AMA Pro Hillclimb Championship Rider Spotlight: Nate Redmann
NEWS October 16, 2012
Nate Redmann has become a prominent name in the AMA Pro Hillclimb Series since his Rookie Season in 2007, in which he was named the Xtreme Class Rookie of the Year. In 2007 and 2008 he took his single cylinder KTM 612 on NOS to the podium four times and claimed his first career win in 2008. In 2009, he was offered to join the successful Dr. Bob Team aboard the Nitro Burning Yamahas. Since 2009, Nate has never found himself trailing in the points in the Xtreme Class. After 47 races, he has been at the top of the Xtreme Class podium in the number one spot 20 times and on the podium a total of 29 times.
We talked to Nate Redmann about his career and his 2012 Championship season has gone.
AMAP: When you entered the series in 2007, what were your goals? Did you see yourself winning one championship, let alone four in a row?
NR: When I entered the series in 2007, I didn’t really know what my goals were. We were kind of coming into the Pro Hillclimb scene blind. I had great success in amateur racing and for sure wanted to continue that in the pro series. We knew that our bike could compete on some of the hills but others the four-cylinder nitro burners were unstoppable. I honestly can say I didn’t know if I would be able to win a championship, but I was trying. I came close in 2008 on our KTM, but blew a motor halfway through the year, and that kind of ended that. If I was asked when I started racing pro in 2007 if I ever saw myself winning four championships in a row, I could have only wished but now that it has happened it’s something I could have never dreamed of. It feels amazing.
AMAP: What was it like to win that first championship? Is it any different of a feeling to win your fourth?
NR: Winning my first championship was awesome, especially it being my first year riding a nitro burner and getting used to the bike still. I definitely could not have done it without my team, dad and sponsors backing me the whole way through it. Winning a championship especially at the level of racing we are doing is the greatest feeling. Throughout the past four years starting the season off, it was no different than any other year. Focus on the task at hand racing each race at a time and hopefully staying consistent and ending the season with another championship. Winning my fourth title this year really doesn’t feel any different than the first which I feel is a good thing. Taking it season by season and staying focused I feel has led me to being so successful in this pro series.
AMAP: Going into the 2012 season, what were your thoughts, goals, etc?
NR: Coming into 2012, my sixth year racing in the series, my goals were no different than any other year. Stay consistent, bring home a few wins, keep it on two wheels, and stay injury free. My thoughts on the new season were that three championships in a row is great, but winning a fourth would be something really crazy! Also I wanted to keep my streak going. What I mean by that is since 2009, starting off riding the Yamaha R6 nitro burner, I had yet to lose the points lead throughout the year from the first race in 2009 to the end of 2011 and wanted to continue that in the new 2012 season.
AMAP: You have seemed to have a focus this season that is rarely seen in a racer. What has been going through your mind every race?
NR: This year racing has been one of a lifetime, something any racer wishes they could have. I feel the reason I have been so focused is concentrating on one bike this year instead of trying to concentrate on two. I feel right at home riding the Dr. Bob Racing Yamaha R6. I fit the bike really well and just am in the zone and focused every time I ride, blocking out everything when I ride, just me, the bike and the hill.
AMAP: You won the first three races of the season, the third of which was a pretty nasty crash. Tell us a little about the crash and where you thought the season would go after that.
NR: I started off the season great winning the first four races, but yes, I had a horrible crash in round 3 of the series. It’s the first time I have had a serious injury racing. I was on my second ride of the day going for the win and over the last jump I hit a kicker, went over the bars and face planted into the hill. I don’t remember much of it and ended up staying the night in the hospital in New Hampshire with a serious concussion, stitches in my hand and some internal and external brain bleeding. After that crash, I really had no idea if I was going to be able to race the rest of the year or not. It was all up to what the doctor had to say. It was hard to grasp the concept of not being able to race the rest of the year after a great start to the season.
AMAP: You won round four, then at west branch round five, you took another nasty spill and decided to sit the second round out. What was it like to have to scratch those runs?
NR: After my serious injury in New Hampshire, we had a few weeks off and headed to West Branch, MI for round five. Even though by this race my brain bleeding had healed up, I still had that in the back of my head each time I sat on the bike getting ready to ride. In round five I crashed on both my first rides on the Yamaha R6 and R1 and hit my head again. With all this happening it freaked me out a little bit and decided to sit out both my second rides that day. It definitely sucked sitting out my second rides knowing I would be taking a last place finish in both classes, but I had no other option. At this time I was contemplating calling it quits for the rest of the year due to not wanting to risk any further injuries.
AMAP: What was it like to get back on the bike after the crash at New Hampshire and at West Branch?
NR: After a few weeks off and having time to think about things I decided to finish out the season but only riding the Xtreme class on the Yamaha R6. I definitely am more comfortable on the R6 rather than the R1 and on top of it all, I was still leading the points in the extreme class and a ways back in points in the Unlimited class. I feel that was the best decision I could have made. I feel more focused than ever riding one class. Getting back on the bike for the first time after my second crash of the season was a little intimidating. But like I had done all season and seasons in the past, I just got in the zone and focused on what I had to do and felt right back at home on the bike.
AMAP: You came back and took the wins in rounds six, seven and eight and wrapped up your fourth championship. What is it like going into the final round with the pressure of a championship off you and what are your expectations for the last race of the season?
NR: Coming back and taking a win in rounds six, seven and eight is just what I needed. Back to the top of the field just like the beginning of the year and feeling great again. Wrapping up my fourth championship in round eight of the series was sweet! Having a nice cushion in points between the rest of the riders and myself lead to yet another goal of mine on winning this prestigious award. Going in to the last race of the year knowing I have the championship wrapped up already is a great feeling; no pressure to finish in a certain spot is great. Even though I feel I do well under pressure it is nice to not have to worry about that. This last race of the year will be just for fun and putting on a good show for the crowd. My expectations for the last race are high as normal. I’m not going to treat this race any different than any other race, still going out there to hopefully take home another win for the year and end the season on a good note.
AMAP: What are your plans for the future?
NR: My plans for the future are still undecided. I think it would be awesome to come back in 2013 and in my seventh year racing in this pro series and try to take my fifth championship in a row. Also, before round eight of the series hanging out at the flat track races in York, Pennsylvania with Cory and Shayna Texter has really got me wanting to try out some flat track racing. I got the itch really bad to try that.
AMAP: Who would you like to thank?
NR: I have to give a huge thanks to my sponsors; without them, none of this would be possible: The whole Dr. Bob Racing team, my dad, B&B Yamaha, Donie Lingle, Monster Energy, Go Pro, Odi Grips, DAO, Tilt-A-Rack and Wiseco Pistons.
Redmann's Career Statistics:
2007 Ktm 612 on NOS
1- podium *Rookie of the Year
10th in pts.
2008 Ktm 612 on NOS
1- 1st 3- podiums *Most Improved Rider
3rd in pts.
2009 Dr. Bob Yamaha
4- 1st 5- podiums
1st in pts.
2010 Dr. Bob Yamaha
4- 1st 6- podiums
1st in pts.
2011 Dr. Bob Yamaha
4- 1st 7- podiums *Shawn P. Fansworth Rider of the Year High Point Award
All Star Challenge Champion
1st in pts.
2012 Dr. Bob Yamaha
7- 1st 7- podiums
All Star Challenge Champion
1st in pts.
Career States After 47 Races