Minneapolis, Minnesota (February 18, 2017) – After a frustrating run in Monster Energy Supercross’ 250SX West Region Championship, the GEICO Honda team sent Christian Craig and RJ Hampshire into battle for the 250SX East opener at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Craig showed speed throughout the day while Hampshire admitted he never felt totally comfortable, however, their main event results told a different story, with Hampshire netting a solid fourth and Craig taking 12th.
Hampshire was aided by some good fortune off the start in the main event, as several riders went down and allowed him to sneak into the front pack. He then logged consistent laps on a tricky track.
“I’m pretty happy with the result, but not too happy with the riding,” said Hampshire. “I feel like I struggled all day, didn’t even jump the big rhythm, and somehow I got fourth. My starts weren’t good, I got lucky with those crashes and just put in 15 minutes plus one. I rode like crap but I’ll take a fourth any weekend.”
Hampshire says he made big changes to his bike before the main event and the changes worked. Now that he has a race under his belt he and the team can continue to dial in his Honda CRF250R and hope for better things this weekend in Atlanta.
Craig will hope for much, much better in Atlanta. His night in Minnesota started well with a dominant heat race victory, but it fell apart in the main event. A bad start and an early crash left him playing catchup.
“I honestly was having a great day in Minneapolis,” Craig said. “I qualified third and felt good. The track was really easy which kinda makes it hard to separate yourself or make passes, but I got the hole shot in my heat and took off. I ended up with almost a nine second lead when I finished. I was really happy with how I rode in the heat, and everyone on the team was really pumped with how I rode and we were all expecting great things for the main. But I got a horrible start and kind of just fell apart mentally. I wasn’t riding like myself and kept making stupid mistakes. I was able to work my way up to 12th after being almost last but I should have been way more up there than that. Luckily, I got my bad race out of the way and can learn from it. I started in 17th last year at A1 so it’s an improvement this year I guess!”
Craig will hit the reset button over the next few days and try to get back into contention in Atlanta.
“Looking forward to a good week in Florida then heading to Atlanta next weekend to show everyone where I belong,” he concluded.
Rookie pro Chase Sexton did not compete in Minneapolis as he continues to recover from off-season wrist injuries. His status for Atlanta will be confirmed later in the week.
GEICO Honda Results
February 18, 2017
4. RJ Hampshire
12. Christian Craig