Justin Hill far from happy with start to 250 West Supercross title defense


Defending 250 West Supercross Champion, Justin Hill, locked down the fastest qualifying time at the opening round of the 2018 AMA/ FIM World Supercross series at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, but tightness and nerves halted his advance in the 250 Main.

The Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing rider eventually took his Suzuki RM-Z250 to a 7th place finish.

‰ÛÏBeing the fastest qualifier was a good start to the season. Unfortunately, I tightened up in the Main Event and rode like a dummy. You can‰Ûªt win races when gripping the bike like a gorilla," Hill bluntly said.

"I was trying to push too hard on the track and making uncharacteristic mistakes. I was trying to make up time in spots where you really couldn‰Ûªt make up time. I needed to chill out and I think that‰Ûªs a result of rustiness from being away from racing for a while. I‰Ûªm excited to work hard this week and fix those mistakes.

‰ÛÏAs far as the RM-Z250, we didn‰Ûªt make any drastic changes to it. We made a difference with the gearing, and the engine tuners did some mapping adjustments to the engine. Those changes were helpful. We also changed the position of the starting device. I noticed an improvement, although my gate for the Main wasn‰Ûªt that great. There were a couple of inside gates available, but they looked like I would get squeezed off, so I elected for an outside gate. That was a bad call on my part," Hill concluded.

Team Manager, Jeremy Albrecht, echoed Hill's comments.

"Justin Hill rode well, but got arm-pump and made a lot of mistakes," Albrecht said. "I think if Justin would have ‰Û÷gotten a good start then it would have been a completely different Main Event for him. Justin was doing some very technical things around the track, but he was trying too hard."

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