20 Feb, 2017
Hampshire’s Fourth Leads GEICO Honda in 250SX East Kickoff
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
17 Feb, 2017
Transworld MX: Christian Craig “CULMINATION”
The 2016 season marked a turning point in the career of GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig. After returning from a brief stint with retirement, Craig proved to everyone – including himself – that he was capable of winning by doing just that at the Phoenix Supercross. Armed with more confidence than ever, Craig’s season was cut short at the 250 National Championship Series opener at Glen Helen when he collided with a teammate and suffered a badly broken lower leg.
From the moment he woke up from the surgery needed to repair his damaged limb, Craig has been counting the days until the start of his 2017 season. It’s been a long journey back from injury, but when the gate drops in Minneapolis this weekend, Craig will certainly be more prepared and determined than ever.
Culmination is a mini-documentary that chronicles Craig’s preparation for 2017; and features insightful interviews from key players in his corner. Special thanks to Geico Motorcycle, 100%, Alias, 6D, Rynopower, and Roy’s Cyclery for making this project possible. Enjoy!
Follow Christian Craig on Instagram.
Read more at http://motocross.transworld.net/news/culmination-team-48/#AsmME1rPSz7Q6ajV.99
05 Jun, 2016
Rebound Weekend for GEICO Honda Sees Smith in Top Ten
Lakewood, Colorado (June 4, 2016) – After a disastrous outing a week ago in California that left the squad battered and bruised, the GEICO Honda team regrouped with solid finishes at round three of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the True Value Thunder Valley National, near Denver, Colorado.
Jordon Smith was one of four team riders to leave last weekend’s race hurting, but he said he felt fine by race day this time. He bounced back with 5-12 moto scores for seventh overall in the 250MX class.
“I had a pretty good weekend. I like the track here in Colorado and my bike was good today,” said Smith. “I got off to a good start in the first moto and was running up front pressuring the leaders for the first few laps. I ended up getting a little arm pump around half way and dropped back to fifth. Second moto I had a decent top 10 start and ended up falling on the first lap. I fell pretty far back, not exactly sure what place I was in but put my head down and charged back to 12th in the moto for a seventh overall. Definitely need to put two motos together for the rest of the season. I know that’s what I need to work on so I’m going to try to put in a lot of work during this week off and be as ready as I can be for High Point.”
RJ Hampshire was the only rider on the team not injured last week. Unfortunately he didn’t get the results he wanted in Colorado, going 10-14 for 12th overall.
“Rough weekend. Felt good on the bike all day. Got tangled up on both starts and was way back!” he said. “Felt like my speed was good enough to be with the top guys but just didn’t start up there then made stupid mistakes all day. Second moto I hit the ground pretty hard around 20 minutes in just as I had caught up to a pack of guys. Forgetting this weekend and looking forward to heading east!”
As for the other injured riders, Christian Craig has come through surgery for his broken leg and hasn’t been ruled out for a return at some point before the end of the season. Rookie Tristan Charboneau has had his broken collarbone plated and expects to return for the next race at High Point in Pennsylvania, on June 18th.
In addition, GEICO Honda amateur team rider Chase Sexton was on hand to watch in Colorado. He will make his pro debut later this summer once he completes the AMA Amateur National Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch in August. With Sexton set to join the team later this year, Charboneau’s comeback scheduled for the next event, and Craig working on rehab, the team does not plan on bringing on any fill-in riders at this time.
GEICO Honda Results
True Value Thunder Valley National
7. Jordon Smith
12. RJ Hampshire
28 May, 2016
Rough Day At the Races for GEICO Honda at Glen Helen National
San Bernardino, CA (May 28, 2016) – With only one of the team’s five riders even able to complete the second moto uninjured at round two of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the Glen Helen National was a race the GEICO Honda team would like to forget. Unfortunately, some painful injuries mean it probably won’t.
“Yeah, definitely one of those days that we wish we could start over,” said Team Manager Mike LaRocco. “We lost Christian Craig in the first moto. He went to the hospital, I believe he’s going to end up having a fractured tibia and fibula. He actually came together with Jordan Smith, who got a really large contusion on his back from when him and Craig came together. So he suffered in the first moto and then couldn’t finish the second moto. So two in one there.”
Craig has undergone surgery on his leg and his status will be updated going forward. Smith rode well early in moto two until the pain set in and he was unable to finish. The second moto also claimed rookie Tristian Charbonneau with a possible collarbone injury.
