Okay Justin, the Seattle Supercross is just a few days away. To be ready, what have you been up to in recent weeks?
I’ve done a lot of cycling, a lot of running, a lot of motos. I’ve been grinding hard. After the last race in Dallas I kind of took it easy for a week as far as riding goes. We rode for a day on a 450 just play riding. After that we went back to it and did a lot of outdoor stuff at first just to get some settings for that. The I was itching to get back to supercross and just get back to it. I’ve been doing four solid days of riding a week – the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday program. It’s been a lot of work, but I feel like I’ve gained quite a bit with cardiovascular and the whole bit. I’ve been trying to push for a better cardio stance towards the series. If I can have that, it makes it not hurt as much when you’re trying to win. Never ever is it easy to just do one of those races at full bore.
That’s the beauty of our sport, huh? The guy, the rider, by being an athlete, can make the difference. Being an athlete and pushing for all your worth is an advantage. Does that make sense?
It does And this is something my dad always said, “That guy that is in shape versus a guy that isn’t in shape. Maye the guy that isn’t in shape can still ride his dirt bike for 15 minutes in a race, but he is not going to do every little section, every little jump, every little corner as intensely as the guy that does train and is in shape.” Really, fitness does relate A LOT to going around the track fast. It really does. We know what it takes to push and if you don’t have it, you know you don’t have it and you’re not going to do it at al.
Do you think some guys overdo it with the off-the-bike training?
The points are not paid by how many road bike miles you did. They really aren’t. A lot of guys think that they are. There are so many things that work with a guy’s mind in this sport. Maybe those guys that are out in Florida training, and I know they do a lot cycling, maybe that’s what they like. Maybe that’s what makes them feel like they have it covered. For me, it’s all about the dirt bike. That’s what you’re paid to do and that’s what you should be good at and that’s what you should be in shape for. If I’m not that baddest dude on a mountain bike or the baddest dude on a road bike, I could care less. I do all the things I do just to be in shape for a dirt bike. All this stuff is just tools that you can try to use in your racing.
So Seattle this coming Saturday…
It might be muddy.
Yes, they’re calling for rain all the way through the weekend.
Yeah, but that’s the NW. That’s what I grew up on. I like that.
What’s the NW?
The Northwest. I obviously haven’t raced a whole lot of muddy supercross races, but I’ve practice a lot of muddy supercross. To me all that means is that a lot of guys are going to be uncomfortable with it, which makes me happy because I’m not going to be super-uncomfortable. Really, to me, a track is a track and everybody has got to deal with it. I can navigate myself around it. All it is to me is an opportunity for it to be my kind of track.
Seattle, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are yet to be run. What’s the Justin Hill game plan as you run for the wire?
I’ve won four in a row and that streak is alive and I don’t like losing. I don’t like to lose. Losing ain’t cool for anybody. Once you’ve done it, and done it a few times, which I have, I see no need to go back. That’s all I care about. I don’t care if I’m the fastest guy in practice, I don’t care if I win the heat race. I don’t care about anything except for the points.
Have you been watching the East Region races on TV?
I have been. I think it’s sporadic. I think some people have good moments and some people have bad moments. There’s been a lot of inconsistency. I was just talking about this recently: the West Region, me Aaron [Plessinger] and Shane [McElrath] have all been on the podium a lot. We’re all solid guys. If you think about it and go back, somebody in the Lites class that wins four races in a row normally has a sizeable lead. With all of us being so consistent, it kind of puts a stamp on things and says, “Okay, the West Coast is pretty solid.” Without Shane having the bike problem (Note: McElrath placed 22nd due to a mechanical issue at Texas), things would be a lot closer. I hate to say this because I don’t want to bash these guys, but it just seems like the East is super-inconsistent. I think all the guys are good. I think that Joey [Savatgy] and Zach [Osborne] and Jordan Smith all have speed and they all have a chance to beat anybody at any point. I just think there is a little bit in everybody’s game that they haven’t fine-tuned yet.
So it sounds like you’re going to want to prove a point in the East/West Shootout in Vegas.
I don’t care about it. Not one bit. I’ve got an East/West Shootout win and they don’t even mention it (Note: Hill won the Shootout in 2014). It’s so funny. I tell Fro and Ricky, “Hey guys, when are you going to give me credit for that other win that I have that you guys don’t pay attention to?” Back then it was a separate race. It was the Shootout. Now that points are concerned, a lot of people are conservative. It’s not even a fair shootout anymore. When it was a free Shootout and it was like, “Okay, let’s see who is the baddest East/West guys”, that was cool and I was lucky enough to participate in that and I won it. That was sweet.