Welcome to our 45th Monday Kickstart of the year. While we wait for the first round of layouts from our January issue to make their way to the printer last week, we stepped out of the office and hit the local scene to find out who is in town for Supercross testing. By now you have probably seen the Roczen and Hill videos made by Jordan and DOC, but if you have not, here is your chance.
If these two videos sparked your desire to ride, but you are frozen in, then we don’t recommend getting MOTO4 when it comes up for download on iTunes today. It’ll have you packing up and moving to warmer or sandier locales before Zach Osborne’s part is finished.
The video is available now to download for $9.99, but we recommend spending the extra few bucks and getting the HD version. For $12.99, you won’t be disappointed.
Let’s jump right into this edition of Kick, shall we? In it, you will find interviews with Hunter Hewitt, Kyle Partridge, and Josh Hansen, the 2013 Supercross layouts, recaps from the numerous SX races that took place around the world, and a preview of what to buy from SPY Optic.
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].
Catching Up With Kyle Partridge
By Jordan Powell
Since his pro debut back in 2005, Kyle Partridge's motocross career has been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. He struggled for the first few years as a privateer, but then he found himself under the awning of the Star Racing Yamaha rig for the 2011 outdoor series. When things didn't work out between the two after the season wrapped up, Partridge got a ride with his longtime friend, Carey Hart, for 2012. After some solid rides that Supercross season, a catastrophic crash at St. Louis left him with a broken neck, and a blown out foot. Once Partridge was released to ride, Hart's team went through an overhaul for 2013. As a result, he's back to searching for a ride. However, he's been down this road before, and he's definitely not afraid of pitting from the back of his truck if he has to, but he definitely could use the help. This is what he had to say.
What's been going on?
Right now, I've just been trying to sponsor [laughs]. That's the truth. I'm just trying to find someone that will help me get to the races. Today was actually my first day riding Supercross. Other than that, I've been hanging out at home with my son and my chick.
Obviously your 2012 season ended short when your foot blew open, right?
Well, I broke my neck, as well, in that same crash. So, when I was at the hospital in St. Louis, they fused my C4 and C5 together to repair the fracture. After that, the physical therapist that I had been going to told me that I could take off my neck brace after about four weeks, so I did. However, when I went to the doctors for a checkup a few days later, the x-rays showed that the fusion of my vertebra didn't heal right. So, I went back into surgery two days later. They fused the vertebra together again, this time from the front, and the heal time actually went a lot faster than expected. It didn't really matter, though, because the season was already over. That was a bummer because I feel like that was the best I had ever ridden. I had good people in my corner, a good bike, and I was battling for top-10s every weekend. Now, I'm just trying to get back to that point again.
Going back to your foot, I think a lot of people think that your peg went through your boot, and that caused your foot to split open.
No, not at all! We looked at my boot afterwards and there wasn't anything wrong with it. What actually happened was that I slammed my foot so hard into the wall of that over-under table that it split open. The way that my doctor put it was this: if you were to take a grape and hold it with your thumb and index finger, then start squeezing it, it's going to split open. So, basically, my foot was the grape, and from all the pressure, it burst. My boot actually saved my foot from more injury because I guess I could have lost my leg in the crash. It was crazy; too, because I was in so much pain at the time from my foot that I didn't even know I broke my neck until four days after.
Obviously, you're still looking for sponsors, but you have a new Suzuki. Does this give you more motivation to just go out there and show everyone that you're still capable of being a top-10 guy?
Absolutely. 100%. When I look back on things, my results from last year were a complete 360 from my results in 2011. I worked my ass off to get there, though, and I know how to do it again. So, it's not about whether or not if I can go fast, because I can; it's about getting comfortable on my bike. By no means is this the last that anyone is ever going to see of me. If I have to go to Anaheim I with a bike without any stickers, I will. At least I'll look good in my Shift gear, and have a company like them, especially Beeker, behind me. Right now I have Hinson, Works Connection, and FMF helping me. So, it's good to know that people still care about me. But at the end of the day, I have a family, you know? As much as I hate to say this [long pause], I've come to a point, and I'm not trying to be emotional, where I think if the risk is worth it. Like, do I go to every Supercross race and battle for the top-10--which I know I can do--and put myself at risk for $2500? That's kind of where I'm at right now. If I can't really do that, I'm just going to bust my ass off and go to whatever rounds I can afford.
This isn't the end of Kyle Partridge and motocross, is it?
