By Brendan Lutes
With his impressive win at X Games 14 Moto X Racing slowing fading into the history books, Team Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/Honda's temporary rider Josh Hansen is beginning the often times difficult search for a ride.
Over his years as a professional racer, Hanny has been dealt a mixed hand, as good times have often been followed by injury or worse. This year after his relationship with Joe Gibbs Yamaha dissolved, Hansen was left without a bike or a solid way to get to the races. With time to think, the friendly Southern California racer lined a deal up with Troy Lee Designs for X Games and proved that he still has it by taking a wire-to-wire win ahead of a talented field. We caught up with him between sessions on his buddy Nate Adams' backyard FMX course.
Talk about X Games and the your ride with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/Honda team…
I just talked to Troy before the event. Everything went sour with Joe Gibbs a while back in Supercross, but one thing that I knew was that I really wanted to be on a Honda. I tried out the Troy Lee bikes, and I really liked them a lot and felt comfortable on them. We worked out a deal after that. We're trying to work something out for next year, but right now it was just for X Games. It was cool how it came about. Mitch (Payton) and Bones (the Pro Circuit suspension guy) really stood behind me doing the suspension and motor, but dude, Hondas are already good out of the box so I didn't really have too big of a problem adjusting to it.
What was X Games like?
X Games was good for me. I was really excited to step up my game there, and turn over a new leaf and be more on a positive note going out of that place. It was really something that I needed, though, just to kind of get back on a positive track—it meant a lot to me. Obviously, it isn't an AMA Supercross or AMA Supercross Championship, but I'll take what I can get right now. I'm in no position right now to sweep anything under the table. It's definitely a stepping-stone heading into the '09 season, though, and it's good momentum heading into it as well. I just look forward to the '09 season; it will be sick.
How important was it for you to do well at X Games?
X Games meant a lot to me. It was really important to do well, because I don't have a ride right now. This year has really made me notice that I'm kind of going towards my end point of people really believing in me. Now, it's time to step up, open some eyes, and show what I can really do—I'm just excited. It was really good for myself, and that win was something that I needed right now.
What have you been up to since then?
Honestly since then, I've hit some ramps with Nate Adams, but I've just kind of been riding and trying to figure out my deal for next year. I'm kind of on the fence right now, trying to figure out what I'm going to be doing. I'm just kind of waiting to hear what's going on.
Does it come down to—and I hate to say this—you taking what you can get?
I mean, I don't think I'm at the top of anyone's list by any means. But definitely, I will take what I can get. I think that I'm the type of rider that even if I don't have the best equipment, I can still pull it off. Really, I'm keeping positive, and I don't feel like I need the best team to go get the job done. I don't really mind. As long as I'm comfortable with what I'm signing, then it's what's good for me.
You're looking pretty comfortable on the ramps. Is there a career in Freestyle in your future if your racing doesn't pan out?
No, no freestyle for me. I think those guys have taken it to too gnarly of a level with doing backflips and 360s. Honestly, I think it might be the local taco shop if nothing materializes (laughs).