STILEZ ROBERTSON: “IT IS LIKE AN INSIDE COMPETITION AT ALL OF THE AUSTRIAN BRANDS”
STILEZ ROBERTSON INTERVIEW: BATTLING HIS TEAMMATES, INJURIES, AND A CHANCE AT THE PODIUM
“Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Stilez Robertson had a big day at Red Bud as he earned his first-ever outdoor podium with a third overall. Robertson turned pro in 2020, and in 2021 would capture a Supercross podium. At Red Bud, the California native fought off his more experienced teammate Rj Hampshire to finish just behind overall winner Jo Shimoda and second place’s Hunter Lawrence. With these past seasons riddled with injury, Robertson wants to get through 2022 solidly.”
BY JIM KIMBALL
STILEZ, MOST PEOPLE THINK OF YOU AS A SUPERCROSS GUY, BUT YOU GOT A VERY SOLID PODIUM AT RED BUD. TALK ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU. It means a lot. I guess a lot of people think that I am more of a Supercross guy, but I don’t know. Obviously, growing up, all you do is ride outdoors, so I have always been pretty good at it. Today has just been putting it all together. I have been working on the bike a lot before High Point and after High Point, I went back to my original setting. I just went back to square one and it has been good. It has been two weeks that I have not touched a clicker or a sprocket or anything. It honestly has been hard, but I realize that we are still on a new bike, and we are still getting through the kinks and everything. This podium feels good. I think we as a team, have done better on the softer dirt, just because that is what we ride every day. I think these next two rounds, at Southwick and Millville, will be good for us and we will continue working. If we carry this into a hardpack track like Washougal, we will be fine.
ARE YOU AT THE BAKER FACTORY IN FLORIDA? Yes, I have been at the Baker Factory for about three years, we train every day. It is like when R.J. Hampshire, my teammate, was behind me, I knew he was going to empty the tank out to get me! I am just excited and want to keep it going, but most importantly want to make it through the season.
Stilez Robertson flying past the massive flag at Red Bud.
YOU HAD A GOOD BATTLE WITH R.J. I guess you always want to beat your teammates and be the best one. Even between the Austrian brands, it is like an inside competition. You ride at Baker’s Factory, and you get the higher pecking order, you know what I mean? So, that is always the goal to be the top guy; not only with our team, just the top guy with everyone. We will keep working and put our head down. I am not going to just settle.
YOU HAD GOOD STARTS, BUT WHAT ELSE THAT HELPED YOU GET THIRD OVERALL? I have always been a pretty good starter. Aldon has been working on us staying tight in all the turns, not pushing out, blowing stuff out, and that might have helped a little bit too, but honestly, I have not really done anything out of the ordinary. We have a strict schedule there, so it is hard to do something special in a way. But it is what it is, and we will just get back to work on Monday morning.
Stilez also scored a third place at Red Bud.
YOUR CONTRACT IS UP AT THE END OF THIS YEAR, IS IT GOOD OR IS IT STRESSFUL? Oh, it is stressful, but once you get going and get the results, it takes a little of the stress off, so yes, I am excited about things. But I cannot share anything about next year at this time.
DOES GETTING A PODIUM PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOUR TO GET ON THE PODIUM AGAIN THIS WEEK? Honestly, I put too much pressure on myself to begin with, so no. As hard as it is going to be, I am going to try not to put any pressure on myself and just show up and try to do two good motos . I am not trying to go out there and podium. Obviously, I want to, but I just want to go out there and ride like myself. That is my main goal.
Stilez with the brand new Dunlop Geomax MX14 rear tire.
YOU HAVE HAD SOME REALLY SIGNIFICANT INJURIES, SO MAKING IT THROUGH THE SEASON IS A BIG PRIORITY. Oh yes, you are 100 percent correct. Since I have been a pro, I tore my knee up, I have broken my pelvis, and broke my hand. I had a rough one. I messed some nerves up in my ankle in my rookie year in Supercross and hurt my knee. I hit my head once and, I got sick as well. It is difficult, but I just want to make it through the season, because I think you learn so much with experience — that is my main goal. Obviously, injuries are a part of our sport and people get hurt. I just want to be there and capitalize on that stuff, and not be one of the people on the sidelines that people are capitalizing on.
WHAT PLACE WOULD YOU SETTLE FOR AS A GOOD YEAR? I am going to keep it going, and if it is not podiums, I want to be in the top five and building. In Supercross, I only had one podium, so I matched that now. Honestly, I just want to keep going and not really think about too much. I want to focus on how I am riding.
Stilez’s future isn’t set in stone yet, but he still has half of a season left to prove his abilities to be an excellent rider.