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As the 2008 season comes to an end, Team Monster Energy's riders and manager reflected on their...
As the 2008 season comes to an end, Team Monster Energy's riders and manager reflected on their final performances in 2008 and the upcoming 2009 season.
While the team's biggest star rider Sam Hill didn't take home the World Cup title, he remains philosophical about the season and that last race.
"I wasn't too happy with my result in qualifying at the World Cup finals," said Australian Hill. "I found myself riding tight and slow which was disappointing because I was really trying to get maximum points for the series overall."
"I was really stoked though that (teammate) Brendan (Fairclough) qualified in second. He has more speed and skill than pretty much everybody out there so it was cool that he put it together. My race run just didn't really feel right at all. I was riding too cautious and then when I did try to go a bit faster I just kept making mistakes. I had four big saves during my race run and that has never happened to me before. I was pleased to finish second with the run that I had and this season has motivated me a lot for next year."
Looking at the season as a whole, Hill said, "Overall with my season I have mixed feelings. Some races have been good and then there are a lot I would rather forget about. I think I have learned a lot this year and hopefully I can turn the negatives into positives for next year."
Meanwhile, teammate Brendan Fairclough had a season of highs and lows, ranging from injury at the Andorra World Cup to some great moments at the Bromont World Cup and a second-placed run in qualifying at the Schladming World Cup. Unfortunately, his wheel then washed out in finals and spat him down the track just moments after what would likely have abeen a career-best result.
"It felt good to be up there after the semi but it didn't really feel that good beating Sam," said Great Britain's Fairclough. "It meant that his points were down so I felt a bit bad for that. I knew that my run was really chilled in the semi and knew I could go faster in the final quite comfortably. It really sucks watching my first possible World Cup win go down the drain, but I've had time to think about it and it's all good now. Only me to blame really for not been strong enough to hold on. So another learning experience for next year."
Overall, Fairclough called the season "disappointing". "I've got a lot to work on in the winter and have never felt so keen and inspired to do it. Having Sam as a teammate has been really good not only for the riding but having a good friend on the circuit is so cool. I feel I've got on with the team really well and really look forward to getting back on the road next year fitter and faster than ever. Just need to put in a few road miles and I feel I could be fighting for a top threes next year, rather than these top tens which are really starting to piss me off!"