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27 Feb, 2015

Rookie GEICO Honda rider Smith ready to make an entrance in Atlanta

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ATLANTA (Feb. 26) — With last-minute approval, GEICO Honda rookie Jordon Smith will finally make his AMA Monster Energy Supercross debut in the 250 class when the circuit returns for its second stint at the Georgia Dome this Saturday.

After a racing injury sidelined him momentarily before the East Series kicked off a couple of weekends ago in Arlington, Texas, Smith is more than ready to get his first start under his belt.

“It was definitely a huge bummer when I got hurt and had to get surgery on my hand,” Smith said. “All I was looking forward to was making my pro debut, and then it got pushed back a couple of rounds. I tried my hardest to get back as soon as I possibly could. I just started riding again this week, and I was doing pretty decent on the bike.

“I’m excited to get out there already. In fact, I’m just as excited if not more than I was before to get my first start finally and ride with the guys.”

Keeping the thought of his health situation in the back of his mind, the young rider knows what his limits will be during this weekend’s race. He does not want to push it too far and plans to use the Atlanta event as a stepping-stone for future races.

“With the injury, I’m definitely not 100 percent yet,” Smith said. “For sure, I’m using this round in Atlanta to just go out there to get experience. Also, the hope is to try to build some momentum going into the rounds later on in the season.

“I don’t really have any expectations now other than run as smooth of a race as possible while gaining some good experience to see where I stack up against the other guys.”

Live coverage of the event starts at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

25 Feb, 2015

Breakdown: Atlanta & the East Coast (Featuring Brady Kiesel)

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There is no place quite like the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Packed 70,000 strong with decks on decks of spectators ready to bring the noise make it one of the most intense and coveted rounds in the series. And this year, the Atlanta double-up will only allow last week’s unfinished business to play out in a big way at Atlanta II. This week, we recap the action and catch up with ALiAS’ Brady Kiesel as he discusses what it takes to make it happen as a professional supercross racer. The ALiAS Breakdown is your chance to get in an inside look behind the scenes and inside the minds of your favorite ALiAS athletes. Each and every week our team will be working to bring you all exclusive news, interviews, photos and the inside scoop you won’t find anywhere else. Get closer to the action and inside your sport like never before.

BOGLE LOOKS FOR A WIN AT ATLANTA II

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When you carry the #1 plate on your back, the world rests on your shoulders. After scoring another podium finish and putting ALiAS back on the box, a casual onlooker could see the disappointment in Justin Bogle’s face. Captaining the 250 East SX squad for GEICO Honda, anything other than 1st means there’s room for improvement when you’re the champ. “I’m slightly frustrated but it’s good getting back on the podium,” Bogle said. “I got a decent start in the main and was right up front there. I rode as hard as I could and managed to get around Davalos after a few attempts. At that point I finally felt like I was getting into a good rhythm for the first time all day. “Then I started struggling with my breathing for some reason. It got really bad at the end and I got passed by Jeremy and Marvin in the last few laps.”

ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY: BRADY KIESEL TALKS SX

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Take a good look at this number, you’ll want to remember it. It belongs to Southern California’s Brady Kiesel, an East SX privateer who’s no stranger to the podium and on a steady progression through the pro ranks. With 7 amateur national championships, a rookie season #70 to his credit and nearly 2 decades of racing experience under his belt, night show performances like the one he threw down at Atlanta 1 are bound to keep him on the factory short-list. “I felt good about Atlanta. I came into the weeekend knowing what I needed to do. I was good in the heat but Musquin got me on the last couple corners so I had to go to the LCQ. Good start, I got around Audette in that first section and just rode smooth in 2nd. I could have tried to hang with Rodriguez but I wanted to maintain a comfortable pace and save energy for the main…where I got a terrible start. I was around 18th so I had worked past a few guys midrace; I passed DeCotis and started chasing down 2 guys in front of me (Dakota Alix and Kyle Peters) but ran out of time and ended up 15th. I think it was a good building block for Atlanta II with more confidence and knowing I can run right there with those guys.”

The level of competition on East and West coast is more stacked than we’ve ever seen it, but the dynamics of the East coast lineup make it even more intense for privateers trying to lock down a coveted spot. “It’s crazy. On the west coast you got your factory guys, a bunch of really gnarly dudes that are super fast and then a lot of other guys that are a little farther off the pace behind them. On the East though, you have all of the factory guys plus privateers that haven’t had a shot at a factory ride yet but are still really fast like Jace Owen, Nick Gaines and Dakota Alix. I think anyone that makes the main on the East coast is a hitter. To get inside the top 10, it just depends who puts in the work during the week and gets the start on race day. Like, when I get a start I know that I can finish inside the Top 10. And same for the guys behind me, it’s just a matter of who can start good and stay on two wheels!”

