Defending 250 West Supercross Champion Justin Hill scored a hard-fought third place finish at Saturday‰Ûªs fifth round of the AMA Supercross Championship at Oakland‰Ûªs Alameda County Coliseum in California.
After a slow start to the season the Autotrader Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Team rider has been improving at every round on his Suzuki RM-Z250. The technical Oakland track played right into his hands, as he dissected every rhythm section in fighting his way to the front. At one point he was within striking distance of first place, but a few minor mistakes relegated the Oregon native to third.
‰ÛÏThe day was honestly pretty average. It wasn‰Ûªt like, ‰Û÷This is going to be the day to end all days.‰Ûª I felt decent in practice," Hill reflected. "I didn‰Ûªt do anything spectacular, but everyone was close on time with the last practice. I knew that the track was going to break down and get really difficult, which would work to my advantage. I wasn‰Ûªt rushing the track, because if you did then you were going to hit the deck pretty hard. When I came through the first turn in a decent spot it gave me a bit of oxygen to breathe and go to the front-runners.
‰ÛÏI‰Ûªve been saying the whole time that I want to battle with some guys and cause a ruckus. It was clean racing with Joey [Savatgy], and it put me back into a good mindset. I remember how it feels again. That‰Ûªs the silver lining. It was a third, but a third that could have been a first. I‰Ûªm learning more and more about myself, and also the RM-Z250. It feels good to be a guy on the box again." Hill concluded.
The podium position moved him up to seventh in the points standings and he is excited to build on Saturday night‰Ûªs performance.
Hill's team-mate Phil Nicoletti was the recipient of bad luck when he came together with another rider in the 250 Main Event and fell to the ground. He was then struck by a rider. The impact caused him to pull into the pits and call it an evening.
Main Photo: Justin Hill at Oakland