After a so-so year in 2009, Kevin Windham is having what you could call a breakout season in 2010. At 32 years of age, the GEICO Powersports Honda rider from Mississippi is as competitive as ever and he’s having one of his best Supercross seasons in years, logging three podium finishes to date in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. We spoke to Kevin before practice at the Toronto round of the series to get his views on this season and his future.
Are you surprised at how competitive you still are at 32 years of age?
Yeah, it’s funny because I feel I still have some good riding left in me – some of my best. I feel like my age is not slowing me down yet. I feel like when I run and do some of the things I do to prepare for the weekend, it takes me longer to recover from some of my training. I feel real good about my bike and I feel real good about my riding and what I’m able to do on the bike. I think eventually you just get to where you can’t do the training it takes to be competitive. The racing is kind of the easier thing for me to do right now out of everything I do. But I feel I have some good years left in me. I let it out of the bag that I would like to race until 2014 – that’s kind of my goal right now. Obviously, 14 is my number and also that year will make my 20th season. Naturally, that depends on how many times I hit that ground and if I can keep the speed up. My riding style normally keeps me off the ground, but this is supercross and it happens eventually, it happens to everyone. But that’s the goal right now and I’m blessed and thankful that I’ve had a career like I’ve had and I look forward to the next couple of years and soaking it all in, because at this point in your career you start thinking about all the things you’ll miss when you retire.
How has your season gone so far?
It’s been pretty good. I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent with my speed, but I’ve had some up and down finishes. I’ve had some pretty good heat races and then come back with some real lackluster mains. It’s nice to be a threat anyway. Last year I don’t think we were even in contention to get a win, and a couple of rounds this year I felt like we could have won. I definitely want to get a win under my belt this year before the end of the season. I want to continue to be a threat, get some more podiums and I would really like to get a “W” in my column.
How big of a factor was it coming into the season with a bike that you were familiar with?
It was a huge factor and we’ve made some huge leaps and bounds during the season. We haven’t changed hardly anything going from race to race this year, which is a real testament to the machine and where we’re at with this team.
You usually do well at Daytona, how was that race for you this year?
I was strong this year. Unfortunately, it was just one of those races that I mentioned earlier; I had decent speed, I just didn’t give myself a chance – I think I got about a 12th place start. There were basically two long straights and most of the corners were these 45-degree doglegs, and it was hard to pass. It pretty much took me the whole moto to get up to fourth, which was where I finished. And that’s good, it just wasn’t the finish I was looking for. At that race, it’s all about giving yourself a chance from the get-go.
What are the biggest factors that normally determine if Kevin Windham has a good race?
For me, I think it’s been a lot about the start. I’ve been consistently near the top of the board in practice. And just to be consistently fast is saying something, but when I don’t get the podium it is usually because I didn’t get a good or I spent too much time getting to the front. I need better starts and more consistent starts.