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Mental fortitude, the ability to focus and stay mentally strong is a key to Supercross racing. With just a few hours to dial in the track, racers also have to block out thousands of cheering fans and 19 other racers gunning for the #1 spot. “Honestly, I think Supercross is almost 90% mental. Last year I came into Dallas SX and broke my jaw really bad. When I went into the race I wasn’t really mentally there and it bit me in the ass. For me personally, I struggle in practice on race day. I’ll go out in practice and qualify terribly, but when it’s the night show my mindset is completely different, I guess it’s what I feed off of. Something clicks when I get into the night show, I loosen up, my mind clears and I start riding like a different person. I am working on that and starts right now, instead of starting from the back in 18th or 19th and working my way up I want to be up front early. It makes all the difference in the world – you can get the worst start and only make up a few positions because the guys are so fast. But if you were to get a top 5 start…it’s much easier to hold someone off than it is to pass someone so you get the start, settle into your pace and finish the race there instead of getting a bad start and working forward.”

Supercross is a brutal exercise in battling the highs and lows, soaking in the success and riding the wave as long as possible, also using failure when it comes to fuel the fire for the next face. “What keeps me coming back is me knowing that I have the potential if I have the sustainability in my program. I feel like I have always been right there with those guys; I am as good if not better. And I’m not saying it like “I’m better” I’m just saying I know that I can be there with that top tier of dudes. I put in the work throughout the off-season and I’m just going to keep chipping away at it, getting better every week. I want to see non-stop progression. I want to build off of last weekend and have a better weekend this weekend. And after this weekend, I want to have a better weekend next weekend. Top 15 last week means 15th this week isn’t good enough, I want to do better, take that into the outdoors and keep continually progressing.”

MESS WITH THE BULL, YOU GET THE HORNS…

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It wouldn’t be right to send of this week’s ALiAS breakdown without a shout out to RJ Hampshire. Locking down a 9th in the main at Atlanta 1, he’s becoming known in the supercross world for his insane style and aggressive, no-BS approach to getting to the front of the pack by whatever means neccessary. Tough as nails, funny as hell and one of the most talented athletes coming up through the circuit, we’re proud to help RJ along this journey to Supercross stardom.

- ALiAS

24 Feb, 2015

Pit Invasion: Atlanta, GA – #1

23 Feb, 2015

The Nest: Jason Lawrence

23 Feb, 2015

Bogle snatches another podium finish for GEICO Honda team

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ATLANTA (Feb. 21) — Reigning 250SX East Supercross champion Justin Bogle turned in another strong ride Saturday night at the Georgia Dome, bringing his GEICO Honda home in third place for a second straight podium finish.

Teammate RJ Hampshire fought through the pain of still-healing ribs and came home ninth in the 250 main. In 450 action, Eli Tomac went down hard in the slippery mid-section of the track and cut his right arm, which later required stitches. He still remounted and finished the race in 20th place.

Bogle was the star of the night. He was in second place after the start and held that position for the first nine laps before finally passing leader Martin Davalos, much to the delight of the crowd. He led the way for three of the remaining six laps but was passed by eventual winner Jeremy Martin and points leader Marvin Musquin.

“I’m slightly frustrated but it’s good getting back on the podium,” Bogle said. “I got a decent start in the main and was right up front there. I rode as hard as I could and managed to get around Davalos after a few attempts. At that point I finally felt like I was getting into a good rhythm for the first time all day.

“Then I started struggling with my breathing for some reason. It got really bad at the end and I got passed by Jeremy and Marvin in the last few laps.

“The whole day was a little off for me. I struggled in practice and could never find my groove. I was never comfortable in the heat race and even in the early parts of the main. At the same time it seemed everyone else was totally on their game today, running fast, so to end up with third is decent.”

After landing hard and hurting his chest in the East opener last weekend in Dallas, Hampshire only had one day of practice this week. But last year’s top amateur refused to give in, pushing through the pain and keeping himself in the mix.

“I feel lucky to even be racing here after last week’s wreck,” Hampshire said. “I was pretty beat up after the race. Once I got home I realized my injuries were pretty significant, enough that I couldn’t really ride until two days ago. There were times tonight when it was hard to breath because of my lungs being banged up but I fought through it.

“I was definitely a little rusty but I felt okay overall. I just had it in my head that I wanted to put in 15 laps and get some points. I know I didn’t do my best, not even close, but I’m proud to get another top-10 finish for my GEICO Honda team. I’m pretty happy overall.”

The tour returns to the Georgia Dome next Saturday for the second Atlanta race with a complete redesign of the race course.

23 Feb, 2015

#AskALiAS with Justin Bogle

19 Feb, 2015

Breakdown: Arlington SX

As the action heads East we proudly introduce the 250 East Supercross lineup: 2013 SX champ Justin Bogle and East Coast rookies RJ Hampshire and Jordon Smith. Together, they are the perfect blend of experience, tough-as-nails grit and all out speed that will put ALiAS and GEICO Honda on top of the podium in East coast racing. The ALiAS Breakdown is your chance to get in an inside look behind the scenes and inside the minds of your favorite ALiAS athletes. Each and every week our team will be working to bring you all exclusive news, interviews, photos and the inside scoop you won’t find anywhere else. Get closer to the action and inside your sport like never before.

