Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/AMSOIL/Kawasaki's Jacob Hayes has been through a lot in the early stages of his career. Coming out of the amateur ranks he was shifting from ride to ride, while searching for a place to plant stakes and settle into a set direction. Hayes has found a home with AMSOIL Arenacross and had a sensational 2015 season that was filled with overall wins and saw him lead the points for much of the championship. Sadly, Hayes narrowly missed out on the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross title following a fierce dust up with rival Kyle Regal. We caught up with Hayes to see how he has handled defeat, and how he plans to finish one step higher in 2016.

First off how has your summer been? Did you take some time off after the Las Vegas Finals?

JH: I actually went back to my house in California and loaded the Moto van down and headed back east for the summer. My Summer has been great so far, took a couple weeks off but I have stayed on the road bike and in the gym, I have been hitting some local races here and there trying to stay in the race mode. 

Talk to us about the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Championship season as a whole. It looked like you guys had a lot of fun on your race team.

JH: The season as a whole for me was a bit of a roller coaster, a lot of ups and downs, but all in all we had a great time on the Team Babbitt’s, Monster Energy, AMSOIL, Kawasaki.  

We all know how things shook out at the Las Vegas Finals. What was the fallout like? You were visibly distraught after your bike broke, how long did the pain of losing the title in that fashion linger?

JH: The emotions that night are something I can't really describe; it was such a fight all year just to put myself in that situation. Just knowing that I couldn't finish the final race of the year 100 percent was devastating. STILL to this very day, I don't think the pain will ever go away.

What were your thoughts about the “Race to the Championship” format? Initially, then after it happened.

JH: Initially I felt like The Race To The Championship format had its benefits. Now looking back, it's hard to say what would have happened without the Race To The Championship format. 

We saw you just won all of your motos at the big race at Muddy Creek. What is it like going to the faster outdoor tracks after being in the bullrings all winter?

JH: I had a great time at the Kawasaki Tennessee State Championship at Muddy Creek, I always enjoy getting to ride outdoors, and yes it is very different than riding Arenacross. A lot of changes to the bike set up for sure.

They say, “Before you can win a title, you need to lose a title.” Meaning, sometimes being that close just feeds your hunger to win it the next time. What will you do differently in 2016?

JH: Well, for starters I’m not going to let it come down to the last race! I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for 2016.