27 Mar, 2017

Dramatic Weekend for Craig at Detroit Supercross

Detroit, MI (March 26, 2017) – Christian Craig’s up and down season of 250SX racing for GEICO Honda gained yet another twist after a dramatic weekend at Ford Field in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Craig collided with Alex Martin in practice, and the move sent Martin over a berm and down hard. Martin was knocked out of racing for the night. As a penalty, the AMA and FIM assigned Craig the last gate selection for the night’s main event, but then a strange thing happened during this day of drama for Craig: he ended up logging his best ride of the season.

“Well, yesterday went from terrible to great to pretty good. As everyone knows, I had a practice incident with Alex Martin. I let my frustrations get the best of me in the heat of the moment. I could sit here and explain my side of the story but I’ll still end up in the wrong so I won’t,” said Craig, who took to his personal Instagram account to apologize to Martin. “Anyway, I got penalized and fined by the AMA. No matter what I got in my heat I would have last gate pick for the main. I ended up winning my heat which was such a good confidence booster for me. I’ve been mentally broken this season and I’ve been trying to get myself to where I was last year. I feel like I’m back as my normal self again. I rode like I knew how and I didn’t give up. I got the holeshot and led every lap. I know it was only a heat race win but that one felt really good.”

With the 22nd gate pick in the main event, Craig had no choice but to go wide open into turn one and hope for the best. He very nearly pulled off a good start, but at the last moment he came into contact with a pileup building from the inside, and that sent him into the tuff blocks.

“Going into the main I obviously knew I was going to be last pick so I took the outside gate and was just gonna go for it,” sais Craig. “I actually got a really good start but was caught in a first turn pile up. I would have for sure gotten a top five start if that [the crash] hadn’t happened. I started in 18th and made my way to seventh. With one more lap I could have gotten the two guys in front of me but I was just happy to see myself fight again. This season has been rough and it sucks it’s taken me this many rounds to find myself again but I’m thankful I’m healthy and ready for St. Louis next weekend.”

Craig will continue as the lone 250SX East rider for GEICO Honda, as new team member Cameron McAdoo will miss this weekend’s race in St. Louis while he waits for a deep cut on his hand to heal properly.

GEICO Honda Results

Detroit Supercross

7. Christian Craig

20 Mar, 2017

Craig Takes Positives From Indianapolis Run

Indianapolis, IN (March 18, 2017) – While a sixth-place finish in the 250SX East Region main event wasn’t exactly what GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig was hoping for, it was still a much-needed improvement over the previous week’s 14th place at Daytona. Following that race, Craig said he needed to make some changes, and it started with the week of preparation between the races. That resulted in a much better feeling throughout the race weekend.

“The week before Indy was no doubt the best week I’ve had during the season. I got caught up in my own head for the first few rounds and kinda just lost touch with where I should be mentally,” said Craig. “I had my mechanic stay in Florida with me and we did a week from last year. I had fun riding again. When you’re in season and have all this pressure, it’s easy to lose the fun part. I also am having a detox from social media and any dirt bike websites! I need to focus on myself right now so that’s what I’m doing. My plan for Indy was to have fun and race for me again and I did just that.”

Craig took fourth in 250SX qualifying in Indianapolis and finished second in his heat race. In the main event, he completed the first lap in eighth place and rode a steady race to net sixth. He is up to seventh in the point standings.

“Did I want sixth place? No, but I was happy with where my head was during the day,” explained Craig. “I was thoroughly enjoying myself and my bike. I was happy to get through the day and start building myself back up to where I should be. Like I always say, you can see where I am in practice and even in the heat races. I belong up front and I need to bring that to the main.”

Craig’s next chance to do that comes this weekend with the Detroit Supercross at Ford Field. He will be joined by new teammate Cameron McAdoo, who will make his debut with the team.