GATE DROP: ARLINGTON, ROUND 7

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As the 450’s entered their 7th round of racing in the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross series, the 250SX class introduced a new crop of riders: For ALiAS, that means the likes of Bogle, Hampshire and Smith aboard GEICO Hondas in the 250 class. Unfortunately Jordon experienced a crash before the opening round that left him sidelined with an injured hand but looks to rebound and join the action in the weeks ahead, watching on from Arlington on as his teammates carried the torch for ALiAS. Defending Champ Justin Bogle was methodical in his approach to the opening round, taking his time learning the track and picking up speed with each qualifier of the evening. At the 250SX Moto 1 gate drop he struck with lightning quickness; Proving that he’s the man to beat with a big win in his heat. Into the main he carried the same confidence and poise, through the chaotic red-flag restart and had this to say on his 2nd in the main event: “It was a good start to the season, I won’t complain about a 2nd place at the opening round ever. There’s a few little things I gotta clean up…but I know what I need to work on. Go back home, do a little work with Ryan…My GEICO Honda is incredible this year. I’m really, really happy with my bike. Like I said a few little things I need to clean up but I fully believe I’m capable of winning.”

Unfortunately for his teammate RJ Hampshire, the evening wasn’t exactly a Cinderella story but staying true to form, RJ kept his head down and pushed through the pain for his rookie round of East Coast SX. “I started off a little rusty, I had a big get-off [in practice] and I didn’t think I was going to be able to race, actually the crew told me I wouldn’t be able to. But, they worked on me a little bit, I passed the concussion test and it was all up to me then. We fought through it…made it through my rookie debut with a top 10 ended up 7th so we’ll just build from here.” “I feel like I have good speed, I didn’t have too much contact tonight as I did in my first outdoors, just trying to get out there, put my 15 laps in and hit my points and that’s what I did.”

RJ HAMPSHIRE: THE ANIMAL

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Coming up this week, we get inside the head of GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire. Since his breakout win at the 2013 Monster Energy Cup, his debut race in ALiAS Racewear, this beast from Florida has been kept his head down ever since. After dealing with a big crash, the pressure of a go/no go decision and walking away with a 7th place finish amongst the fastest racers in the sport, we’re certain he’ll have a lot to say heading into the Georgia Dome this weekend.

ALIAS: ONE VISION, ONE TEAM

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From our ALiAS-supported GEICO Honda team to our youngest, most passionate racers, we are all one team. Keep us posted on your progress by tagging @aliasmx and #aliasmx on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and let us know where your ALiAS gear takes you. Each week we’ll be featuring up and coming athletes that are out living the ALiAS life and taking their abilities to new levels!

- ALiAS

17 Feb, 2015

Pit Invasion: Arlington, TX Supercross

14 Feb, 2015

Defending champion Bogle leads GEICO Honda riders with runner-up result

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ARLINGTON, Texas (Feb. 14) — Reigning 250SX East champion Justin Bogle of the vaunted GEICO Honda team raced to a strong second-place finish in Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross race at AT&T Stadium. Teammates Eli Tomac and R.J. Hampshire both finished seventh on the night, Tomac in 450 action and Hampshire behind Bogle in the first 250SX East race of the season.

“It’s nice to get out of here with a lot of points and bunch of knowledge,” said Bogle, who won his heat to advance to the main event. “I learned a lot tonight. I know where I was a little off, so I’ll go back and do some work this week to get ready for the next one. I fully believe I’m capable of winning; there are just a few things I need to clean up and I’ll be good.

“The bike is really, really good and the team is doing everything right. I thought it might be a little different carrying the No. 1 plate, but really once the racing starts it’s all the same. There are a ton of good bikes and great riders. Nothing is given to you ever. You have to earn every spot, every position. It’s gonna be just as hard, if not harder, than last year to win this thing.”

Tomac entered the main with a lot of momentum after finishing a strong second in his heat race but early on he tangled with Chad Reed, which slowed him down slightly, and then he later went down on his own. Although he jumped right up and got back in the race, the fall affected his performance.

“The fall didn’t cost me positions but it cost enough time off that it pretty much assured me of not having a chance at the podium,” Tomac said. “I’m never one to make excuses but I was just down on power today, to be honest. I think I might have overdone it a bit in practice and maybe having to travel east hurt. I’m not sure. I just didn’t have anything in the tank.

“I’ll definitely rest a bit more this week and recharge my batteries. We’re switching from our place in California to home (in Cortez, Colo.), so that will lessen the travel. I need to do whatever I can to get back on the podium every race.”

Hampshire was pleased with his Supercross debut. The nation’s top amateur rider said the pace of the field and tough pro layout of the track were everything he expected.

“I wasn’t too concerned about my finishing position; it was more about turning laps and hitting my spots,” Hampshire said. “Especially after the big crash I had in practice. There was a time there where we didn’t even know if they’d let me race in the night program. So coming from that point to a seventh-place finish isn’t too bad.

“My speed seemed good. I can improve, for sure, but I’m where I should be probably at this point. I think there are some things I can work on in practice that will make it better for me next week. I need better starts and I need to avoid trouble. One of my main goals is to race every lap of every main event this year.”

The series continues east for back-to-back races in Atlanta.

13 Feb, 2015

RJ Hampshire : Ready for His Supercross Debut – RAW