“Tristan was seventh in the first moto, and was running in that twelve to fifteen pack in the second moto,” said LaRocco. “He went down just before three laps to go and shouldered into the wall part of the rhythm lane. So he possibly fractured his collarbone. We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out. And (RJ) Hampshire, at one point I believe did an off-track into the fence! So we just had a bad day.”
Hampshire was the only rider to complete both motos successfully, taking solid 6-11 scores for ninth overall. Even the team’s 450 rider, Justin Bogle had to deal with injury issues due to a cut on his hand suffered in a non-racing incident earlier in the week. He toughed out 15th in the first moto but couldn’t finish the second race.
With several riders on the mend, the team heads to round three of the motocross championship at Thunder Valley MX outside of Denver, Colorado, next Saturday.
GEICO Honda Results
FMF Glen Helen National
Glen Helen Raceway
San Bernardino, California
9. RJ Hampshire
15. Tristan Charbonneau
30. Jordon Smith
40. Christian Craig
23 May, 2016
Young Talent Shows Potential for GEICO Honda at Motocross Opener
Sacramento, California (May 21, 2016) – With a deep field of contenders in both the 250 and 450 classes of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, every rider at the Hangtown season opener simply wanted to test their speed and preparation without specific expectations for results. In that aspect the GEICO Honda team can be happy as several riders logged better rides than the overall results sheet indicates.
It starts with Jordon Smith, who logged a career-best second in the first moto of the year in 250MX, and looked set for a podium finish overall while running fourth early in moto two. Unfortunately, he was taken down due to an aggressive pass from rider Alex Martin. He ended up sixteenth, with 2-16 scores relegating him to seventh for the day.
“My day went pretty good overall. I can only take positive away from it,” said Smith. “Made some changes to my bike after practice—those guys killed it and the bike was great. Got a good start in the first moto, got up there and ran second the whole race. I felt good. Had another good one going in the second moto and…I ended up getting taken out. I just sort of struggled from there and finished sixteenth. I was running up front in both motos, had good starts and showed I had the speed, so I can just build on that.”
It looked like RJ Hampshire would have a great day, too, after a strong fifth in the first moto. A minor crash in moto two turned into a bad situation, though, as he was trapped under his bike.
“Weekend didn’t end too good but I’m taking positives from it,” said Hampshire, who went 5-38 for fifteenth overall. “Solid first moto, ran fifth pretty much the whole time. Second moto I made some quick passes and ended up going down, my arm got stuck in the bike. That pretty much ended my moto. But I showed good speed and have a lot of positives to take out of the weekend, so hopefully we can improve the results.”
Rookie Tristan Charboneau made his much-anticipated professional debut at Hangtown and showed he’s ready, taking an impressive sixth in moto one. A fourteenth in moto two gave him ninth overall.
“Had a great first moto, went out and got a great start and followed the leaders around for awhile,” said Charboneau. “I got sixth, and I tried to throw a few passes in there, but a rookie guy doesn’t really know how to make those passes yet! Second moto I had a terrible start and crashed, but they red flagged it and had a restart because someone was down. But I got another bad start, had to work my way up to 14th. Made a lot of progress today and I think I’ll be alright going forward.”
Christian Craig suffered setbacks in both motos, and his 15-8 for twelfth overall doesn’t show his capabilities. He passed 25 riders during a comeback charge in the first moto. “Started off the day ninth in qualifying. I want to be up there so that wasn’t my best, for sure,” he said. “I went into the motos confident, but I fell in the third corner of the first moto. Started dead last and worked my way up to fifteenth. Second moto I started mid pack and just tried to go forward. I got to seventh and went down. Had to just ride it out and I got eighth. Not my best—I’m looking for a lot more. Next weekend I need to get a better result and I’m confident I can get it.”
The team heads down to Southern California for the Glen Helen National this weekend.
GEICO Honda Results
7. Jordon Smith (2-16)
9. Tristan Charboneau (6-14)
12. Christian Craig (15-8)
15. RJ Hampshire (5-38)
12 May, 2016
GEICO Honda Announces Rider Lineup for Pro Motocross Nationals
Corona, CA (May 11, 2016) – Next weekend, the GEICO Honda race team will mark the transition from stadium racing in Monster Energy Supercross to traditional outdoor-style action in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. A five-rider lineup will include a new face at the opener at Hangtown in Sacramento, California on May 21st.
