Justin Hill made an impressive debut in the 450SX class at the 8th round of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The defending 250 West Supercross Champion wowed the 42,411 fans on hand by logging the fourth-fastest qualifying time, a heat race victory; plus, a shot at the Main Event win.
The Autotrader, Yoshimura, Suzuki Factory Racing team regular 250SX class rider had high expectations entering his first 450 Supercross and was fast from the start, using his RM-Z450 power to routinely jump a tricky triple-quad-quad section that very few others dared to even try. With a fourth-place Main Event start, Hill methodically worked his way to within striking distance of the leader. Unfortunately, he fell after trying to cut inside another rider while making a pass for the lead but came back to finish an impressive sixth place.
"I was less than intimidated by the 450 guys. The speed was easier than I thought it would have been," Hill explained. "I was comfortable at battling the front runners. The experienced guys seem to do less dumb stuff. Riding with the smart guys seems to work better for me. As I get more involved in the 450 class I feel like I could be the guy, because that type of riding style suits me well.
"The first few laps after I got up following the crash I was trying to regroup. I had a bent front brake lever, and it was hanging pretty far down. Then I started getting the quad jump again. There was no way I was going to do that section without a front brake. I‰Ûªll have another week on the Suzuki RM-Z450 and head to Atlanta with new goals. I‰Ûªm looking forward to it."