Wil Hahn, From Coach and Test Rider to Team Manager.
For a professional racer, hanging up the boots can be the toughest transitional period of their life. Wil Hahn’s transition to life after racing has been a quick one, and one he’s also quite happy about. After joining GEICO Honda in a team testing and coach role (talked about HERE), he has accepted a position at Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha as assistant team manager and will transition into full team manager next year. We caught up with Wil tochat about it…
What’s up, Wil? You have some new colors and a new job, talk about that a little.
Yeah, the transition has been really easy coming over to the Yamalube/ Star Racing/Yamaha team. Obviously, I started the year over at GEICO Honda so this was pretty unexpected. Bobby [Regan] approached me in Dallas and said they wanted to do something, and it was in the position that I saw myself doing but I just didn’t know when that could happen. You know, this is what I wanted to be doing once I was done racing.
What is the actual job title for people that are wondering.
Right now I’m the assistant team manager and transitioning into the team manager. Basically they’re slowly showing me the ropes of it and what I need to be doing so I can handle the job when it becomes the full deal.
For a guy like you, your racing career is recent and you’ve already made good strides on this next chapter. Do you feel lucky?
Yeah, I feel really lucky. I’m kind of blown away on how it all happened so rapidly and quickly. You always have an idea of what you want to do when you’re done racing. For this to go the way it has, I’m very fortunate to be able to have kept a lot of good relationships while I was racing and it’s made it that much easier.
Does this role mean you still get to ride? I do see a blister on your thumb.
What’s funny actually, it’s not even from riding. We do lunchtime cross fit class next door to out shop. John Level has a gym there, and lets us come over there and pretty much just destroys us basically. But I’ve been getting to ride quite a bit and next week I’ll get to ride some more –just keep helping with what I can.
Didn’t you also injure yourself not riding recently too?
Yeah, I cut most of my finger off at the Freestone Amateur National. I was just loading up a bike! It’s like I can’t stay away from the hospitals, no matter what I do! [Laughs]
What’s the toughest thing about the new role and then what’s the most fun about it?
The hardest part is that when you’re a rider and racer you’re spoiled –you get a lot of the stuff done for you. So now my role is helping with that side of it and trying to do stuff for the riders. Just being organized; I’m a pretty organized person but at the same time you’re worrying about multiple people and you’re trying to make sure they have what they need.
The most fun is just still being here and interacting with the riders and being at the races that I love and enjoy. You can compare it basically to going to school and going to college for a certain degree or job, and this is basically what I went to college for. My whole life is racing and this is what I know and love. To still be a part of that and still be a part of the industry is huge to me, it’s awesome and I am enjoying it.
Do you have any set goals heading into outdoors for your new role?
Yes and no, I think the most important part for me is to keep an open mind and keep learning. As long as I’m helping the riders, then I’m satisfied. If everyone has everything they need to do their job then I’m happy.