Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire didn’t lack speed or aspiration at Saturday’s AMA Pro Motocross National in Southwick, Massachusetts where he finished just shy of the 250MX overall podium after leading a handful of laps across both motos. With 2-6 finishes, Hampshire claimed fourth overall with another impressive charge at Round 5.
Coming off a big victory at the previous round, Hampshire came in hot once again with the fastest qualifying time in the 250MX division. In Moto 1, he got a great start and powered his way to the front by lap three. A couple mistakes early on cost him the lead spot but he bounced back to finish a strong second in moto one. He came back to Moto 2 with vengeance, capturing the holeshot and the early lead. He remained at the helm for the first four laps but he went down early on and dropped a few spots to fourth. Igniting another charge midway through, he soon found himself back on the ground and he re-mounted as quickly as possible to salvage valuable points in sixth.
“I had good speed again today and I was fastest in qualifying, which was a first with the team,” Hampshire said. “I felt awesome out there and my bike was really good, I just had a couple mistakes that cost me. It’s not a bad points day but I’m looking forward to Millville and going up from here.”
Jalek Swoll also claimed his best qualifying finish of the season with fourth, which set him up for a positive start to the racing. Swoll came out of the gate on fire in Moto 1 as he assumed the holeshot and lead on the opening lap. He maintained his position out front for the first two laps before shuffling into a top-five battle and he finished strong in fifth. In Moto 2, Swoll got off to another good start but he got caught up in another rider’s crash and went down at the end of the first lap, dropping outside the top-20 early on. He dug deep and fought his way back to finish 17th in the second moto, managing ninth overall on the day.
“Qualifying was good, I was up there and pumped to get a good gate pick,” Swoll said. “I got a good start in the first moto and led some laps but I kind of fell out of the flow for a little bit. The second moto was shaping up to be a good one but at the end of the first lap, Martin had flipped and I went down with him, which was a bummer. All-in-all, I think I showed some good speed today and we’ll carry that momentum into the next race.”
For Stilez Robertson, it was a steady day of racing at Southwick. Robertson qualified second overall behind his teammate Hampshire and he put himself into a top-10 position off the start of Moto 1. He slowly worked his way up to secure an eighth-place finish. In Moto 2, he started in 13th and charged inside the top-10 by lap four. He battled back-and-forth into the final laps, making a late charge up to eighth with two laps to go and from there he held strong to secure eighth in the moto and eighth overall for the day.
“The day was pretty good,” Robertson said. “My starts weren’t up to par and I came from the back to finish eighth in both motos. My speed was still pretty good, I just need to get a start so I can see the pace up front and try to get on the box. We’re just going to chip away at it every weekend and try to get a little better each week.”
Dean Wilson had a great start in Moto 1 as he rounded the opening lap in ninth-place. He went down early on and dropped back to 14th but he was able to charge his way back up to finish 12th. In Moto 2, Wilson put himself in another good position off the start as he battled for 10th early on. He maintained 10th for most of the race but as the white flag came out, Wilson made a strong charge to overtake ninth just before the checkers. With 12-9 finishes, Wilson claimed a season-best ninth overall at the fifth round.
“In the first moto, unfortunately I had a fall and ended up 12th but the second moto was better, I rode pretty solid and passed for ninth on the last lap,” Wilson said. “It was my best effort and that’s all I had for today. It was a much better day after the crash I had last weekend and I’m very grateful to be here.”
Next Event (Round 6): July 17 – Spring Creek National – Millville, Minnesota
Round 5 Results: The Wick 338 National
1. Hunter Lawrence (HON) 1-1
2. Jo Shimoda (KAW) 3-4
3. Justin Cooper (YAM) 6-2
4. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 2-6
8. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 8-8
9. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 5-17
1. Dylan Ferrandis (YAM) 1-3
2. Ken Roczen (HON) 4-2
3. Justin Barcia (GAS) 2-4
9. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 12-9
250MX Rider Point Standings
1. Jett Lawrence – 204 points
2. Justin Cooper – 201 points
3. Hunter Lawrence – 178 points
4. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 148 points
7. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 128 points
14. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 76 points
450MX Rider Point Standings
1. Dylan Ferrandis – 224 points
2. Ken Roczen – 205 points
3. Eli Tomac – 167 points
12. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 60 points
18. Zach Osborne – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 33 points
19. Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 29 points