Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire made a valiant return to the 250MX lineup at Saturday’s High Point National, powering through a recent injury to secure 7-7 finishes and valuable points in the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
Hampshire returned to racing at Round 4 after having surgery just two weeks ago to repair injuries sustained in a crash at Round 2. With a top-10 start in the first moto, Hampshire raced up to eighth early on and he picked up another spot late in the race to secure a respectable seventh in Moto 1. In the second moto, he got off to a much better start around the top-three and he battled for podium contention for the first six laps. The remainder of the race took a toll on his still-recovering body and he ultimately dropped back to seventh but the competitor inside of him dug deep to maintain seventh through the checkers, salvaging seventh overall for the day.
“Today was a tough day but we battled through it,” Hampshire said. “Did what we could, showed up and gave it all I had today. That was probably the hardest 7-7 I’ve ever had in my life. I’m glad we showed up and went racing today, though. We’ll have a good weekend off now and we’re headed to my favorite track. I’m looking forward to RedBud.”
Coming off a season-best finish at the previous round, Stilez Robertson was ready to go at the start of Moto 1. Unfortunately, Robertson was involved in an early crash on the opening lap, forcing him to come through the pack from dead last. He put his head down and charged through the field to score an impressive 14th in the first moto. With an eighth-place start in Moto 2, Robertson put in a good charge to ultimately finish eighth in the moto and 11th overall.
“The day was up and down for me,” Robertson said. “I went into the motos confident and really happy. I didn’t get a good jump and in the third-turn, I went down and hit someone’s back tire so I came from last up to 14th. Second moto, I got an okay start and stayed around that position. I battled the whole moto, it was fun, but definitely not where we want to be. We’ll take this weekend off and rest/recoup and come back to my favorite track swinging at RedBud.”
In the 450MX class, fill-in rider Shane McElrath battled through challenging track conditions to come away with a top-10 overall finish. In Moto 1, McElrath found himself outside the top-15 on the opening lap and he climbed a few spots up to finish 13th. In the second moto, McElrath started off in ninth and he bounced between ninth and 10th for the rest of the race, ultimately securing ninth.
“It was a little bit rough today, I just struggled with the track from the first time out,” McElrath said. “I felt pretty good in practice but it’s a tough track to flow on and I didn’t quite figure it out. I’m a little bit disappointed but I know that I can be better and we can make some good changes to continue making progress.”
Next Event (Round 5): July 2 – RedBud National – Buchanan, Michigan
Round 4 Results: High Point National
1. Jett Lawrence (HON) 2-1
2. Hunter Lawrence (HON) 1-2
3. Jo Shimoda (KAW) 3-5
7. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 7-7
11. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 14-8
1. Eli Tomac (KAW) 2-1
2. Chase Sexton (HON) 1-2
3. Jason Anderson (KAW) 3-5
10. Shane McElrath – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 13-9
250MX Rider Point Standings
1. Jett Lawrence – 186 points
2. Hunter Lawrence – 174 points
3. Jo Shimoda – 137 points
8. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 94 points
12. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 65 points
450MX Rider Point Standings
1. Chase Sexton – 134 points
2. Ken Roczen – 129 points
3. Eli Tomac – 120 points
10. Shane McElrath – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 65 points