JUSTIN HILL | GRIT-212 | SX 450

Not too often would a Supercross racetrack resemble that of the famed Unadilla Raceway on the outdoor circuit...but that’s exactly what the landscape in Indiana would showcase, as matters were underway for qualification on Saturday. Justin Hill could be seen from afar, leaping through the longest rhythm lanes with authority while disregarding the grooves that his wheels would be landing in. Executing each facet as it came to him, his times throughout the latter segment of the track were notable, and exceptionally crucial as the field would only be separated by seconds. He was willing to play “the long game” where attrition was a defining factor in an overall main event outcome, though a slight switch of the mentality would have to be engaged as he sped onto the circuit for heat one. There were a multitude of lines in the rhythm section(s) before the whoops, but his line of wheel-tapping and leaping onto the tabletop (in the longest section) was time saving and kept him just above the racing surface as laps progressed. Finding a small window of even whoops was certainly difficult, but his powering atop the moguls on the outside would be an attribute that amplified his gap over Shane McElrath who was a few seconds behind him. Continuing to conduct a significant flow in the last two laps of action, there was little that could divert him from claiming a fifth-place finish as the referee would throw the checkered flag. Fast-forwarding to the main event, funneling of riders into certain grooves would create a log-jam of sorts in the first three minutes. Doing everything in his power to distinguish his pathways at faster speeds than those who held him up, it wasn’t until lap four where he seemed to really established a prominent pace aboard his KTM. His machine was bottoming out (along with everyone else’s) in the longest rhythm section on the circuit, causing an array of panic revs and near endo’s to occur; yet somehow he remained on the throttle and on a trajectory of accruing a single-digit overall. Running as far wide as possible in the whoop section, his line on the left, would have him dashing to the next corner on the inside; shortening his distance while maintaining fluidity, with less than six minutes remaining. The clock would be winding-down slowly, causing many in the back half of the field to lapse; but the thought of knowing front-runner, Chase Sexton could overtake him “if” he gave-in, would be a defining factor of motivation as he eventually prevailed to ninth overall, when passing the final stripe.

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