RCH RACING’S JOSH HILL EARNS A SILVER MEDAL IN MEN’S MOTO X AT SUMMER X GAMES IN LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES – (Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013) – RCH Racing’s Josh Hill (No. 75 Dodge/RCH Racing/Suzuki Z450) earned Dodge its first-ever X Games podium finish with a silver medal performance Saturday in Men’s Moto X at Summer X Games 2013 Los Angeles. Hill led the first 19 of 20 laps in the Main Event before a last-lap pass on the final turn by event winner Justin Brayton.
“What a race,” said a jubilant Hill. “Justin was on my rear tire for the entire race. We were 1-2 almost the entire race and he got me on the lap that counted.”
Men’s Moto X Racing returned to the X Games for the first time since 2010 in grand style as the top riders from multiple moto cross genres took to the purpose-built, all-dirt course that featured huge jumps, rollers and whoops sections inside the famed Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Hill was fast all day, seeding third during afternoon practice aboard the No. 75 Suzuki. In the evening program, Hill broke clear of the 12-rider field early in Heat 1 and never looked back to secure the automatic transfer into the Main Event with a wire-to-wire win.
“It was gnarly,” said Hill after his Heat 1 performance. “The track is so tight that you have to ride totally defensive when you’re leading. I was looking over my shoulder the last two laps to protect my position. You couldn’t run the fast line and lead the race.”
The mini Supercross-style event inside the home of the Los Angeles Lakers featured a 12-rider Main Event. Race starts were critical as early track position trumped any passing opportunities.
“The race start (60-feet long) was really everything,” said Hill. “It was such a tight course that if you didn’t break clean off the gate it was going to be tough to score well.”
In the Main Event, Hill broke first and avoided a multi-rider mishap in Turn 1 that allowed the RCH Racing rider to pull ahead early in the moto. Hill’s consistent pace and semi-defensive racing lines allowed the Oregon native to hold off the hard-charging Brayton who nipped at Hill’s rear tire all 20 laps. Hill was quick to point out how his “wide” riding style played a factor.
“He (Brayton) rode awesome,” Hill said. “He would have been faster if I wasn’t holding him up the entire time (laughs). It was an awesome race for me.”
Hill was flawless all day aboard the Suzuki, crediting his RCH team for preparing a fantastic race bike.
“Our team had a game plan to make my bike good on race starts and get me in position to break away and it worked tonight,” he added.
Tight racing had fans on their feet in the feature event with the Hill-Brayton battle taking center stage. Hill’s defensive racing lines late in the race forced Brayton to be aggressive in the final corner. He stuffed his front tire underneath Hill, pushing him up the track to gain the position.
“I needed to install a rear-view mirror on my bike (laughs),” Hill added. “It was a game of inches all day. If I railed the berm I could have carried a lot of speed, but there were times where I had to hold my line and race slower to protect the lead. It was great racing. We just come up short tonight. Justin made a great move on the last lap to get us.”