Most American fans haven’t seen too much of Josh Hansen racing stateside in 2016. After spending the beginning of the year in the UK racing some Arenacross, Josh showed up just a couple months ago and raced to a podium finish at Red Bull Straight Rhythm. Hansen’s longterm staple of smooth talent and style proved to be in his favor down the quarter mile rhythm track, and coming out of almost nowhere to do it was a big surprise for many that weekend. Since then Josh has been quietly preparing for another run at Supercross, this time aboard a Husqvarna and doing his own team again. While making our yearly rounds of test track shooting, we met up with Josh at the factory Husqvarna test track where he was testing aboard his new white machine. After shooting some photos, we sat down to catch up with him about 2017. Read on for more…
What’s up Josh? It’s another sunny day out at the test track. Tell us what you have going on?
Yeah, we’re out here the Husqvarna track just putting down laps a couple weeks before Anaheim. Just getting it started.
So the switch to Husqvarna was big thing change for you this year. How did that come about?
Well, basically after Red Bull Straight Rhythm this year I was waiting to get my deal and just try and figure it all out. Everything was pushed back, and I think every rider this year has seen that it’s been a little bit harder for everyone to be able to go racing. Even though I did well at Red Bull Straight Rhythm, it didn’t make things go any faster. I waited until pretty much last minute, and couldn’t get answers that were needed. And the Husky – I didn’t even ask Husky for their help. There’s a pretty cool dealership – Munn Racing out of Texas, and those guys are pretty cool. I knew them from my amateur days, they’re super rad people. Chip over there and big Dan, they were the first ones that came to mind and I was like, “I’m going to call them.” I didn’t even want to try and call the big wigs and get into all the politics and go down that road, so I literally just called Munn Racing and got bikes. I figure, if people would recognize – great, but if they didn’t then it’s all good and I’m the one riding the motorcycle so I chose what I thought was good for me. So I made the change, and it’s actually been really good. I’m starting to get a little bit of help from the whole Husqvarna side, which I’m very thankful for. We’re just a couple weeks out here, literally just kind of got bikes and got going this week, pretty last minute. I’m super lucky to be out here riding. They’ve given me the opportunity to ride the Husky track, and I’m super thankful to be getting the help from Munn Racing and Husqvarna, and of course I couldn’t do it all without Nut Up.
You’ve seen all the levels of racing, from factory teams to where you’re at now. You’ve started your LVN 100 brand/team; discuss what it’s like to be where you’re at.
Yeah, doing my whole deal is a full time job. It causes a lot more grey hair then I ever would have thought. I’m wide open with it, and it’s been a good thing. It’s cool, when you do well you’re happy not just for yourself but your whole team. There are more people that work under you that really want the same thing as you, but Chad Reed didn’t lie to me when he said it was wide open and that it takes a lot of your energy! I definitely look back sometimes at what I used to have, just being on teams and just being able to just show up to the track and riding is all you have to worry about. I have so much more on my plate now, but at the end of the day I don’t want to ride for a team; I want to build my team, and I want to make it better. So that’s my goal, I hope down the road I can provide kids another home rather than what’s just out there. It’s a pretty cut throat sport and there are a lot of great people without opportunities right now.
So right now the bike is all white, but knowing you you’ll have it looking insane for Anaheim.
I thought the look of the Husqvarna was really cool, how it’s just all white. I’m in between my contracts right now; the only contracts I’m carrying forward are the Nut Up and Shift Gear/Fox stuff going into next year. So my bike is totally blank now, but I’ve got most of my sponsors put together though, and we’re just kind of getting the design down and working toward that. We’ll do posters next week and can show everything soon. It’s all a trip, thinking that I just started a few days ago and we’re 19 days out. It’s coming quick.
Follow Josh on Instagram: @joshhansen100
Follow LVN100 on Instagram: @lvn100