Jacksonville, Florida (Sept 3, 2017) – RJ Hampshire’s climb back to the front of the 250cc pack took another big step when he scored his first career professional win, Sunday at the MXGP of USA at WW Ranch in his native state of Florida. Hampshire grabbed double moto wins over the best of the MX2 World Motocross Championship pack—a big breakthrough scored in front of plenty of family and friends.
Hampshire’s weekend started with major struggles in Saturday’s practice and qualifying, but he returned with a vengeance for Sunday’s race.
“Had a fun weekend!” said Hampshire. “Struggled bad on Saturday with the bike. For some reason it felt like we were on a completely different bike then what we raced all year! We tried leaning it out for the qualifying race and then it was cutting out from the gate drop. Tried salvaging a gate pick but the bike completely went [stopped] with two to go. We came into Sunday relaxed and was just ready to have some fun. I was on a new bike from the beginning of the day and immediately felt better! First moto I made some passes quick and pulled right up on [Thomas] Covington. We were both going for it and giving it everything. I made the pass and pulled a gap, then went down with three to go. Once I got back up they were right on me again! Was able to hold it together for my first ever pro moto win. That felt good. Second moto pulled that start from the last gate on the outside. Covington and I were both going for it again for at least half of the moto. We both wasted a lot of energy! Once he started fading I kind of let up a bit. With about four to go I saw the Suzuki boys coming [Hunter Lawrence and Jeremy Seewer] and knew I had to pick it back up. Held on for a 1-1. It wasn’t an AMA outdoor national which I’m paid to race, but it really felt good to do in front of my home state! What a way to end my season and can enjoy my off-season just a little bit extra now.”
Chase Sexton also participated in the Grand Prix but some inopportune crashes held him to sixth overall.
“The USGP at WW was a really fun race!” said Sexton. “On Saturday RJ and I struggled a bit in qualifying but I ended up having a decent qualifying race ending up seventh. Sunday we made some changes to the bike and it made a big difference right off the bat in the warm up First Moto didn’t get a good start at all and just made my way through the pack to finish sixth, but I was really happy with my riding that moto Second moto I thought I had the holeshot but ended up coming around the corner in about fifth or so until I made a mistake in the third corner, that put me back to around 12th. Had a harder time coming through the pack and ended up eighth for sixth overall. Felt like I had the speed on Sunday to be on the podium but made too many mistakes. Overall had a lot of fun racing the MXGP guys and we will be back to do some more of them!”
GEICO Honda’s 2017 regular season is now complete, the 2018 season kicks off with the Monster Energy Supercross opener in Anaheim, California in January.
GEICO Honda Results
MXGP of USA
1. RJ Hampshire
6. Chase Sexton