GEICO Honda Results

Indianapolis, Indiana

6. Christian Craig

14 Mar, 2017

Vital MX RAW: Christian Craig – The Nest

See what a few laps with Christian Craig looks like around the one of the Supercross tracks at The Nest. Better yet, it’s RAW! No music or slo-mo…just one of the smoothest riders in the world laying down laps.

14 Mar, 2017

Craig To Rebuild After a Tough Daytona Supercross

Daytona Beach, FL (March 11, 2017) – Christian Craig was the lone representative for the GEICO Honda team at the Daytona Supercross by Honda, and although he had never raced before on the rough and grueling course built on the infield of Daytona International Speedway, he had high hopes for the weekend. Unfortunately, the race didn’t go as planned, as a bad start left him mired in the pack and battling in traffic the whole night. He ended up finishing 14th.

“Going from a podium last week to this isn’t what I wanted and it sure as hell isn’t where I should be,” said Craig. “I feel like a broken record at this point with allmy crappy weekends. The track at Daytona was unlike anything I’ve ever raced before, but that was to be expected so I’m not saying that as my excuse. I haveno excuse other than I need to figure my crap out ASAP! The guy I am during the week and even in practice or in heat races isn’t the same one I am in the main. It all starts with a good start and I’ve been absolutely terrible at starts in the main.”

Craig plans on putting in the work to try to rectify the situation.

“This week my mechanic is staying in Florida with me and we are going back to where we were last year at this time. I’ve made a lot of changes this past yearand I kind of need to get my head back to where it belongs. I belong on top and I hope other people still believe that. I won’t stop till I am. Extremely bummed Ihaven’t been able to show everyone my worth this year but I’m going to make a change and we have five rounds left. I may not be in the points chase anymorebut that doesn’t mean I can’t get wins.”

Craig and the GEICO Honda team race again this weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Results: 

14. Christian Craig

06 Mar, 2017

Craig Rebounds with Toronto Supercross Podium

Toronto, CA (March 4, 2017) – A week after a crash knocked him out of action in Atlanta, GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig bounced back with a solid, safe third place during a hectic 250SX main event in Toronto, Canada. With riders battling and crashing all around him, Craig kept it steady to grab his first podium finish of the season.

“Toronto was definitely an improvement for me,” said Craig. “I qualified second but didn’t feel like I was second honestly. The track was tricky. Being from California, I’m not used to a track that breaks down like that. For the night show I was kinda in safe mode, which I shouldn’t have been.”

Craig battled hard with Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis for his heat race win and finished less than half a second behind. “My heat was good. I started in like fifth or so and made my way to second. I almost took the lead in the last turn but I didn’t want to take either of us out.

“The main was pretty bad, actually. I tightened up on about lap eight and was riding too cautious because of the track conditions. I was in fifth for a while then [Colt] Nichols and [Joey] Savatgy went down. After they both went down I knew I needed to get focused to stay in third. I rode my best after those guys crashed to hold onto third—I wanted to hold onto that spot. I got lucky with a podium but it’s where I belong so it felt good to be there after the first two rounds I had.”

Craig, despite being one of the fastest riders at the first two rounds of the series, had finishes of 12th and Did Not Qualify coming into Toronto.

Unfortunately, even with Craig’s podium, the GEICO Honda team’s recent run of bad luck didn’t end entirely. RJ Hampshire finished the race in 14th place, but actually broke his lower leg in the process, and the injury will likely end his supercross season.

“This weekend was for sure not my best,” said Hampshire. “The track got really beat down and it was hard for me to find a flow all day. In the heat I was running in second and felt the best I had all day then I tucked the front end and went down. I was able to work my way back up to eighth. My start in the main wasn’t the best so as always, it makes everything more challenging. I think I was seventh on the last lap when I came up short on the rhythm section and went down. I knew something had happened to my leg but didn’t know how bad so I got up and was able to finish in 14th. I went to the doctor today and found out I fractured my lower tib and fib [tibia and fibula]. Looks like I won’t need surgery and should hopefully be back within eight weeks or so.”

