong (laughs), and yeah I’m pumped.
Was there one particular section that was giving you the most trouble?
Yeah I would say the back section that Aaron was easily doing the 3-3-3. With him being a tall guy, it seemed to work pretty easy for him and I was just having a hard time with it. When I would get in [the ruts], I would just get in them too much and I just didn’t have the stretch to pull myself out of it and I think that played a big part on the race. You know there was quite a few things out there that like I said If I had to take the chance, if I was two points down and I had to do it, I think it could have been different, but that wasn’t the case and I’m happy with what I did. I think I made the right decisions.
So you guys just had a long break, Can you just tell us what exactly goes on during that break? Are you preparing for outdoors? Are you thinking about the championship?
Well, I mean… especially when you’re in a position to win the title indoors, I’m never a fan of going outdoors at all. I don’t like it very much just because I just think it breaks the stride when you have 4 wins in a row and you’re in a rhythm. I didn’t want to get out of it and it definitely takes you out of it. It just puts you in a whole different thing, it’s not so much the bike, it’s not so much your fitness or anything else, its just your mind. You come back different then you left and I didn’t want to do that, but that’s just the deal, that’s the 250 west break and I can’t wait to not do that (laughs). I just want to do the 450 schedule and gain every time I can and never break the rhythm. I’m looking forward to that most of all.
Before the break you said that you wanted to get on a 450, did that happen?
I did a little bit, but we didn’t want to take the chance and race any races. I’m a 450 guy and I have a hard time riding the little bike good so I’ve had to learn kind of how to do it. Moving forward that’s what I’m looking forward to do. I want to get this championship done with and do my best to finish it out strong and more pressing, I just don’t want to lose anymore. I don’t like it.
Photo from Ultimate Motorcycling