MECHANICSVILLE, Md. (June 24) – Motocross is indeed an individual sport, but GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda 250cc riders Christian Craig, Matt Bisceglia, R.J. Hampshire and Jordon Smith are a team in the truest sense of the word.
And while each will be going for his best individual results during the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National on Saturday at Budds Creek Raceway, they’ll also be cheering for each other.
“The whole team vibe is awesome around here,” Hampshire said. “We’re all so close to the same speed, too, so we’re all battling all the time. Our relationship is good, so that’s good to have within the team. We all want to do well, and it’s a race out there. That’s how it should be.”
Craig is the team’s elder statesman at age 23, and his motocross experience has aided his younger teammates.
“I like to give them crap, but I’m all about helping people, especially my teammates,” Craig said. “They may have questions about the track because they haven’t been there, but I’ve been there, so I like to help them out as much as possible.
But Craig isn’t immune to learning from his teammates. At the most recent motocross race at High Point, Craig stepped up his game after following 19-year-old Smith.
“Jordon Smith was riding really well,” Craig said. “He got around me, and then I tagged along with him. He made me push myself further than I ever have. It was fun, though. We had a good battle, and I almost got him toward the end.”
Smith and Hampshire are motocross rookies, having joined the team after decorated amateur careers, but they are not rivals.
“There are things we both need to work on, and if one of us is doing better than the other, we can learn from that,” Smith said. “We’re good friends, and we’re going through the rookie struggles together and can relate to each other about things and help each other out.
“We’re all really good friends. It’s cool back at the truck, and we’re all having a good time, but whenever we get out to the track, we’re definitely racing hard. It’s good, and we push each other.”
Bisceglia, 20, agrees.
“We all get along well, for sure,” Bisceglia said. “The rookies, R.J. and Jordon, we all get along well. We’ve raced each other our whole careers. And it’s definitely cool having Christian here. He’s really knowledgeable, and he’s killing it, man. He’s riding really well and definitely hasn’t lost a beat. It’s a fun team to be around.”
And while they are a team and want what’s best for each other, each wants to be the top dog.
“If I get second or third, I want them to get right behind me,” Hampshire, 19, said. “That’s just how it is.”
Catch the second motos from Budds Creek on NBCSN at 9:00 p.m. ET.