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
27 Jun, 2016
Smith Leads Laps to Head GEICO Honda Charge at Muddy Creek
Blountville, TN (June 25, 2016) – Consistency is what the GEICO Honda team has been looking for in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, and that’s what it got during a hot and humid day at Muddy Creek, round five of the season. Jordon’s Smith’s strong 4-6 moto finishes led to fourth overall in 250MX, and included some laps led in moto one.
“Oh man it feels so good, especially after the last few races, they’ve been tough,” said Smith. “We’ve been doing some testing to try to figure things out. It feels good to have two good motos and to run up front both times. I led four or five laps there in the first moto. The only time I’d ever been in the lead outdoors was at Utah last year, and that time I was a little freaked out. This time I felt really comfortable up there and it was fun. I ended up getting a little bit of arm pump so I kind of had to salvage a fourth there. Arm pump in both of the motos so that kind of hurt. But it feels good to run up front. I feel like that’s where I belong.”
Teammate RJ Hampshire wasn’t too far back with 9-9 finishes for eighth overall. “Consistent weekend. That’s something we haven’t had!” said Hampshire. “Speed wasn’t that great but we weren’t worried about that this weekend. [Team Manager, Mike] Larocco and I talked a lot this week and came into the weekend with new goals. We were close to reaching them but overall happy with the weekend. Both Motos inside the top ten and eighth overall. We will start building now!”
Hampshire is eighth in the 250MX season standings, Smith is ninth. Bogle is eleventh in the 450MX class.
The team heads to the popular Red Bud National for Independence Day Weekend, July 2nd in Buchanan, Michigan.
GEICO Honda Results
Red Bull Muddy Creek National
4. Jordon Smith 4-6
8. RJ Hampshire 9-9
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
25 Apr, 2016
Stewart’s Podium Maintains East Supercross Points Lead for GEICO Honda
Foxborough, Mass. (April 22, 2016) – In Monster Energy Supercross’ wild and crazy 250SX East Region Championship, consistency has become paramount. So while GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart could have been disappointed after holding the lead but eventually only finishing third at Gillette Stadium, he instead found the positive. On a changing track, he avoided a big mistake and crash and also finished ahead of his nearest championship rival, extending his points lead from one to five with just two races remaining.
Stewart led the main event early and pulled out a small lead, and at that point it looked like he might take a victory. “I think everybody thought that. I thought it myself too,” he said. “Overall the day turned around for sure. It was real muddy in the morning and then obviously the change was amazing, for the heat race and how the race went. The track turned out dry. The heat race went good. Won that one and that was amazing. Then we went into the main event and I got the lead really quick. I started kind of pulling away a little bit. I think I started making a couple mistakes. The track got worse and worse and I think the mistakes, it was more of the track getting to me. I felt like you got to a point you couldn’t even take the same lines every time. Fifteen laps, I think you took fifteen different lines! I had to just ride, just ride my own speed. I made a few mistakes and I let [Jeremy] Martin and [Martin] Davalos get around me, but I settled down and got on the box with third.”
A week ago Stewart endured three crashes in the main event and a disappointing eighth place finish. He was happy to avoid that fate this time. “It was one of those races that you can’t do anything but think positive because the way last weekend was, crashing three times and almost losing the points lead… I could say a third is a considered a win with how last weekend went. There’s nothing but positive energy leaving from this. From here on out it’s all about staying on the box.”
RJ Hampshire’s 250SX East season has been hampered by terrible starts. The story remained the same in Massachusetts, where he got a bad jump out of the starting gate and approached turn one nearly last.
“Practice I felt good, heat race I felt good, main event I struggled again due to a terrible start,” said Hampshire. “I don’t know what it is, just seems like I can’t get off the gate in the main. I felt like I was riding well during the main, too, I was just so far back it seemed like I was in the middle of nowhere. Besides lappers, I didn’t see anyone for like 9-10 laps! Then I finally caught [Tyler] Bowers on lap 12 and could see the rest of the pack, then I cross rutted and went down, landed in the mud. We have two of these things left, I believe I can challenge the front with a start.”
The team heads to Met Life Stadium just outside of New York City for Saturday night racing on April 30.
GEICO Honda Results:Gillette Stadium
3. Malcolm Stewart
8. RJ Hampshire
11 Apr, 2016
Stewart’s Solid Ride on Tough Track Grows Points Lead for GEICO Honda
Indianapolis, IN (April 9, 2016) – Malcolm Stewart, once known mostly for his all-out speed, has made tremendous strides this season in his consistency during the Monster Energy Supercross’ 250SX East Championship. On Saturday night, even a rough, rutted track that led to the undoing of several title rivals couldn’t throw the GEICO Honda rider, as he scored a strong second-place finish at round five of the nine-race season.
