Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Tommy Hahn has been mixing it up with the front-runners in the 450 class for the last few years, and this year he intends to step it up a notch. During the last two races he has finished fourth in two of the four motos. A bit of bad luck in the other two motos have kept him out side the top five, but he vows to change that this weekend at Budds Creek. We got the chance to catch up with Tommy yesterday before he headed out to practice.
Hahn says that solid start are key to his top five moto finishes. If he can get two in a day, we might see him up on the podium.
Tommy, how has your season been going for you so far?
Decent. The Supercross Season didn’t go how I expected it to, but I ended up getting on one of the podiums in Seattle. So that was good, but it was pretty frustrating. Next year I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board, and really find out what I’m doing wrong. In the Outdoors the first race didn’t go so great, but I feel like I’ve been getting better. I feel like my bike is getting better too with little adjustments here and there. I’ve been getting a lot of help from Suzuki, so that’s really helping. I’ve been having a little bit of bad luck, but with the bad comes the good. I’ve had two good finishes in the last four motos, and I’ve also had two bad motos as well. I’m not going to let that happen anymore. It should be good at Budds Creek this weekend; I plan to get on the podium and see what happens.
You’ve had a bit of bad luck in one of the two motos during the last two rounds. What’s your plan to get two good moto scores for the day? It seems if you get a good start your able to hang up at the front. Is the start the key for you?
Yeah, definitely it makes things a lot easier, but if I don’t get that great of a start I have the speed and the fitness to put myself up there. A start would make it a lot easier; but for instance this weekend in Mount Morris in the first moto my (goggle) lens fell out. Then it started raining, and I had to ditch the goggles. Then two corners later I was on my head, because I couldn’t see with a piece of dirt in my eye. It’s just little things like that. At Freestone in the second moto I got in a first turn pile-up, and then I crashed mid-way through the first lap. It’s just things like that, and like you said a start will make it easier. It going to come down to me getting two good starts, and then I can run up there. If I get the start, I’ll be up there for sure.
Tommy and his bother, Wil are the first brothers in the history of the SX to have podium finishes in the same night.
Your podium in Seattle was kind of special; you and your brother both got podiums in the same night. That’s never been done before, and might not happen again, unless it’s you and Wil again. How was it to have that happen?
It was sweet! It’s something nobody has ever done before, but it’s something I think is definitely going to happen again. And it is going to be us!
Has having a brother that races professionally as well helped you?
Oh yeah, for sure. He catches up to me, and then I push myself to get faster. So it definitely helps quite a bit with the motivation side of things.
So did you guys start riding at the same time, or did you start before Wil?
I picked it up before he did; he is four years younger than me and I started racing when I was four or five. So he had a couple of years to grow into it, and he started racing before he turned four. So he started a little earlier than I did, but it was a few years after I started racing.
Hahn is enjoying his time on the Rockstar Energy Suzuki, and wants to make sure he puts up results that allow him to stay on a yellow bike.
How has been the change to the Suzuki this year?
It’s been a real positive change; I really like the Suzuki a lot. It turns really well, and it handles really well. We get a lot of help from Roger (DeCoster), and they’re all nice at Suzuki. They look out for us. As long as I keep putting in good results they’re happy, and that makes them want to help me out more. I really love the bike, and I don’t want to get off of it. So I’ve got to ride my ass off to make sure I stay on a Suzuki next year.
Supercross or Motocross, which do you like better?
I like Supercross; I like the show part of it. I think it’s cool. I like all the fans and the flashiness of it. It stands out for me, and it’s really cool. But then I like the outdoors because it separates people. A lot of people can go fast on a Supercross track, especially the way they build them now. They’re just so fast and so simple. Everyone can also go fast on an outdoor track, but not everyone can go fast for 35 minutes. Twice! So I like that part of it, but they are both a really big challenge for me. I can get enough of trying to be better on both of them, so I like them both quite a bit.