No. I'm going to do whatever it takes. I'm a fighter, and I don't quit. By no means do I feel that I can do this without any help, though. I need help bad right now. I have to do something, or maybe I'll be working with you dudes [laughs]. I'm being serious! I don't mean for this to be a Debbie Downer conversation, I'm just being real right now [laughs].
Catching Up With Josh Hansen
By Brendan Lutes
Josh Hansen has had a year of ups and downs. After turning in some top-five finishes in Supercross, Hanny injured his foot and was forced to withdraw from the series. Then after healing up in the off-season, he went overseas for a race, returned home, and was without a ride for reasons that are unknown. Now with only a couple months away from the start of the 2013 SX season, Hanny is riding a borrowed bike and doing his best to stay in shape and find a ride. We caught up with him to see how things have been going.
What have you been up to lately?
Basically, I've just been riding lately and trying to get my deals for next year figured out, but it's been pretty slow. So really, I've just been riding--that's pretty much it. I'm just trying to enjoy life, and not dwell on the negatives with what's been going on with my racing career.
Are you able to talk about what went down with you and the Hart & Huntington team?
Still to this day I don't really know exactly what went down. Carey Hart--the owner of the team--told me that he doesn't even know why and that it wasn't him [that let me go]. He said that it was an upper management decision. I don't really understand that, though, because he's a team owner. They kind of pulled a fast one on me, and I don't agree with it. It is what it is and they're going in a different direction, but I'm good with that. It's just a shame that I'm in this position, because there aren't too many rides that are available with good opportunities. Everything happens for a reason, though. It's kind of made me become more of a businessman and I have to put some stuff together. I have my suit on these days [laughs].
Going in and out of meetings?
If you can't find a ride will we not see you on the line at Anaheim, or are you going to try to put something together and do it all yourself?
I don't know. We'll see what happens; I have no idea. I don't know if I'm lining up or if I'm not lining up. It's a shame, because Sunny Garcia gave me a bike--it's just stock--and I'm riding really good. I would like to be out there. I don't know; time will tell. Right now, I'm just cruising along and continuing to ride and stay active. Maybe a spot on a good team will become available, so I'm just trying to do all the right things and see what happens.
Going back a little, can you talk about how the 2012 Supercross season went for you?
I got top-10 finishes for the most part. At the same time, though, I wanted to be up there within the top-five. Then after I got two top-fives, everyone in the field got hurt and the whole class fell apart. And as soon as I got to the point where I was breaking into the top-five, I got hurt. I can't complain, though, because I did the best I could at the time. I don't think we were fully ready to go for the first few rounds--as far as with the bike and track time, because the team had some last minute deals come together. I feel like with what we had to work with, we did pretty well. Last year was good. It was an eye opener to see that the class is super deep. In the Lites class you have five top guys and that's about it. In the Supercross class it goes all the way back to 15th. It was cool, but right now I need to step up my game, and I'm kind of in a different position this year. If I do race as a privateer, it would be badass to break through like I did last year.
So for right now, you're just trying to keep it fun and keep plugging away?
Yeah, I've been trying to. Don't get me wrong, it's a hard thing to swallow every morning when I wake up, but it is what it is. I'm just enjoying riding dirt bikes right now. I think going out and riding with some of the boys at somewhere like Fitzland is awesome. That's motorcycle riding and that's what we grew up doing--riding dirt bikes and having fun. It's pretty rad to be on the bike, staying active, and finding the fun things about it rather than dwelling on the negatives of not having a ride and being screwed.
Everyone online has been talking about the big jump you were hitting at Fitzland with everyone last week. What's it like hitting something that big?
It's cool. Fitzland is a rad place to shoot photos at. At the same time, though, I love just doing that kind of stuff. I wish there was a park--kind of like a skatepark--with natural terrain jumps everywhere. I feel like I could do so many cool things on a dirt bike. It's just addicting when you have days like that when you're hitting big jumps, and having to wait a few days to do it again when you have time is hard. The freestyle guys do it each day, and the freeriding stuff is so fun. I can't wait to do it again and show the people online some even cooler stuff.
Terex Australian Supercross Series
Round Three – Toowoomba
The third round of the Terex Australian Supercross Series took place in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, Saturday night, with Chad Reed and Ryan Marmont taking the wins in the Open and Lites classes, respectively. Marmont's win closes the point gap between he and American Gavin Faith, who leads the Lites by nine markers and Reed is now within 15 points of Jay Marmont in the Open ranks.