Tristan Charboneau, a two-time AMA Amateur National Motocross Champion at Loretta Lynn’s, will make his professional debut in the 250MX class at Hangtown. The Washington state native joined the squad’s amateur wing in late 2014, and moved to California this year to operate closer to the team’s headquarters. His recent gains in speed and stamina while riding with current pro riders during the week has convinced the team he’s ready for the professional ranks.
“I’ve been working really hard to try to get here and riding is going really well,” says Charboneau, who will wear the #403. “I’ve only known for sure about this for the last few days, but my trainer has had me training for the last two months for this because I knew there was a chance. The work has been a huge confidence booster. I can do two 30-minute motos now no problem, and it has helped a lot mentally, too. When I do my motos at the practice track, I’m trying to track down the pro guys and sometimes I’m even passing them. I think [Team Manager] Mike LaRocco saw something in me when I was riding with other pros at the practice track. I’m really, really excited about this opportunity.”
Charboneau works with team trainer John Wessling alongside several other GEICO Honda pro riders, as well as personal riding coach Jay Whipple.
Charboneau will join Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire and Jordon Smith to make a four-rider 250MX lineup, while Justin Bogle will anchor the 450MX program. Malcolm Stewart, fresh off the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross 250SX Eastern Region Championship, will forgo the motocross season to prepare for his graduation to a full-time 450 career in 2017.
“Now that I have won my first 250 SX championship, I know firsthand just how much work it takes to become a champion,” says Stewart. “So as I move full time to the 450 class for 2017 I know it will take twice as much work and preparation. Not riding the outdoors this year will leave me plenty of time to prepare for my 450 SX and MX pro debut.
“Thanks to everyone at GEICO Honda and my family for helping me win this 250 SX Championship!” concludes Stewart.
Motocross prep and testing for the GEICO Honda team is well underway. The squad’s 250 division grabbed the AMA 250 National Motocross Championship in 2010 and 2013, and last year the 450 division won the first five motos of the 450MX season.
09 May, 2016
Malcolm Stewart Wins 250 Supercross Championship for GEICO Honda
Las Vegas, NV (May 7, 2016) – A wild, unpredictable season of Monster Energy Supercross’ 250SX East Region ended with yet another unexpected situation: a muddy desert. With a 14-point lead, GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart only needed to finish tenth at the season finale to clinch his first professional title, but he would face the best riders from the East and West regions as part of the annual Dave Coombs Sr. Memorial Shootout. Then massive afternoon rain turned the Sam Boyd Stadium track into a mess. Through it all, he logged a clutch ride to finish third, more than enough to come home as the 2016 250SX East Region Champion.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders, finally!” said Stewart. He credits advice from his older brother James, who he joins to make the first pair of siblings to win supercross championships, for help with dealing with the pressure. “After we sat down and talked about that it was like a light switch. Everything was going good. I felt like I started stressing a little bit right when it started raining. This is not a race that it should ever rain at! So of course I started freaking out, but I felt that I processed it very well. Almost got the holeshot in the heat race, then we went to the main event and got a very good start. I just put a solid 12 laps in. What was funny was I decided I wanted to get tired and get arm pump on the very last lap. It was all hitting me! Stopped breathing, panick mode, over-jumping, under-jumping. I just kept it on two wheels and tried to do the best I could do and we got the championship. It was funny because I jumped the finish line and I saw my brother. He was so stoked! I was screaming in my helmet and I fell over! It’s an amazing feeling and my whole entire family and the whole GEICO Honda crew, I definitely couldn’t have done it without them. I’ll say it again – half this championship goes to my brother because he talked me through the worst nights, he put me in this situation because he’s won championships and he knows how to process it. It was my job to go out and do it, and I finally did it.”
The GEICO Honda team has now won half of the 250SX Championships in the last six years—six of twelve
The mud wreaked havoc on the rest of the team riders in 250SX. Christian Craig led that group with eighth.
“Started the day not bad, qualified second, then it started pouring so I had to change the game plan,” said Craig. “Main event, I got a decent start and was running fifth for a while and went down. It was hectic and muddy, tough to ride. But no excuses. I ended up third in points in my first year after a few years off, so I can’t complain.”
“Main event was the gnarliest track I’ve even ridden in my life,” said RJ Hampshire, who took 16th. “I think I had four crashes, just tried to finish the race. So glad to be healthy.”
