Cycle News

Cycle News 2013 Issue 03 Jan 22

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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INTERVIEW P52 KEVIN WINDHAM Kevin Windham announced his retirement during opening ceremonies at the Anaheim II Supercross. It's Time KEVIN WINDHAM SAYS IT'S TIME TO CALL IT A CAREER. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIT PALMER S omething just didn't seem right. Was Kevin Windham contemplating retirement before the 2013 AMA Supercross Series was finished? That's what it seemed like after talking with the 34-year-old Supercross veteran after his 10th-place finish at Anaheim I. Hearing him say things like, "I don't care about the result, I just want to go through and ride laps," and "My mind isn't in the right place," are typically not the words you hear from someone lining up with 19 other guys trying to win a Supercross Championship. As it turns out, he was indeed seriously thinking about ending his 19-year professional racing career a little earlier than he had planned. Windham, the long-time wearer of the number-14 plate, was hoping to perhaps end his career in the year 2014, but his gnarly crash at the Houston Supercross last year got him thinking a little differently and after another hard crash in his first race back eight months after his Houston get-off at the Monster Energy Cup had him really thinking hard about walking away from his racing career while he could do just that - walk. But Windham is not a quitter. So the 19-time Supercross winner suited up for Anaheim I anyway, but he just didn't have the same burning desire to let it all hang out like he used to. Was it time to say good-bye to racing he asked himself? To help with that answer, he reached out to some of his peers and asked them their opinion on whether or not he should pull the plug. "Thursday at the first Anaheim, he came up to me, and we had a heart to heart," said Chad Reed, who himself is a long-time veteran of the sport. "It was an interesting talk. At that point, I knew that Kevin was done at the end of this year." Windham even sought out twotime Supercross champ Ryan Villopoto. "Kevin asked me about it at Anaheim I," Villopoto said. "I asked, 'Why are you still riding?' Sure, it's fun, but I don't think anybody walking away from any sport they love will never feel right, but do you want to put yourself at that level all the time for that many years like he has? In my eyes, I wouldn't want to do that either, to put myself at the risk so often." Windham got through the next race in Phoenix, but the thought of retirement was still gnawing at him, as it was going into Anaheim 2. But after riding the first practice session, Windham came to the realization that he should not be out there anymore and said… that's it. "It was tough to make the decision," he said. "I know to a lot of people, this will seem like a quick decision, 'How in the hell can you retire between practice one and [the sec-

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