Moss and Hill speak out about their clash at Toowoomba's ASX final.
Jake Moss and Josh Hill were at the centre of one of the most controversial moments in modern Australian Supercross at last weekend’s season finale in Toowoomba, clashing with the title on the line in the early laps while Jake’s twin brother Matt Moss sailed to the championship out front.
Hill entered the final round with a five-point lead over Matt, with Jake a further two in arrears – all three on separate Suzuki teams. With the trio completing the opening lap of the main event in positions 1-2-3, it wasn’t long before the fireworks erupted.
Late on lap two Hill made his move on Jake, before a quick counterattack entering lap three resulted in a turn of events that saw Hill go down and out of the race. Jake raced on to second for the round and series, while Matt eased his way to an unchallenged victory after hole-shotting.
The incident has made headlines worldwide, with varying opinions either landing on the side of Moss or Hill. MotoOnline.com.au spoke to Jake Moss today about the clash, while further below, Eric Johnson speaks to Hill for Racer X Online to get his side of the story.
Jake Moss – Campbell Mining Suzuki
Jake, thanks for your time this afternoon. First up, the incident, let’s speak about it and get your take on it all.
Well, I mean firstly, it sucks that a lot of people have the opinion that I was in it to help my brother when the whole time I was right there in with a chance at the title. I even said to my brother on the line, ‘man, if I have a chance of winning this I’m going to do everything I can. I said that to Matt and, you know, I haven’t won a title in a few years and I had a chance to win.
I had that mindset that I wanted to win, so obviously for all those people saying I was helping my brother… no, I was out there to help myself. I don’t want this to overshadow my brother’s championship, it had nothing to do with him and he is the deserving champion, no doubt.
As you outlined, many people are overlooking the fact that you were in there with a shot at the championship just two points behind Matt going in, and if you went on to pass Matt, you would have been the champion.
That’s exactly right. I felt comfortable in the race once I was in second, although I was struggling in the whoops because I dislocated my shoulder the weekend before, but I got caught up with Brett Metcalfe when he was a lap down, lost some momentum and the race was over.
I heard there was some conflict between yourself and Hill prior to the main event?
Yeah, that was nothing. We had a little bicker, he thought I blocked him off in qualifying and I said ‘mate, if you can’t do more than one fast lap you’ve got problems’. That was it, I wasn’t angry towards him and didn’t say anything.
As much as people are going to have their theories, it was never about wanting him to go down or to put him on the ground at all.
Speaking about the incident itself, what was your perspective on it all? Talk us through what you felt on the bike.
Well I was obviously in the race, he landed wide on the jump and I landed on the inside. I was so close to the tough block and I was getting in there hot – I definitely wanted to make the move. There was no intention of hitting him at anytime at all.
The only reason it got to where it did was because on the downramp he decided after we landed to turn a hard left. He actually hit me on the straight even before we got to the brakes or anything, which led to me being off the track, inside the tough blocks.
He was on the inside of the track too, not even on the track, and the only way for me and him to get there is for someone from the outside to push me there. You know, somehow, out of all that we are both off the track, so I held my line, he hit the tough block and I turned left.
I was smart enough to see the tough block, I turned left and I avoided it. People say I cut the track, blah, blah, blah, but I had nowhere else to go – he didn’t give me the opportunity to get back on the track. He did not want me to get around him.
If he’d done the right thing he would have been on the right side of that tough block.
And there was a protest right after from Hill’s team, right?
It went through MA (Motorcycling Australia) and they’ve got different camera angles on it too. They’re not allowed to release them for I think it’s a couple of weeks – they will show a way better front-on view. The videos that are out now don’t actually make me look bad at all or him either.
The only reason he crashed is because he hit the tough block. If it wasn’t there, we both maybe would have rubbed ‘bars, went around the corner and kept the race going. It was unfortunate he went down, it sucks for him and his followers, and I understand they’ll stick by him.
That’s what sport is, some people won’t like me, some people will, but yeah, I’m just thankful for all the people who do stick by me.
The season overall for you despite the last round controversy was a good one though, a really solid campaign in a privateer team. Are you satisfied with it?
It was awesome – I definitely feel like I should have won the championship. I was really sick at Phillip Island with food poisoning and was in hospital the night before, so I was lagging energy and lost a lot of points there.
Same with Matt though, obviously he had troubles there and Mount Gambier. The championship probably wrapped up the way it should have, Matt was the aggressor and person to beat from the start.
Thanks for that, appreciate it. Any final comments?
Just that a lot of people were like ‘keep the trophy on Australian soil’, which is exactly what we did. We’ve raced for Australia, done our country proud for years and years, so for them to suddenly turn their backs on me and my brother, when the incident had nothing to do with him, and I think it was fair, is disappointing.
