ATLANTA (Feb. 21) – Reigning 250SX East Supercross champion Justin Bogle turned in another strong ride Saturday night at the Georgia Dome, bringing his GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda home in third place for a second-straight podium finish.

Teammate RJ Hampshire fought through the pain of still-healing ribs and came home ninth in the 250 main. In 450 action, Eli Tomac went down hard in the slippery mid-section of the track and cut his right arm, which later required stitches. He still remounted and finished the race in 20th place.

Bogle was the star of the night. He was in second place after the start and held that position for the first nine laps before finally passing leader Martin Davalos, much to the delight of the crowd. He led the way for three of the remaining six laps, but was passed by eventual winner Jeremy Martin and points leader Marvin Musquin.

“I’m slightly frustrated, but it’s good getting back on the podium,” Bogle said. “I got a decent start in the main and was right up front there. I rode as hard as I could and managed to get around Davalos after a few attempts. At that point I finally felt like I was getting into a good rhythm for the first time all day.

“Then I started struggling with my breathing for some reason. It got really bad at the end and I got passed by Jeremy and Marvin in the last few laps.

“The whole day was a little off for me. I struggled in practice and could never find my groove. I was never comfortable in the heat race and even in the early parts of the main. At the same time it seemed everyone else was totally on their game today, running fast, so to end up with third is decent.”

After landing hard and hurting his chest in the East opener last weekend in Dallas, Hampshire only had one day of practice this week. But last year’s top amateur refused to give in, pushing through the pain and keeping himself in the mix.

“I feel lucky to even be racing here after last week’s wreck,” Hampshire said. “I was pretty beat up after the race. Once I got home I realized my injuries were pretty significant, enough that I couldn’t really ride until two days ago. There were times tonight when it was hard to breath because of my lungs being banged up, but I fought through it.

“I was definitely a little rusty, but I felt okay overall. I just had it in my head that I wanted to put in 15 laps and get some points. I know I didn’t do my best, not even close, but I’m proud to get another top-10 finish for my GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda team. I’m pretty happy overall.”

Tomac settled into seventh place after the start, but was up to fourth by lap four. That’s when his bike bucked him off as he slid through the wide-open mid-section of the layout. He then limped off the track and out of the way of oncoming traffic before regaining his composure and re-entering the fray in 21st place. Wishing to avoid another mishap, he rode conservatively from that point on, passing just one rider the remainder of the race.

Afterward, he was stitched up at the Asterisk medical trailer.

“I’m fine,;just really frustrated because I was fast all day,” Tomac said. “I just made a mistake out there in that slick part of the track and lost the front end. It was slicker than it normally is and I just got caught.

“I had fun getting after it with (Ryan) Dungey in the heat race and I was hyped for the main. I didn’t get the greatest of starts, but managed to get past some guys and get up to fourth. I was pushing as hard as I could to close the gap on third so I could be in podium contention and that’s when I lost it. Nothing I can do now but try again next week.”

The tour returns to the Georgia Dome next Saturday for the second Atlanta race with a complete redesign of the race course.

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