Craig will carry the flag for the team at this weekend’s Daytona supercross in Florida, but 250SX West Region rider Jeremy Martin will also be in attendance, riding under the factory Honda HRC tent in the 450 class. Martin will be in his traditional GEICO Honda Alias gear, riding aboard the injured Ken Roczen’s Honda CRF450R. The Daytona race will mark Martin’s career debut in the 450SX class.

GEICO Honda Results

Toronto, Ontario Canada

3. Christian Craig

14. RJ Hampshire

27 Feb, 2017

GEICO Honda Press Release – Atlanta

Hampshire Salvages Top 10 on Rough Weekend for GEICO Honda

Atlanta, GA (February 25, 2017) – High hopes for GEICO Honda’s 250SX East effort ran into a wall of bad breaks at the second round of the championship, held in the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta. RJ Hampshire admits it wasn’t a great night for him, but he was the lone soldier for the team in the night show, and salvaged tenth. Cristian Craig crashed out in his heat race, and Chase Sexton’s pro debut once again stalled due to injury, as a practice crash left him with a broken femur.

Sexton underwent surgery on Sunday afternoon and is out indefinitely. Craig suffered a mild concussion but felt surprisingly well on Sunday, and he might be able to compete this weekend in Toronto.

As for Hampshire, he came in nursing a shoulder injury, but competed for a top five before going down late in the race.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Hampshire. “Struggled with the whoops from the start of the day and never really found a flow after that. I finished third in the heat race but felt like I was lost on my bike, was riding terrible. Got off to a decent start in the main, right around the top five and hung right around there till about five to go. I ended up going down on the landing of the finish and landed right on the hurt shoulder. So a bad night turned even worse! Had to many small mistakes all night that cost me big. But I’m okay–looking forward to Toronto!”

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Craig hovered in the top three in practice times throughout the day, with his number popping up in the top spot several times, aided by impressive whoop speed. Unfortunately, the whoops also led to his undoing.

“My day was awesome before the night show,” said Craig. “I was fastest in the first qualifying and second in the last one. I liked the track and was probably one of the best guys through the whoops all the day. I jumped the gate in my heat, giving me a terrible start. I was making a ton of passes, an average of two riders every lap through the whoops! I slid out once, then made my way back up to fifth. On one of the last laps I was going for another two guys in the whoops but there was someone crashed on the right side which left me frazzled with what to do. I kinda just lost it when I saw him down and crashed. I unfortunately got a concussion and wasn’t able to ride in the LCQ or main. I’m super bummed with how these first races have gone. If you watch me in practice, you know what I’m capable of so it’s hard to understand why I can’t make it happen when it matters. Hoping to get clearance to ride early this week and be in Toronto.”

Sexton’s delayed pro debut was supposed to happen in Atlanta, as he missed last week’s 250SX East opener to give his injured wrists an extra week to heal. He looked solid in his first professional practice sessions until the whoops bit him late. Sexton tried jumping out of the section but caught a wheel, sending him to the ground, and also leading to a red flag stoppage of the action in practice. There is no timetable yet on his return from the femur injury.

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Hampshire and possibly Craig will represent the team this weekend in Toronto.

GEICO Honda Results

Atlanta Supercross

10. RJ Hampshire

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_2017_MINNEAPOLIS_SX_OCTOPI_8773

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!”

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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

Minneapolis Supercross

February 18, 2017

4. RJ Hampshire

12. Christian Craig

05 Jun, 2016

Rebound Weekend for GEICO Honda Sees Smith in Top Ten

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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

Lakewood, Colorado

250MX

7. Jordon Smith

12. RJ Hampshire

 

28 May, 2016

Rough Day At the Races for GEICO Honda at Glen Helen National

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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

 

250MX:

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

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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

 

250MX:

7. Jordon Smith (2-16)

9. Tristan Charboneau (6-14)

12. Christian Craig (15-8)

15. RJ Hampshire (5-38)