HAMPSHIRE CLAIMS FOURTH OVERALL AT IRONMAN NATIONAL.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACERS EARN SEASON-BEST FINISHES IN 450MX CLASS.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire put on a strong showing in Crawfordsville, Indiana, delivering 2-4 moto results to finish fourth overall in 250MX at the penultimate round of the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
Hampshire entered Ironman full of enthusiasm after claiming his first 250MX victory of the year at the prior round. With a solid qualifying result in eighth, he was positioned well for Moto 1 and he powered his FC 250 into podium contention right out of the gate. A battle ensued to maintain third and he swapped positions several times before reclaiming the spot mid-race. It wasn’t long before he climbed into second, where he finished with a strong runner-up performance. With a top-10 start in Moto 2, Hampshire battled alongside his teammate, Swoll, for the first couple laps before making the jump to sixth near the halfway point. Determined to break into the top-five, Hampshire continued to press on as he powered his way into fourth with a few laps to go, finishing just outside the podium with fourth in the moto and fourth overall for the weekend.
“Another solid weekend,” Hampshire said. “We were good all day and had good speed. Once I got my flow in both motos, I felt like I clicked off really good laps and was fast, battling at the front. I’m stoked to be back in this thing. We were not there for a while, and it’s so draining whenever you show up and you’re not at the level you know you can be at. I’m stoked on the things that we have going on and hope to be better next weekend.”
In Moto 1, Swoll got off to a strong start just outside of the top-10. However, bad luck struck within a few laps when he had a tip-over, dropping him back to 19th. Motivated to regain as many positions as he could, he went to work navigating the loamy midwest soil and chasing down his competition. He was able to climb to 13th by mid-race and with a few laps to go, he made a final push to ultimately finish 11th. In the second moto, Swoll sat 10th after the first lap and he settled into ninth for a majority of the race. Making a late-race pass for eighth, he held steady in the final moments to secure eighth in the moto and eighth overall with combined scores of 11-8 in Indiana.
“I got a decent start in the first moto,” Swoll said. “We were running up there, and I had to tip over. I was pretty deep [in the field], and came back to 11th. Moto 2 was an okay start but I lost pace a little bit. I’m just going to put all my focus into that last round and try to give somebody something to look forward to for the next year.”
Coming off a successful week at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s, Talon Hawkins made his second Pro Motocross appearance, collecting 21-29 moto finishes. Even though a crash on the last lap of the second moto set him back a bit, the young rider was able to remount and finish the race.
“It started off a little rough but I was able to turn it around,” Hawkins said. “It was my second Pro National and I’m just looking to keep improving every time. Obviously, I had a pretty bad get-off in my second moto on the last lap – another rider came into me and I ended up front-flipping. We’re going to get back out there and get back to training this week.”
Still trying to find their rhythm after returning late in the season from injury, 450MX teammates Malcolm Stewart and Dean Wilson showed signs of improvement at Round 11, each capturing their best moto finishes of the year in Moto 2. Stewart, the ninth-place qualifier, came into the first moto with high hopes as he blasted off the line and into a top-10 battle. Shuffling between 10th and 11th throughout the race, he
eventually settled into a comfortable 11th. With an unwavering performance in the second moto, Stewart maintained eighth wire-to-wire, notching his best moto-finish this season and eighth overall at the Ironman National.
“I think the day was overall better for me,” Stewart said. “Qualifying was much, much better. Getting these races under my belt, it’s starting to kind of come back to me. I feel like we’re going in the right direction. Our team made a few adjustments for that second moto, and we ended up eighth. I’m really happy just the way that I performed, but the results aren’t quite there.”
A tough start had Wilson sitting 18th on the opening lap of Moto 1 but he quickly made passes to reach 14th within a few laps. Around the middle of the race, he picked up another position and crossed the line in 13th. In Moto 2, a start inside of the top-10 would propel Wilson’s performance as he sat in seventh by the end of the first lap. Unfortunately, near the middle of the race, Wilson found himself off the track while battling with his teammate and he lost a few positions before he could re-enter. Focused on improving his result, he rallied back up to ninth later in the race to score his best moto-finish of the season. With 13-9 finishes, Wilson secured 10th overall.
“Another weekend of improvements,” Wilson said. “First moto, I had a really bad start. I got up to 13th and had a decent pace at the end. I pushed hard and that gave me good confidence. I got a decent start in the second moto and I was hanging in there for a bit. Malcolm and I had a good battle. He got around me and I kind of ran his pace until I came around the corner and the berm went off the track. I lost a few positions but I got back on, made a good couple charges and ended up ninth. The goal is to be top-10 in both motos.”
Next Event (Round 12): September 3 – Fox Raceway II National – Pala, California
Round 11 Results: Ironman National
1. Jett Lawrence (HON) 1-3
2. Hunter Lawrence (HON) 3-2
3. Jo Shimoda (KAW) 5-1
4. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 2-4
8. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 11-8
27. Talon Hawkins – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 21-29
1. Chase Sexton (HON) 2-1
2. Eli Tomac (KAW) 1-2
3. Aaron Plessinger (KTM) 3-3
8. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 11-8
10. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 13-9
250MX Rider Point Standings
1. Jett Lawrence – 478 points
2. Jo Shimoda – 437 points
3. Hunter Lawrence – 430 points
5. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 314 points
12. Stilez Robertson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 169 points
15. Jalek Swoll – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 131 points
39. Talon Hawkins – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 7 points
450MX Rider Point Standings
1. Eli Tomac – 496 points
2. Chase Sexton – 495 points
3. Jason Anderson – 402 points
18. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 55 points
22. Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 43 points