For Reed, this season is his first time back racing in his homeland since 2010, as he and the promoters did not see eye-to-eye on a handful of issues last year. His return comes to the delight of the Aussie's, who pulled for Reed to come through a Facebook promotion. Despite missing the first round, there is still a chance for a title, as he won both rounds two and three. Rains hit throughout the night and turned the 15-lap Open race into a muddy affair. Reed took control of the race in the early going and stretched a nine-second lead over second place, Ben Townley. Todd Waters rounded off the podium, while series point leader Jay Marmont finished fourth.
OPEN PRO RESULTS
1. Chad Reed
2. Ben Townley
3. Todd Waters
4. Jay Marmont
5. Daniel McCoy
OPEN PRO STANDINGS
1. Jay Marmont 65pts
2. Daniel McCoy 58pts
3. Chad Reed 50pts
4. Todd Waters 50pts
5. Lawson Bopping 50pts
The skies opened again during the Pro Lites Main, but this did not damper the battle between Kade Mosig and Ryan Marmont. The two went at in the red muck and at the flag, it was Marmont taking the win. American Gavin Faith took the final spot on the podium, which was his first loss of the series.
1. Ryan Marmont
2. Kade Mosig
3. Gavin Faith
4. Steven Clarke
5. Kim Ashkenazi
PRO LITES POINTS
1. Gavin Faith
2. Ryan Marmont
3. Kade Mosig
4. Steven Clarke
5. Scott Coloumb
ADAC German Supercross Series
Round 1&2 – Stuttgrat
The opening weekend of the ADAC German Supercross Series took place at Stuttgrat in southern Germany, with a number of Americans adding to the already long list of racers. Jake Canada, Ben Lamay, P.J. Larsen, Vince Friese, Jason Thomas, and Tyler Bowers were among the US riders in attendance, and they went up against some of Europe's fastest for the King and Prince of Stuttgrat titles.
Jake Canada found stiff competition in France's Boris Maillard in the SX2 class, but Canada managed to sweep all four races over the two-day event to earn the designation as Prince. Aboard a Sturm Racing Honda, Canda built massive leads over the other 13 racers, with the majority of them being over three seconds at the checkered flag. Maillard would take second place overall and German Dominique Thury, third.
1. Jake Canada 1-1-1-1
2. Boris Maillard 2-2-2-2
3. Dominique Thury 3-5-3-5
4. Jaulin Sullivan 5-4-4-3
5. Tommy Weeck 4-3-5-4
The racing in the SX1 was a bit closer, as Frenchmen Florent Richier and Mickael Musquin took both main event wins. Musquin, the brother of a certain Red Bull KTM racer in the US, struck first on Friday night and looked to be the favorite on Saturday. A poor finish, however, would allow Richier to claim the second main event win and the King of Stuttgart overall.
The Americans would have a rougher go over the two days. The highest Patriot was that of recently retired Jason Thomas, who finished fourth overall with 3-8 scores. Tyler Bowers would take fifth, Vince Friese seventh, Ben Lamay ninth, and P.J. Larsen rounding off the top-ten.
1. Florent Richier 2-1
2. Mickael Musquin 1-7
3. Dennis Ullrich 4-3
4. Jason Thomas 3-8
5. Tyler Bowers 5-6
The smallest race of the three mentioned this weekend was easily the Tampere Supercross in Finland. As part of an off-road event that takes place in the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre (that's the American translation, of course), this year's Supercross race brought in a few European racers, along with American Weston Peick. Though the competition was limited, the purse was more than enough to entice Peick to the Nordic city. The Wildomar, California, privateer grabbed both main event wins and took home 4500 Euros and a custom guitar.
FELD/DIRT WURX RELEASE 2013 SUPERCROSS TRACKS
With the coming race season just around the corner, Feld and Dirt Wurx released the first looks at the layouts the sport’s fastest racers will duel on in 2013. Only a few tracks are missing from the collection, including Anaheim One, but with 13 of the 17 now out in the open, one can see what the promoters and track builders are going for with the mix of standard and intricate designs.
SPY OPTIC 2013 LINE PREVIEW
Yeah, it is only November and Thanksgiving (more importantly, A Day in the Dirt) hasn’t happened yet, but this small detail hasn’t kept us from looking at products to put on the site for the coming holiday rush. In the coming weeks, we will piece together look books for every brand, just in time for our readers to buy the gifts in time for the big day(s).
Last Friday, we hit up Maddy down the street at SPY Optic for a glance at what their 2013 line entails, including signature models from Kevin Windham and Jeremy McGrath. Missing from the line-up was the latest for Justin Barcia, but expect them to be on the website soon.