WASHOUGAL, Wash. (July 25) – It was a tough “mudder” for the GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda 250cc team at the Washougal National on Saturday at Washougal MX Park.
Christian Craig led the GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda team and was just shy of stepping onto the podium with a fourth-place overall finish on a wet, muddy Washougal racetrack. He pulled the holeshot in the first moto before finishing fourth and then rode strong in the second moto with a fifth, which gave him fourth overall.
“The weekend was good especially,” said Craig, who bounced back from a tough weekend in Spring Creek. “After what happened last week I was worried I wasn’t going to make it, but luckily the shoulder ended up feeling good and back to normal. I felt good in practice even though the times didn’t show. I focused on my start, and that’s when I pulled the holeshot in the first moto. I led for a couple laps and then pulled away. I was on the verge of a moto win or at least a podium.”
“I ended up tipping over by myself, and I’m really frustrated with myself and that stupid mistake, but it was really muddy out there,” Craig said. “I rebounded with a fourth-place finish, so that was really good.
“Second moto I wanted to do the same thing, but lead more laps. I couldn’t quite get the holeshot and ended up mid-pack. I did make my way up to fifth and pretty much stayed there the whole moto. I think this is my third fourth-place finish overall, so I think I’m on the verge of an overall podium here soon. I just have to put a little more into my starts and I should be good.”
Rookie R.J. Hampshire finished the day 12th overall and was happy to leave Washougal with some decent points.
“I had a tough day in the mud again,” Hampshire said. “I had a rough start the first moto and went down a couple times and ended up 10th, so that was decent and I salvaged some points.
“The second moto I had a good start. (Marvin) Musquin swapped out in front of me, so I had to go off the track and was dead last. I came back to 19th and crashed again, but ended up 15th, so we salvaged some points this weekend. It could have been worse, it could have been better. I’ll head to Unadilla now and hope to start fresh there.”
Matt Bisceglia was happy to see some familiar faces racing at the track he calls home. He struggled with a rare engine failure in the first moto, but managed to finish in the top 10 in the second, giving him a 15th-place finish overall.
“It was a decent day and I definitely had fun coming home to Washougal,” Bisceglia said. “It was great to see so many people I know up here and at a track I grew up riding as a kid. First moto was a mess after it drizzled and rained all morning. I made a mistake and crashed in the first moto and then I had an engine failure, so that was kind of a bummer. My mechanics definitely work so hard to avoid that, but I just had that engine failure; it was the first one of the year for the whole team, so I can’t complain.
“I had a good start in the second moto and was riding sixth. Another rider and I came together in the whoops and I almost went down, but didn’t and ended back in 10, which is where I ended up finishing. I was happy to at least bounce back in the second moto and finish in the top 10. I definitely want more. I am going to use this off weekend smart and head to Unadilla swinging.”
With a great start to the day, rookie Jordon Smith rode well to qualify third, but the mud ended up getting the better of him in the motos. He finished 18th overall.
“My day started off really good,” Smith said. “The first practice I qualified third, which was my best qualifying of the year. From there on it went downhill. The rain came and in the first moto I fell a lot and got really muddy. It was just a bad moto for me and I finished 28th.
“The second moto was a little better. I ended up 14th, but that’s definitely not what we wanted today. It was a tough day overall, so I’m ready for the break and to come back and finish out the season strong.”
Next up on the schedule is the Unadilla National Aug. 8 from New Berlin, N.Y. Catch the second 450 moto live on NBC at 4:00 p.m. ET.