“It was insane,” said Jimmy Decotis, who finished 19th. “Heat race was pretty tricky but the main event was like nothing I’ve ever ridden—one of the hardest tracks I’ve ever ridden.”
The muddy track took a toll on Jordon Smith, who was unable to finish. “My day started off good, probably my best practice of the year so far,” said Smith. “Then it started raining and I got into a pileup in the heat race and a guy ran over my rib a little bit. In the main event it was bothering me, my rib kept popping out, going to have to get it checked out.”
The team will resume racing in Sacramento, California on May 21st for the start of the Pro Motocross Championship.
GEICO Honda Results
Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Malcolm Stewart
8. Christian Craig
16: RJ Hampshire
19. Jimmy Decotis
21. Jordon Smith
1. Malcolm Stewart
8. RJ Hampshire
3. Christian Craig
7. Jimmy Decotis
9. Jordon Smith
22 Feb, 2016
Craig A Close Second For GEICO Honda In Texas
Arlington, TX (February 20, 2016) – At round seven of Monster Energy Supercross in AT&T Stadium, just outside of Dallas, Christian Craig once again put his GEICO Honda in the mix for a 250SX main event win. He led until lap 12 of the 15-lap race before yielding to eventual winner Cooper Webb. Craig’s runner-up finish marked his fifth-straight visit to the podium, and he remains third in the points standings.
“I tightened up in the heat race. I wasn’t breathing,” said Craig. “My breathing was better in the main. I still wasn’t 100 percent myself out there. I’d say I was riding at 80 percent—I was trying to ride mistake-free and when you do that you actually make more mistakes. Two big mistakes in one lap cost me. I had Cooper come right up on me and he made the pass pretty quick. I tried to get in behind him and ride with him. Made a couple more mistakes and lost a second or two. Second tonight. I thought I threw that one away.”
Craig held the early lead after a controversial moment, as he moved over on Joey Savatgy in the whoop section, sending Savatgy to the ground hard. He was uninjured but got up in last, and finished tenth. Craig defended the move as a racing situation.
“I got off to a holeshot; Savatgy got around me,” said Craig, who extended the team’s holeshot streak to six-straight races. “He bobbled coming out and I snuck on the inside. I thought I made the pass and then I heard him coming to the left of me, and there was a left-hander coming up so I knew I had to block that inside right away or he was going to take me high. I jumped into the second set of whoops and I moved over pretty quick. If not, I would have gotten taken high for sure. He was going for it. I ended up taking him out. It’s unfortunate. I don’t like being a dirty rider but it’s a racing incident. It happens. I’m sure he would have cut over, too. I didn’t mean to cut over as hard as I did, but, you know, you’re in the mode of racing and pass, pass, pass, so you don’t think at the time, really. You’re just thinking: Get in front and get over.”
Fellow GEICO Honda 250 rider Jimmy Decotis took seventh.
“My night was okay, I finished right where I qualified,” said Decotis. “I felt a little bit off today, not exceptional. I had a bad start on this track and it cost me. You start in 14th on this track, it’s hard to make ground.”
The team now heads to Atlanta, Georgia for the first 250SX East Region race of the season. West Region riders Craig, Decotis and the injured Jordon Smith get a break, while East Region riders Malcolm Stewart and RJ Hampshire will make their 2016 debut.
GEICO Honda Results:
2. Christian Craig
7. Jimmy Decotis
- From GEICO HONDA -
08 Feb, 2016
GEICO Honda’s Craig Scores Emotional First Career Victory
Glendale, Arizona (February 6, 2016) – Just outside of Phoenix, GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig completed his remarkable rise from retirement to the top step of the podium in Monster Energy Supercross, claiming his first career victory on Saturday night. After three straight weeks of duels with defending 250SX West Champion Cooper Webb, Craig emerged on top of another scintillating battle that had the crowd on its feet the whole way.
“Tonight was something special for sure,” said Craig. “I was struggling with the track, too. Got a good start. [Jimmy] Decotis, my teammate, got the holeshot, I think that’s almost every holeshot this year for the team, pumped for him, but I made the pass through the whoops, that was my strong point. Then I was like ‘Alright, here we go again, I see the number one [Webb] coming.’ Same thing again, he caught me, lap ten, he tried to run it in on me in one of the corners before the whoops, and I saw his front end push right under me. [After he crashed] I was like, ‘Okay, five more laps, just ride it in.’ Crossing that finish line was like a dream come true, for sure. A feeling I’ll never forget.
