Almost ten years ago, American racer Josh Hill came close to winning the 2013 Terex Australian Supercross Championship as a member of the Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Suzuki RCH Racing team.
Hill, who commanded the series, ultimately lost the title to Jake Moss in the final round at Toowoomba Royal Showgrounds. But that was then and this is now, and Hill is preparing to travel to Newcastle for round three of the 2022 Australian FOX Supercross Championship where he will replace injured CDR Yamaha race team rider Luke Clout.
Q: I know you have competed in Australia before. Do you like running there?
JOSH HILL: I actually spent a lot of time in Australia. I did the whole season in 2013, then I did the last three rounds in 2018 for CDR when they had the Aus-X Open. I stayed that year, then I went to a race they had just outside of Sydney, then they had a race in Auckland, New Zealand, and I entered that one . I probably would have continued to go back every year if that had happened. I really found myself a home within the CDR Yamaha team. Whenever I get a call saying they need someone they usually give me a few months warning so I can get in shape for the race. It’s a fun business. I love going there.
Q: 2022 has been a busy racing and freeriding season for you, hasn’t it? You’ve competed in the Monster Energy Supercross series, the FIM Supercross World Championship, the Australian Supercross Championship and even the Red Bull Imagination freeride.
JH: Yeah, I’ve found my niche and I love freeriding and I love capturing that and trying to make videos and do video parts and stuff. It really kept me going through the downtime of the race, you know? It’s hard to be a runner and only rely on that income for your life. It’s a stressful way to make a living. It’s cruel, you know? Most of the time I got hurt on the bike, it was always racing or training for a race.
The race is grueling. I still absolutely love racing, and there’s nothing quite like it in the world when you’re hitting all the biggest jumps and stuff. And everything about freeriding is so much fun and rewarding in its own way, but there’s nothing like winning a race or getting on the podium of a major international supercross. This feeling is unmatched. I’m just excited to be able to continue doing everything I love and to be able to freeride and be able to choose my own schedule these days.
Now I also have the opportunity to race for the Tedders in 2023 which is amazing. They also hired my little brother Justin. We’re going to be teammates for the first time in our lives and that’s pretty exciting. Justin is going to do the whole series and from what it looks like right now, I think I need to do 10 rounds. That way I still have time to get away and go do some of the freeride projects and stuff that I want to do. I don’t see myself as a championship threat anymore with racing, but I still think I’m in the top 10, especially after the off-season I had this year. I’m excited for 2023. I think I’m still competitive and not being at every race is going to make or break the season for me.
Q: Team Tedder/Monster Energy/Mountain Motorsports/KTM Racing is an established, well-funded racing team with technical support from KTM. Can you be competitive in the 2023 supercross?
JH: I think they give us competitive material. The great thing about the Tedders is that they’re all in on it. Sometimes when riding for smaller teams you can cut corners. Some things can go on the bike that aren’t necessarily what works best because they can get some funding out of it. Sometimes it might just be free coins. With the Tedders, they’ve been around for quite a long time and they have access to a lot of great gear. They also hired Sean Bell, who was my mechanic and my brother’s mechanic at Pro Circuit when he won the championship. Most recently he was with Justin Barcia at Factory Yamaha for several years. Having him around and having his knowledge is super helpful.
The whole program, I think, is going to be really strong. It is a family owned and operated team. That’s why they do this. It’s a family that loves to hit the motocross track. This is what keeps them coming back every year. Having this look is a bit different; it’s a bit more laid-back than your standard racing team that’s only there to make a profit and make waves. It’s exiting. It’s cool. I’m really glad I found this house here in the United States. It’s a little weird juggling Yamahas in the World Championship and then KTMs in the United States, but it’s fun. It’s a great opportunity.
Q: How do you think you will do in those races Looking forward to those Australian Supercross Championship races?
JH: In the last round in Adelaide, I came back from a long way and ended up finishing third behind winner Aaron Tanti and Justin Brayton. It was good. I was excited about it. We still have heats, and it’s fun to go to those races because you never really know what to expect. Sometimes they build really technical tracks and then sometimes you show up and it’s kind of a dumb supercross track that’s a little easier for some guys. Every time you show up, you don’t necessarily know what to expect off the track. It’s cool and they always throw curveballs at you. For me, I always try to be as adaptable to those circumstances and just try to get better with every race.