I would have loved to see the Australians stick by me more – if we ever go to war they’re probably not the people to pick because they’ll probably turn around and shoot us in the back. Thanks to the true Australians supporting the green and gold – the other guys can probably put some stars and stripes on instead.
Apart from that I wish nothing but the best for Hill, I hope he goes home to America and wins because that’ll make me feel better since I know I can run with the guy. All the best to him, nothing against him and I’m happy he’s not hurt.
I think everyone should just move on, as much as the incident’s been pretty shitty I think it’s been good for the sport. Rubbin’s racing and the fans love it – it gets them involved.
Josh Hill – Hart & Huntington/InsureMyRide/DPH Motorsport Suzuki
Okay, Josh I still haven’t seen the video of last night’s race from the Toowoomba Royal Showgrounds. However, I’ve heard all sorts of things. Just what in the world happened with Jake Moss that cost you the Australian Supercross Championship?
I got like a fourth place start and kind of came through the pack and I had just passed Jake Moss about as clean as you could possibly make a pass.
I got up on the rear wheel of Matt and had the inside covered about as tight as you possibly could and I just heard Jake coming and he was aiming for the inside of the bales so I tried to get as close to the inside bails as I could and he just kind of hit me from behind.
He pushed me and lifted me up and threw me into the bales and I crashed. That was pretty much the end of the story. It was kind of a cheap shot deal because I think he was actually intending [to go to the inside of] the bales just to T-bone me.
If you look at the videos and everything and you could see that there was no way he was going to stay within the track markers. He was coming into a 180-degee hairpin.
When he actually hit you, what went through your mind? Do you remember?
He had already been stating that he was pretty much using himself to help his brother win the championship and if that meant taking me out, he’d do it, so I already knew that I had a target on my back, but I didn’t expect him to cut the course to do so, you know?
Could you see what he was doing out of the corner of your eye at all?
Yeah, I made the cleanest pass that I could and I was on the far inside of the corner. I could feel him inside me so I tried to move over and I skidded my angle so he would have to hit his brakes. He was going to cut the course regardless
What place were you in at this time, Josh?
I was in second place at the time. I had just finished the second lap and I ended up turning the fastest lap time of the whole night in that one lap I was timed while I was coming through traffic.
What place did you get back to?
I DNF’ed. I rung my bell a little bit and bent my motorcycle up and there was really no need to continue. I was definitely seeing stars for a little bit and had the air knocked out of me. By the time I got off of me I was about to be a lap down.
Are you heartbroken or are you more like, ‘whatever, man, if that’s how it goes,’?
It’s one of those things. I would have loved to win the championship and just brought it home for everybody that put everything into this privateer effort. To win the championship would have pretty cool. I guess that’s just the way it goes down here.
It’s kind of disheartening to see the way the promoters and officials handle things here because he made it clear going into it he was going to use himself to try and further his brother.
Did you go talk to the Moss brothers after the race?
You know what, it was one of those things where when I was walking down to the medic unit just to go get some Advil and I ended up walking past Matt Moss. I kind of just congratulated him on his win. There was really nothing to be said.
There was really nothing to be done with situation but physical harm, but I figured it really wasn’t worth putting myself in that position and stooping to that level. I was just the bigger man and toughed it out and I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Did you know the Moss brothers before going down there?
Yeah, Matt has always seemed to be a pretty respectable person and I’ve never had any issues with him. With Jake, the last three weekends, every time I’ve gone out to try and set the fastest lap, he’d purposely try to block me from and try to get in my way. It was things like that. It’s kind of funny, I guess. It’s just stuff that wouldn’t really fly back in the US.
What was the general consensus after all was said and done? Could you get a read on that?
I think the general consensus of it was that it was a cheap move. I didn’t go the podium or anything like that, but from what I have heard they weren’t shown too much respect up there.
Have you been able to talk with the RCH guys back here in the U.S after all this crap went down?
Yeah, they’re bummed that it happened but everybody is happy that I’m coming home safe. I think I proved that I was the fastest guy over here and it’s just one of those things that if the brother had not intervened I definitely would have been the champion.
Too bad you didn’t have your brother Justin down there, huh?
My little brother probably would have beat everybody. He’s on the gas right now. I think he’s trying to show the potential he should have shown last year. Injuries and just not having that confidence held him back. I keep telling Justin he is good enough to win and anything else should be unacceptable in his mind. He’s quite a kid and I’m pretty proud of him. I just want to see him do the best he can.
You missed out on this Australian Supercross title, but in the grand scheme of things are you just going to shake this deal off and get back here and start getting for the 2014 season?
Like I said, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I feel like I’m on fire right now and had it not been for that little cheap shot by Jake Moss I would have won the championship easily. I feel the best I have in years. I think that the old me is going to be showing up. I really think I’m going to be in the mix at the front of the pack to remind people why I’m still doing it.