High Point: 2017
Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania (June 17, 2017) – The tides are turning for GEICO Honda, as round four of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship welcomed back two team riders from injury and also completed Jeremy Martin’s steady climb back to of the podium. Martin used 2-1 moto scores at the Red Bull High Point National to grab his first overall victory of the season. The two-time 250 National Motocross Champion also vaulted to second in the season standings. Chase Sexton and RJ Hampshire also made their season debuts in motocross after recovering from leg injuries suffered during the supercross campaign a few months back. Hampshire took eighth overall and Sexton was 13th in his debut race as a professional.
Martin continues to flex the muscle of his Honda off the starts, as he nailed the holeshot in the first moto. He suffered from arm pump and yielded to Zach Osborne, but in moto two he felt better and ran down the leader—his brother, Alex Martin—to get the lead and take off with the victory.
“It’s been one heck of a rough season for me, supercross and the beginning part of outdoors,” said Martin. “[Then I had a] DNF right away first moto [of the season]. So, it’s nice. I’ll make sure I enjoy it. These are hard to come by especially with how good these guys are. Hopefully the team and I enjoy it tonight.
“I got off to a great start [in the first moto],” said Martin. “I was pumped up right away, but no excuses. I did my best to manage it. I could see Zach coming. I’m like, dang it. He was able to get around me. It is what it is. We made some changes for moto two and felt better. I was able to kind of keep him at bay even though we got a bad start.”
Hampshire’s return from a lower-leg injury was impressive, as he started well and ran with the lead group all day. He went 9-8 for eighth overall.
“Both motos I had good starts. First moto I got that good start and was so excited to be back racing, I was letting it hang out,” said Hampshire. “Then I got passed by four dudes in one lap! I had to calm it down or I wouldn’t have made it. Once I settled in I started putting good laps together and pulled back up to the pack right behind [Austin] Forkner. Ran there for a few laps and then went down. Second moto I had another good start but didn’t want to blow it like I did first moto so I rode cautious and that bit me. I made so many mistakes! Pretty sure four guys passed me again in one lap! Once again I had to settle back down and start putting laps together. I felt good and made a pass on Savatgy late in the race, then with one to go I had a run in with a lapper on a downhill, we both went flipping. Got up in 8th. But going P8 in my first race since my injury, I’ll take it. I’m just happy to be back at the races and having fun again. I like Muddy Creek so looking forward to this weekend!”
Sexton’s race actually marked the much-anticipated professional debut for the 2016 AMA Amateur Horizon Award winner. After injuring his knee last summer and breaking his femur in February, the Illinois-based rider finally made it to the show this time, only to be welcomed by a big pileup on the first lap of the first moto. He finished 19th, but bounced back with a solid tenth in moto two. The 19-10 scores gave him 13th overall.
“First moto wasn’t what I wanted,” said Sexton. “I went down with A-Mart [Alex Martin] in the first turn and I couldn’t get up. I was probably 30 seconds behind everybody else. I was probably 16th or something and I fell over and I ended up 19th. Then second moto was better. I think I started off 16th or something and came to tenth, so it’s all right. I want to be top ten. I think I can be there for sure. Biggest surprise was probably that I wasn’t surprised with the speed. I think my speed’s fine. The starts, it’s chaos in the first couple of laps. They go for it, for sure. I’ve just got to learn that. I haven’t raced in eight months or something, so it just feels nice to race and get a race in.”
Team member Cameron McAdoo was scheduled to race High Point but realized after practice that the shoulder he injured two weeks ago still wasn’t ready. He plans to suit up again alongside Martin, Hampshire and Sexton at the Muddy Creek National in Blountville, Tennessee next weekend.
GEICO Honda Results
Red Bull High Point National
1. Jeremy Martin
8. RJ Hampshire
13. Chase Sexton