Interview: Kevin Windham
GEICO Powersports Honda's Kevin Windham is the elder statesman of the AMA Supercross Championship.
GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham is the elder statesman of the AMA Supercross Championship. And by “statesman”, we mean it. He’s a great representative of the personality and genuine nature of the sport of motocross. And by “elder”, we mean that, too. He’s 33, and he just landed on the box in Seattle, finishing second to James Stewart in the main event. We caught up with him after the main event.
Motocross.com: You were fast all day, obviously, and everybody knows when tracks get super technical that…
Kevin Windham: I piss excellence. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Well, knowing the conditions, and winning here last year, does that help you coming in to a race like this?
It certainly doesn’t hurt. I tell you what, Seattle has been good to me for so many years, all the way back to the King Dome. It’s always a technical, rough, rutty track and I think that I have a lot of confidence in myself in hitting the same line over and over again. And I knew that that would be a key to success. Unfortunately, the 7 [James Stewart] did a little better than us. You know, I thought that with all that championship stuff going on that there was just going to be mad chaos, which I’m sure there was a little bit, but we were able to keep it on two wheels and come away with a damned fine ride. And to be honest with you, with where I’ve been this year, it feels like a win, really, you know? It just don’t pay quite as good… The trophy’s not quite as pretty, but, you know…
Well, it seemed like you had gained a little bit on Chad Reed and then kind of lost it again. What was going?
Pretty much. He must have made some bobbles. He had gotten far enough away that I couldn’t see what he was doing as far as mistakes and whatnot, but I know I got close to him and then I got balled up with a couple lappers. I actually didn’t jump the triple, I think one, maybe even two laps. But, you know, they were pretty rutty and he got back away from me and then he laid it down for me and kind of gave it to me. But I felt like we were in good position either way.
Kevin Windham would’ve won Houston early this year, but crashed hard instead. Through all the bumps and bruises, he has kept going, and he landed second place in Seattle. (Photo: CoxMX.com)
But you had to come through a lot of dudes that he didn’t have to come through. He was up front right away.
Yeah… Well, me and [Mike] Alessi… Man, Alessi was ripping there at the beginning of that race.
Yeah, you were stuck behind him for a while.
We were kind of going back and forth which allowed the guys in front to get further away than I wanted.
What about winning the heat race? Have you done that this year?
It was cool. [Laughs]
It was cool?
Yeah. No, you know, any time you win, man. Just being able to get up on that box.
But it’s not like you weren’t fighting with some of the top dudes because you were…
Oh, our heat was loaded; we had [Ryan] Dungey and…
And Ryan Villopoto.
Yeah, and Villopoto in there. Yeah, I was excited. I mean, any time I can get up there and thank my guys is good, because the GEICO Powersports Honda guys, and MSR and DVS and Shoei and Spy and Gaerne and Dunlop Tires, Pro Circuit, Planet Fitness – all those guys – they’ve just been working so hard. Just because we don’t get up there and win doesn’t mean that they’re not working hard. So, I’m just really excited to be able to do it for them.
Windham is talking to Team Honda about filling in for the outdoors. Actually, rumor has it he’s out testing today. (Photo: CoxMX.com)
Team Honda manager Erik Kehoe said you guys were talking about possibly having you fill in for the first couple of nationals again this year because they don’t have any guys healthy…
Well, we’ll see. Honestly, doing it last year and doing the Australia rounds and then coming back to this, you know, I’m really starting to feel like I need a little bit of R and R.
Well, you’re really old now. You’re 33 years old. You’re my age, actually.
I am. It is a big deal to do the Outdoor Nationals. It’s a tough deal to go onto that. It’s just a tough deal to be able to try to keep going and get my body in shape.
But it’s only two races.
I don’t know if I’m interested in doing it only for two. It’s kind of like one of those things where you either want to be in it or not.
Oh, because you have to train and do all that stuff anyway, right?
Yeah, like once you’re in shape it’s like, what do you do? Might as well keep going.
[Windham throws his baseball cap and gloves to the screaming crowd.]
So, you just gave away your gloves and your hat. That never happens with me and my job. Nobody ever asks me for my stuff. Like, “Can I have your clothes?”
Have you tried to throw a camera up there?
No, I haven’t…
Throw up your camera; they’ll start yelling at you. You’re just not throwing the right stuff; that’s why they’re not yelling.
So, it sounds like you’re saying that chances are pretty good after Vegas we’re just going to see you out at the lake riding around on your boat?
It’s tough to tell right now, but we’re putting some thought into it. You know, any time the gate drops and you’re not behind it you feel like you’re missing out on a huge part of who you are and what you want to be, but reality is I got to be able to do it well and I don’t know if I can do it right now. I really don’t. I mean, it’s not a question of desire it’s just almost a physical issue at this point.
Age has worn you down…
It’s a son of a bitch, I’ll be honest with you. People talk about golden years but I’m not finding a whole bunch golden about them right now, you know? It’s tough to be in these shoes and to want to do things and really feel like you’re physically not able to, or you try to go as fast as the fast guys in supercross and people are crashing. You don’t want to do that anymore. I had a DNF in three of the first seven rounds. I mean, I don’t want to get all negative, but it’s just like after a while you realize that your golden years aren’t so golden…
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