RJ HAMPSHIRE BACK ON TOP AS 250SX WEST SERIES RESUMES IN GLENDALE.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA TEAMMATES MALCOLM STEWART AND CHRISTIAN CRAIG MAKE PROGRESS.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire has returned to the top step of the 250SX West Class podium at Round 6 of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship in Glendale, Arizona, on a night where 450SX teammates Malcolm Stewart and Christian Craig both raced to season-best results.
Hampshire resumed his quest for the western regional championship by posting the third-fastest qualifying time onboard his Husqvarna Motorcycles FC 250 Rockstar Edition, which he would follow up with P3 in his Heat Race.
A top-three start in the Main Event saw the number 24 exercise patience as the battle unfolded at the front, with a decisive move for the lead allowing Hampshire to move into clean air, as he extended his winning margin to over two seconds as the checkered flag flew. He’s now within five points of the red plates entering a six-week break in the 250SX West schedule.
“Glendale was awesome,”recalled Hampshire.“The ending was especially awesome, but I felt really good at the beginning of the day, and then had a big case in the first timed qualifying. I was in a lot of pain from that, although I knew I needed to pull it together for the Main, and that was when I rode my best. I made a couple of quick passes, then saw I had a bit of a gap after the others made mistakes, and just managed it from there. Really stoked and am looking forward to some time off before Seattle.”
450SX contender Stewart was ranked P6 in qualifying inside the sizable State Farm Stadium, before racing to a convincing second-place finish in his Heat Race, and taking his Husqvarna Motorcycles FC 450 Rockstar Edition into the Main Event.
Starting outside the top 10, Stewart charged all race long as he progressively made his way up the leaderboard, putting in a spirited ride that would last the entire Main Event to land him eighth place for the night and his best finish of the season so far.
“Glendale went fairly well for me,” said Stewart.“Qualifying was decent with P6, then we finished with P2 in the Heat Race, which felt really good to be up there. Main Event, not a great start, so I just had to pick my way through the field and got all the way back up to P8. My riding was great, although you need to get the start in this class, so we’ll work on those heading into Arlington.”
Craig, meanwhile, found comfort early in Arizona as he qualified in ninth position, which he converted into a P7 score in his Heat Race. In posting a calculated ride on a highly-technical circuit, Craig would seal P12 in the Main Event, which was also his best result of the year.
“Glendale started off well, I felt comfortable right away with the layout and big rhythm sections,”Craig commented.“I struggled a little with arm strength today for some reason, which was frustrating, so this week off comes at a good time. Feeling more comfortable, had more fun, so I feel the improvements are coming over the break.”
Next Event (Round 7): February 24, 2024 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas.
Round 6 Results: Glendale
250SX West – Glendale Results
1. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
2. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki)
3. Jo Shimoda (Honda)
450SX – Glendale Results
1. Ken Roczen (Suzuki)
2. Jason Anderson (Kawasaki)
3. Jett Lawrence (Honda)
8. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
250SX West Rider Point Standings
1. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki) – 106 points
2. Jordon Smith (Yamaha) – 102 points
3. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 101 points
450SX Rider Point Standings
1. Jett Lawrence (Honda) – 117 points
2. Chase Sexton (KTM) – 111 points
3. Aaron Plessinger (KTM) – 108 points
12. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 51 points
15. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 39 points