“Had a good day in Indy,” said Stewart, who has a win and two seconds this season. “Qualified first in practice and was feeling good on the bike all day. Finished second in my heat. In the main I got a decent start and worked my way up to second.”
The Indianapolis track was extremely rutted, and that caused most riders to make huge mistakes. Up front, Stewart trailed leader Aaron Plessinger, but rode smart and steady to hold his position and ultimately stretch his points lead. “I closed in on Plessinger a few times but couldn’t make the pass happen on that track,” said Stewart. “Luckily, I’m keeping the red plate [as points leader] which I’m really pumped on. Now I’m leading the points by 10.”
Hampshire faired pretty well despite the demanding track, but trouble working through traffic held him to sixth.
“Decent weekend,” said Hampshire, who tied his season-best finish. “Felt good in practice, and was right where I needed to be. Had a pretty good heat going and ate it in the whoops, hit my head and chest pretty good. That sent me to my first LCQ of the season. Won that but had a terrible gate pick on the outside for the main. Ended up coming out of the gate pretty good, rounded he first turn around the top five then got tangled up in the first couple turns and believe I fell back to around 15th. I had a massive case around half way because of a lapper, which hurt me pretty bad. Put my head down and came back to sixth. Not what we want but we will keep building and not dawn on the downs!”
The team heads to downtown St. Louis next weekend, with Stewart carrying a 10-point lead in the 250SX East Championship.
GEICO Honda Results
2. Malcolm Stewart
6. RJ Hampshire
21 Mar, 2016
Malcolm Stewart Scores Win and Takes Points Lead for GEICO Honda
Detroit, MI (March 19, 2016) – In what’s rapidly turning into one of the wildest 250SX East Region Championship chases ever in Monster Energy Supercross, GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart stated his championship case with a dominant victory at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Stewart’s first win of the season also allows him to take over the series’ points lead. Even more impressive, he did it while dealing with an illness during the afternoon.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Stewart. “Coming out and being sick, and then to turn the race around like that. I felt good on the track and felt bad in the truck!”
Despite the illness, Stewart logged a perfect night, taking fast qualifier honors and winning his heat race. “It was one of those ones that you feel good and just hope for the best,” Stewart continued. “It was a clean sweep. I can’t thank GEICO Honda enough for that. It was one of those things where it’s all about having fun and I’m glad that I got it over with. I was just letting it come to me because every time I force the issue I’ve gone down and made some bonehead mistakes.”
Stewart took the lead in the whoops on lap five. That section of the track tripped up most riders, but turned into a strength for him.
“I knew my strongpoint was in those whoops and I knew that those guys were kind of struggling,” said Stewart. “So I just hit the left side of the whoops because I knew that was the point where everybody was not hitting them, so I knew that I could make it work here. That’s the reason why we get a parade lap. I just kind of mapped it out myself. This is exactly where I’m going to pass people. Everybody else was pretty much even around the track except for those whoops, so I knew that was a big part. And it’s in my favor being a tall guy and knowing how to hit whoops paid off.”
Stewart has overcome his share of rough patches during this 250SX East campaign, as just last week he was down in a huge first turn crash that required two trips to the mechanic’s area for repairs. He salvaged a sixth at that race, and combined with second and fourth place finishes at the other rounds, is enough to lead the series by seven points.
“I’m happy that my good luck is starting to happen and let’s just keep it that way,” said Stewart. “It’s not over yet. We’ve still got a lot of racing to go.”
Stewart’s 250SX teammate RJ Hampshire is still waiting to get his bad luck out of the way. A big early crashed left him way back, and he rallied to seventh.
“Whoops killed me in practice, was just saving it for the night show,” said Hampshire. “Had a really good jump [off the start] and was up front coming into the first turn, I had the inside and someone came into me which stood me up and shot me right, hit a couple more people and went down. Was back in like twenty first and just put my head down tried to pick off as many as I could. Got sketchy in the whoops numerous times. Seventh is not cutting it. I’ll build during this break and come out for the last five races ready to play.”
The whole team gets the weekend off before resuming competition in Santa Clara, California, on April 2. The team’s 250SX West riders, Christian Craig, Jordon Smith and Jimmy Decotis will be back in action.
GEICO Honda Results
1. Malcolm Stewart
7. RJ Hampshire