CATCHING UP WITH JOSH HILL
By Donn Maeda
Fresh off his first podium appearance of the season in Toronto, Josh Hill is hoping that the after effects of his off-season shoulder injury are finally behind him. We caught up with an obviously elated Hill shortly after the podium celebration inside the Rogers Centre.
So how does your first podium of the season feel?
It’s great; it’s been a tough few weeks, but I’m pumped to get up here. And I really like it up here in Toronto, and I actually got to drink some champagne ‘cause the drinking age is 19 up here.
This was a pretty gnarly track, and it seemed like it was easy to make mistakes on and go down. Did it make it difficult?
Actually, it was pretty easy to pass on. I just slid my butt back and held the throttle, and it got some spots to open.
How far back did you come from on your charge to third?
I think it was from around 10th. I think I passed like four or five guys in just a few laps. I put my head down and didn’t worry about who was around me or what else was going on. Once I started putting down good laps and made my moves.
Did you have to change your riding style to cope with this crazy track?
I just clicked up a gear higher than usual, and once I hit the jumps clean I could make moves easier. I liked the track with the ruts; it really changed up everything with the ruts. I was able to pick a line and run it while everyone else did theirs.
You’ve been down in Florida with all the Yamaha guys at James Stewart’s house, right?
Yeah, we’ve been down there playing video games every day. (Laughs) I picked up leaning back on the face of the jumps and when you go down the straightaways, it just adds a little more speed in things like ruts.
How long have you been down there?
We’ve been down there for about a month, since right around Indy. I haven’t been home in weeks.
Did some of Bubba’s speed and style rub off on you?
(Laughs) Yeah. Sitting on the side of the track watching him helps us all. Then I get back on the track and use what he showed us. So it’s paid off a lot. I’m headed back there tomorrow, so hopefully I will keep on learning!