“Riding around after that win, doing a parade lap, I just had my eyes closed,” Craig continued. “I am just so thankful for being here and racing again. I’m thankful for the opportunity with the GEICO Honda team. I had a strong off season with a great group of people around me, and all of that hard work that we all put in made this happen.”
The second coming of Craig’s career has been the feel-good story of the 2016 supercross season, as the California native retired from the sport in 2013, only to find himself rejuvenated by the time off. He has trained and worked harder than ever in his return to competition.
“Last year at this time I was working construction,” Craig explained. “To be here today, I didn’t see that happening. When I came back last year outdoors, I finally started to believe in myself, then this year around round three I knew I could win. I just needed to get the jitters out at the first few races.”
With the victory, Craig made up five points on series’ leader Joey Savatgy, and now sits just eleven points back in the standings.
Earlier in the evening, it looked like team rider Jordon Smith was headed for a breakthrough as well, as he led his qualifying heat race down to the final lap. Then disaster struck.
“Day started out pretty good, I think it was my best qualifying of the year with sixth, and all the times were pretty close so I felt good about that,” said Smith, who has been wrestling with a shoulder injury of late. “Got a good start in the heat race and made a few passes, found myself in the lead. That was the best I’d felt all year, and then on the last lap I had a really unfortunate crash in the whoops. They were really big and tough this week. That put me out for the rest of the night. It’s a bummer but we’ll be back.”
Jimmy Decotis also got to do some leading by nailing the holeshot in the main event, but was feeling ill and couldn’t hold up to the lead pace.
“In the main I got the holeshot and rode the first couple of laps great, then it went downhill,” Decotis said. “I’ve been sick for the past three weeks and can’t seem to kick it. Ended up finishing ninth which I’m not happy about. Hoping I can get this sickness out of my system and get on the podium soon.”
The team heads to PetCo Park in San Diego, California for round six of the season on February 13th.
GEICO Honda Supercross Results: Glendale, Arizona
1. Christian Craig
9. Jimmy Decotis
01 Feb, 2016
Craig finds the podium for the 2nd straight week
Oakland, California (January 30, 2016) – Christian Craig keeps taking steps toward a career-first win in Monster Energy Supercross. After his first podium finish last week at Anaheim, California, the GEICO Honda rider came out even stronger on Saturday night in Oakland, California, grabbing the holeshot and leading the fastest 250SX class riders for several laps before a brief fall cost him the number-one spot. He fought back valiantly to salvage another podium with a third-place finish.
“I thought tonight was my night to win,” said Craig. “Worked on my starts last week and was confident on those. I pulled the holeshot in the heat race, but Cooper [Webb] was just on another level there, he got around me. In the main event I knew I had to get a good start and just try to run away with it. I ended up pulling the holeshot there, my first holeshot in a main event, ever, so I was pretty happy with that. Just focused on myself and tried to pull away as fast as possible, and on lap five I threw it away in a corner all by myself. That was it. Went back to sixth, fought my way back up. After holeshotting, I thought I could finally do it. Unfortunately, mistake on my part, but I learned. I know I can win now, it’s all just a matter of putting it together.”
Craig fell when he lost traction with his front tire in a tight, 180-degree corner. A similar crash also cost teammate Jordon Smith. Smith was fighting a sore shoulder coming into the race, and then crashed again in practice. He fought through all of tha pain to battle inside top five during the first half of the main event. When Craig crashed, Smith took over fourth, but then he too lost traction and crashed in one of the 180-degree turns. He ended up dropping back to 13th, and then picked off a few riders to take 11th at the finish.
“Day was pretty tough for me, I had a crash at the practice track during the week and had an AC separation in my shoulder,” said Smith. “Unfortunately a mistake by me in the main event cost me a pretty good finish. Just rehab the shoulder and get ready for next weekend.”
Jimmy Decotis had a quiet night, taking a ninth-place finish.
“I struggled a little bit in practice and the heat, really struggled in the main event. Just couldn’t get in a flow,” said Decotis, who was in the top five last weekend. “So I’m going to regroup and get ready for next weekend, that’s really all I can do now. Go punish myself in the gym this week, make up for it and get ready for next weekend.”
GEICO Honda Results
3. Christian Craig
9. Jimmy Decotis
11. Jordon Smith