Since his AMA Pro debut back at Millville in 2007, Wil Hahn’s career has been one of natural progression. I like to think that Wil’s career is similar to that of say Jake Weimer’s; gradual improvement until he’s a championship contender. Hahn’s first full year (2008) in Supercross Lites resulted in five top ten’s; eventually finishing ninth overall in the west coast standings. 2009 saw a move to the Eastern side of Supercross aboard the Muscle Milk KTM Team, and an improvement to sixth in the final standings – capturing his first podium in Jacksonville. With three rounds down in 2010 Supercross Lites so far, and two top five finishes prior to Anaheim 2; the 20 year old took a solid second there - tying him for second in points. This is where we caught up with the Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda pilot.
Wil, talk to us a bit about your start to 2010 supercross.
Wil Hahn is having a positive year so far in 2010. The Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda pilot has finished in the top-five for the first three rounds of the Supercross Lites series.
Ah, it’s been good; I’ve had a good start for sure. I’ve had two solid finishes, and then my second place at Anaheim 2. I’d like to be up there on the podium every weekend from here on out after that finish. The team’s been really, really strong, and I’m strong as well. I’m looking forward to showing them what I can do, and being on the box the rest of the year - that’s where we belong. Our bikes are great; with Mitch and Bones from Pro Circuit contributing they have helped a lot.
Obviously you’ve switched teams, and for this year; have you changed anything else in your program?
Yeah I have; I think that I’ve changed my whole attitude. I think we’re pretty much still doing the same work, but my attitude is just a lot better - I’m way more happier than I’ve ever been in my live. It’s a good feeling now for sure; I think that makes your week go by better. Your riding is easier to do; it’s not so much a job like it has been at times; now it’s just going out there and doing what I love - I feel very fortunate to have that feeling.
The Troy Lee Designs ride came together somewhat late right; yet it appears that you had sufficient time for testing?
I was at home; actually up doing rehab when I got the call from (Team Manager, David) Pingree. At the US Open I had crashed, and was hurt pretty good. I thought for sure that I was signing with the privateer Kawasaki
team that I rode for in Vegas, and it sounded like everything was coming together with that. At that time we were also working on my two supercross tracks; we were just getting them rebuilt with Randy Poulter from Extreme Dirt. So, while building the tracks I got the call from David, and we ended up doing the deal - I’m very fortunate for that. Luckily I had just gotten healed up when I signed the deal, so I came out, and started testing right away. I had a couple weeks on the bike in November, so altogether now a little over two months - and it’s been awesome.
I’m not familiar with everyone at Troy Lee Designs, but it seems like everyone there certainly has a big passion for racing.
Oh, it’s well above and beyond the word passion. We have (Jeff Ward) Wardy, and Pingree; along with a lot of guys that have all been there and done that - that’s something that you don’t always find. Obviously they didn’t do all that they have accomplished by accident; they know what it takes. Everyone here has a racing passion for sure - the whole team. Actually my mechanic has the most passion that I think I’ve seen out of anybody who I’ve worked with. It’s unbelievable to have him in my corner. He wants to win; he lives for it, and so do I - I think we’re a great match. Everybody on the team is working for “the team”; they are not working for just one person; we all want the whole team out there doing well. If I’m doing well, and Cole’s not, or if Cole’s doing well and I’m not; were not satisfied. They want to see myself, and Cole both up there doing well - and that’s awesome. We both want to do great and that’s what we’re here to do.
You raced Hondas back as an amateur; then you rode Yamaha’s, and then KTM’s last season - can you compare this bike to your Honda of a couple years ago?
Yeah, 100% you can compare them. It’s been really nice being back on a Honda; it has a lot of similarities that I had when I was amateur; like Pro Circuit suspension and pipes, Renthal, and all of that. So, it’s been awesome to be back on like the same program that I was on when I was amateur. I feel back at home and back to normal, you know? I haven’t felt that way in a few years. As far as the EFI, it’s great; I couldn’t ask for more. I think every carburetor bike has a little bog to it and with this bike, there’s no possible way to make it bog – and we’ve tried! You land too far in the rhythm section, and you sit down and gas it – you still cannot make it bog.
Thinking about your second at Anaheim 2; at one of the final east coast supercross rounds last year (Jacksonville) you got on the podium; did that add motivation for 2010 supercross?
Yeah, I think I started off twice as strong this year, as I did last year. I’m a lot more confident and way, way healthier - I know what it takes to be up there. Unfortunately the first two weekends didn’t go completely my way, but I can’t complain about them too much either. We’ve had a solid start to the season; from here on out really see myself being on the podium - if not, winning races!
That’s probably good wrap up comment Wil, but first do you want to add anything?
Yeah, I definitely want to thank Troy Lee Designs, Red Bull Racing, Honda, Lucas Oil, Pro Circuit, Dunlop, QTM, Under Armor, PPG, Metal Mulisha, Epic Video, Avia, Rossignol, RK, Excel, Seaspan, McQueen Racing, Twin Air, Dunlop, and Renthal - everybody else that helps our team! Also big thanks to my mechanic, Matt, and my mom and dad.