Josh Hill is a rider who flat out has skills on a motorcycle. The Washington native needs no introduction, and has had quite a career with some very tall highs matched with some equally bummer lows. From winning a 450 class main event in his 450 rookie year, to being told he might not ever be able to compete again after a failed backflip attempt in 2010, Josh has seen it all. The young star has fought back through grueling rehab to make it back on the podium last year at Metlife Stadium, and proven that anything is possible when you have heart.
No one would argue that he could be a force any time he lines up with podium speed at any given time. With a field more stacked than ever, racers like Josh sometimes find themselves in the odd spot of not having that factory ride, and not wanting to settle for equipment that would leave them without the competitive edge they need. This is exactly where Josh found himself after last year’s Supercross season with RCH, as they didn’t extend his contract opting to go with Broc Tickle and Ken Roczen as their two man team. Finding himself at a crossroad, he did it his own route, and ended the season early with an injury at Daytona. Sometimes things work out when you least expect it, and the time off opened the door for a new opportunity. Longtime sponsor Monster Energy had an opening for two wheeled motorsports manager, and Josh now finds himself taking on that new role, rather than continuing his career as a professional racer. Having spent a lot of time getting to know everyone, and being a long time athlete, the fit is great. We caught up with him to catch up and see how he’s doing at his new gig.
So you recently hung up the race boots and got yourself a 9-5! Tell us more about it.
Yeah, I kind of had a rough injury at the Supercross in Daytona this year. Collapsed both my lungs, broke a bunch of ribs, and broke my collarbone again. Yeah, I just didn't know what I was gonna do. The immediate thought was that I wanted to get back to racing, then this opportunity came along through Monster to be their two wheeled motorsports manager over there. It was a pretty good deal, and I thought it would be good to take it up instead of going to chase a couple more years of racing.
Congratulations. Tell us a little bit about what you'll be doing in that role.
Well, I mean right now I'm just trying to get a grasp on everything and find out exactly everybody we have riding for us. You know, Monster sponsors a lot of athletes so it's getting to know those guys, what their deals are, and making sure they are dialed for years to come whether it be new contracts or simply keeping the riders set up on their day to day. Whether it be the right apparel, keeping them stocked up on drinks, or just making sure they are happy to be with the brand.
So you are a guy that could still line up and battle for a podium at any given Supercross when you are healthy. Explain to some of your fans why you would take this different route from racing? It's cool to see.
I appreciate that. It is a big change, you know? Going from where all you do every day is ride dirtbikes and train to get ready for a race, and now I am just kind of trying to take care of the guys still doing that. I felt like in 2014 I had a pretty good season, and you know ever since I injured my foot I never really felt the same or had the same confidence that I had before the backflip crash. You know, I had a string of injuries just trying to come back from that. It was a bit of a struggle. And this year getting hurt, it just seemed like the good direction to go. I was originally thinking I was going to go back to school, but getting the opportunity to get a job at Monster, doing that role, it was something I couldn't pass up. The cool thing is that I get to still be involved with the sport, be at mostly every race, be around my friends, and watch people race that I’ve grown up with, and still feel like I am a part of it.
So will you enjoy riding more now that it is strictly just for fun?
I mean, riding day in and day out is fun! It does get monotonous once in a while, but it's something I really enjoy. Since I have been working I haven't really had a chance to ride as much as I want to, but I'm sure once I get a grasp on everything that's going on and things start moving along Ill find myself at the track or up in the hills more often. I think I am really going to enjoy that. Another thing will be getting the bike set up to just how I want it, just to go have fun, and not be putting hours and hours on it. It will be cool to have a bike in the garage to just hop on whenever I want, whether it be Perris or Starwest night practice or something. Ill just be able to just go for a spin!
So is this an all-new coffee in hand, briefcase carrying, business-suited out Josh Hill now?
(Laughs) Pretty much! Except for the suit, you know. Not too many people at the level I work at in Monster are suit and tie guys. It's cool though, I pretty much work 9-5 and keep up on all my emails, just make sure everybody is taken care of and there are no loose ends. Monster was one of the best sponsors I had, and I really enjoyed having those guys take care of me. I just hope I can represent the brand the same way people did for me back in the day. Just stoked to be part of it.
So this is a whole new venture, being a guy who isn't basing his life around Anaheim 1. Do you have any plans that you have always wanted to do that you couldn't do while racing?
I mean, I really haven't thought about too much past this job. I haven't planned any vacations, but I will be going to the MXGP at Glen Helen and then the Motocross of Nations the following weekend in France so I am pretty excited about that. I think Ill just be excited, if we go do a free ride shoot I will probably go out and suit up and hit the hills or hit the dunes. You know, just to keep doing it, and pushing the limits of what I want to do. There is nothing more fun to me than just going out and hitting the hills with my buddies. Hopefully I’ll get some time this winter when it rains to dig up some lips and hit some booters.