DETROIT (March 21) – Finally.
After five consecutive podium finishes to start the 250cc East Series in Monster Energy Supercross competition, GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda’s Justin Bogle broke through with a victory on Saturday night at Ford Field.
Bogle’s win, coupled with teammate Eli Tomac‘s victory in the 450 class, marked the first time since April 19, 2008, that the Factory Connection team swept both Supercross races. Trey Canard won in Supercross Lites while Kevin Windham won in 450cc in St. Louis that night.
This night, though, belonged to Bogle in the 250 class. He won his heat race and then got the holeshot in the main event and led all 15 laps.
“It feels good,” Bogle said. “That felt as good as my first win ever. Flawless race; my GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda was incredible. I got the holeshot and put in solid laps the whole time. I drilled all my lines. I felt good and rode my own race. I didn’t focus on anything else.”
The difference was simple: Bogle had fun aboard his GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda.
“I had fun tonight,” Bogle said. “That’s kind of what changed. I just started having fun and swagging out. That’s really all it was. My starts have been good and I’ve been riding good, but I just needed to go out there and have fun and remember I can do this. I have a #1 on my bike for a reason. It’s all good.”
The defending East Series champion had finished second in three of the first five races this season, including the last two, but he kept working, kept pushing and broke through Saturday. A key part to his victory was a series of jumps that he hit most of the night.
“I had a good rhythm through the first section,” Bogle said. “I was going four, three, two through there and that was pretty clutch.”
Rookie Hampshire, a third-place finisher last week in Indianapolis, won a heat race for the second time in his young career, but early in the 15-lap main, Hampshire was run off the track by another rider, forcing him back to 20th.
“Bad luck is going to come whenever it does,” Hampshire said. “You just have to make the best of a crappy night. It’s the best I’ve felt all season. Actually, on the nights I feel the worst I have good luck, but then I feel great and have a little bad luck.
“Another heat-race win. It’s still early in my career – six races. I wanted to get that top-10, and I was charging back hard, but I just didn’t get there. But I’m pumped on the night. It really wasn’t my fault, but I still put in 15 good laps.”
Smith battled Hampshire in their heat race, as the GEICO/AMSOIL/Hondas ran first and second for five of the six laps, but then it went badly for Smith.
“I got a good start in the heat race, right behind R.J. right there,” Smith said. “We came out 1-2 and we put some good laps together, he and I out front. On the last lap I went down, and I’m not really sure what happened. Next thing I knew I was just endo-ing.”
He recovered to finish ninth and advance to the main, but he didn’t have a good gate choice.
“I got a pretty good start for where I was,” Smith said. “Coming through the rhythm section, I caught a Tuff block with my rear brake pedal and it ripped it all the way to the foot peg. I had to stop and get that straightened out.”
St. Louis marks the next Monster Energy Supercross stop March 28. Catch all the action beginning 8:00 Eastern on Fox Sports 1.