By Saturday the traveling circus known as the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series will be in St Louis, and while the Supercross Class title contenders—Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart—will still be battling it out for their title, there will be some new faces ready to race in the West Coast Supercross Lites Class. Along with other riders, one of those new faces is Team Sobe/Samsung Wireless/Honda’s Tommy Hahn.
Last year, in his rookie season, Tommy contested the West Coast Lites Series and due to some bad luck didn’t finish out the eight rounds of the series. This year, in order to be a contender for the Championship, he is looking to put that all behind him and put to good use what he learned. With a stacked field, to say the least, we decided to find out how things have been going for this young rider from Kansas, and from the looks of things, it sounds like Tommy is one rider to look for to be a front-runner week in and week out.
What have you been up to while the West Coast Season has been going on?
I’ve just mainly been riding a lot, and putting in as many laps as I can. I’ve also been training really hard. I have a good trainer this year, which helps a lot, and I’ve lost 15 pounds since last year. I’m ready to work hard.
Since last year was your rookie season, what have you learned from it that you are taking into this upcoming season?
I’ve learned that consistency is really important, and even if you’re only going to get one point in a race, then it pays to get it, because that one point can matter a lot. I just want to give it 110 percent every race, because my team gives 110 percent for me. It’s the least that I can do for them in return. They help me out a lot, so I want to do good for them.
What happened to you last year towards the end of the Nationals?
The last race at Glen Helen I just came out of a corner, tangled up with another rider, and got slammed down into the face of another jump and my shoulder popped out. It scared me, but I already had a contract for this year, so I didn’t rush it, and I don’t really think I could have ridden that day even if I wanted to. I let it heal up and then came back to ride Supercross to get ready for the U.S. Open. Then about a week and a half before the U.S. Open I slide out in a turn and tore up my knee a little bit. I tore up my PCL and had to have reconstructive surgery on it. I stayed up at Doctor Ting’s office for about three months, and did rehab on it. As it turned out, it worked out well and he got me back riding really fast, but it definitely wasn’t the way I wanted to end my rookie season. In the beginning I had an injury when I broke my leg during a break in the West Coast series. Combine that with the injuries at the end of the season, and it makes for a disappointing year. I’m looking to turn things around this year, though, so hopefully I can do that.
What do you think of your competition going into the start of the season?
There are going to be some tough guys. (Davi) Millsaps and (Broc) Hepler are always tough. They are strong riders and just getting up on the box every week would be really good for me. That way I would have a really good shot for the title at the end of the season. I’m just going to take it one race at a time, though, and I really don’t have any expectations coming into the first race in St Louis. I just want to test myself and see how I do. Of course, the goal is to get on the podium, but realistically leaving the first race I want to be in the top-five. I’ll be happy if that happens.
So would it be safe to say, that your overall goal for this season would be to be more consistent than last?
Yeah, for sure more consistent than last season, since last season I wasn’t very consistent. As long as I’m up on the box every week I think I will have a good shot at the Championship.
Where have you been testing to get prepared for the season?
There are a couple Supercrooss tracks that I have been to. We go to Racetown 395 sometimes, Competitive Edge also has a Supercross track. I actually haven’t ridden that track, but I hear it’s really good. Mostly, I just ride at the Honda test track. It’s a good track and it’s pretty challenging. I think it’s a good track for testing.
It looks like you guys have some new lights set up for riding at night. What’s it like riding under the lights at the Honda track?
Night riding is awesome. It’s lit up really well, and it kind of helps you get the perspective of riding at night. It’s nice to be able to do that, because it helps me get used to riding at night, which is when Supercross races take place. We usually come out here at about five in the afternoon and stay until about 9:30 or 10:00 at night. It’s cool; I like it.
Have you ever had the lights shut off while you were riding?
(Laughs) Yeah, one time we were out here riding and the gas in the generator ran out, and the lights just completely shut off while I was in the middle of the track. I didn’t know if I was going to go off another jump and into a fence or what was going to happen. It was pretty bad, but that’s only happened once. Hopefully, it won’t happen anymore.