Features 8 Aug 2023

Fast Thoughts: Hamish Harwood

Multi-time New Zealand champion on a range of mid-season topics.

Currently sitting P6 in the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship standings with two rounds remaining in MX1, New Zealander Hamish Harwood has always been a quiet achiever as he juggles family life, full-time work and professional racing both at home and in Australia. MotoOnline spoke to the 28-year-old for this latest Fast Thoughts feature.

Image: Foremost Media.

Racing Washougal on the two-stroke…

It came about pretty late, there wasn’t much notice. We actually started talking about it while we were at Toowoomba, we threw the idea around, and all agreed it would be a cool thing to do. So, we made a few calls and we were able to find a bike to borrow and it was an awesome time. I’m glad we were able to make it happen.

Juggling racing with a full-time job…

Pretty well my whole racing career I’ve always worked. A lot of people ask if I take time off and, if so, how much? Sometimes I’ll take the odd Monday off after a national if I need to, but I choose to work full-time. It’s not a ‘poor me, I have to work and do all of this’ – this is how I choose to do it. I enjoy working and getting into the routine of getting up early and doing my training and going to work. Normally I’ll try and get a Wednesday afternoon ride in so I’ve gotten a mid-week ride in, then I’ll ride one day on the weekend and leave a day open to do a family day, so that’s kind of the routine, but obviously it changes sometimes depending on if I’m coming from New Zealand or Aussie nationals, or if it’s the off-season.

Longstanding relationship with Davey Motorsports…

They’re such an awesome team to ride for. They’re so chilled and it’s all about having a good time. Obviously we do everything we can to get good results, but at the end of the day, we’re all there to have fun. There’s no pressure from them, the only pressure I have is what I put on myself, so it’s just really cool to have an opportunity to try and race up the front with those top Aussie guys. I’ve felt like this year we’ve been right there, but my starts just haven’t been good enough, so we’ll try and turn that around and see if we can get up the front and bang ‘bars some more.

Image: Foremost Media.

This year’s ProMX season so far…

I feel like it’s been respectable, for sure. It’s been a good, but frustrating season. I’ve had some really good rides, but they’re always when I’m coming from behind. I’ll make my way past some of the factory boys and up into fourth, fifth or sixth. I just haven’t given myself the opportunity with a good start to get a good result. I think I was one point off the podium at Wodonga in the mud, which was a shame because I crashed in the first turn in moto two and that really hurt my chances. I feel like with the starts we’ve maybe been trying too many different things, like different heights with the holeshot button and different gearing, too many different variations, instead of me just working on my technique. I think I’ve got it dialled now, so hopefully we can make something happen for these last two rounds.

Plans for 2024…

There’s no plan yet. We’re expecting another baby in November, so that’ll definitely throw a spanner in the works, and at the minute there’s no plan for 2024. That’s not to say that there isn’t going to be, it just has to be worth it for me to come back over and this year sort of wasn’t. We’ll go back to the drawing board and see if there’s anything on the table – if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, we might have to wait until 2025.