Catching Up With Hunter Hewitt
By Jordan Powell
After having a pretty successful 2011 Supercross season, Hunter Hewitt was pulled from the small confines of his One Industries private hauler, to the giant spread of his father’s prestigious factory team, Rockstar Energy Suzuki, for 2012. However, injuries and the pressure of riding for his dad eventually got the best of his 2012 season, and now he’s back searching for a ride. “I feel like a carry a little bit of pressure on my shoulders, but it all comes down to that this is a business, and I didn’t do my job,” said Hewitt. However, many people just assume that since his dad, Bobby Hewitt, owns his own team, he’ll automatically have a ride secured; but that’s just a misconception, as he’s searching for a ride just like most of the riders out there. So, we caught up with Hunter to figure out what’s going on for 2013…
What’s going on for 2013?
Pretty much, I don’t really have a ride, but I’m still riding and training so that I can be ready for Anaheim I. My dad [Bobby Hewitt] is allowing me to ride one of my bikes from last year, so that’s cool, but that’s pretty much it.
Is it ever difficult riding for your dad?
I would say it’s one of the most difficult things to do. It’s hard to explain, though. Put it this way, if we go back to the amateur days, it was a father and son deal. He would help me practice, we would go to the races together, and that’s just how we operated. Through all of this, he grew to love the sport so much that he got his own race team. From there, motocross racing turned into a business. So, that kind of drew the line from it being a father and son gig, to a business gig. That makes it difficult. I mean, I’m sure it’s difficult for him, but it’s difficult for me because that’s my dad, you know? It’s hard for me to look my father as my boss. It also puts a lot of pressure on me because I want to be a leader and set an example for the other guys. I feel like a carry a little bit of pressure on my shoulders, but it all comes down to that this is a business, and I didn’t do my job.
Do you think people just assume that since your dad is the owner of the Rockstar Energy Suzuki team, you’ll just have a ride?
I’m sure people do. If you think about it, if a person’s father can give their son what they want to do, then their father is going to do it. And that’s just kind of how it was like for myself. Everybody is different with his or her assumptions, but people do think that I’m always going to have a ride. That’s not the case, though, because right now I don’t have anything. So, it makes it very difficult to find a ride because other teams think that since my dad has a kick ass team, I could just ride for him. As a result, it makes it hard to find something for 2013.
So, pretty much you’re back to doing what you did in 2011.
Yeah, in 2011 I went to all of the races in the show-hauler, and that was rad! The only pressure I had was from myself…
And wasn’t that the year you did the best in Supercross?
Yeah, I got multiple top-10 finishes that year, and the vibes were good from everybody. Everything was good and gravy. One Industries helped out big time that year by helping get the rig out to the races. To be honest, though, it became kind of expensive. I think other sponsors thought that since they gave me so many products, I didn’t need any money. However, that wasn’t the case.
Where do we go from here? You have a bike from your dad, but what else?
That’s about it. I have a bike from my dad, and I just finished my gear deal with One Industries. I have suspension from 2011, and luckily [Jamie] Ellis, the motor guy for my father’s team, is helping me out on his free time. However, all of those guys are busy with the team, so that doesn’t leave much time for myself. I’ll take what I can get, though, and I’m just happy that I get to go to the track and ride with all of my friends.
Are you going to wait until everyone leaves your dad’s shop at night, and try to sneak your bike into the team rig?
[Laughs] That sounds like a great idea! I think I might just be loading my bike up into my truck. I could use some Rhino Lining though, so I could be a little more legit [laughs].