ATLANTA, Ga. (February 25, 2017) – High hopes for GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda’s 250SX East effort ran into a wall of bad breaks at the second round of the championship, held at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta. RJ Hampshire admits it wasn’t a great night for him, but he salvaged tenth as the lone soldier for the team in the night show. Cristian Craig crashed out in his heat race and Chase Sexton’s pro debut once again stalled due to injury, as a practice crash left him with a broken femur.
Sexton underwent surgery on Sunday afternoon and is out indefinitely. Craig suffered a mild concussion, but may be able to compete in Toronto this weekend.
Hampshire came in nursing a shoulder injury but competed for top five before going down late in the race.
“It was a tough weekend,” said Hampshire. “Struggled with the whoops from the start of the day and never really found a flow after that. I finished third in the heat race but felt like I was lost on my bike, was riding terribly. Got off to a decent start in the main, right around the top five and hung right around there till about five to go. I ended up going down on the landing of the finish and landed right on the hurt shoulder. So a bad night turned even worse! Had too many small mistakes all night that cost me big. But I’m okay. Looking forward to Toronto!”
Craig hovered in the top three in practice times throughout the day, with his number popping up in the top spot several times, aided by impressive whoop speed. Unfortunately, the whoops also led to his undoing.
“My day was awesome before the night show,” said Craig. “I was fastest in the first qualifying and second in the last one. I liked the track and was probably one of the best guys through the whoops all the day. I jumped the gate in my heat, giving me a terrible start. I was making a ton of passes, an average of two riders every lap through the whoops! I slid out once, then made my way back up to fifth. On one of the last laps, I was going for another two guys in the whoops but there was someone crashed on the right side which left me frazzled with what to do. I kinda just lost it when I saw him down and crashed. Unfortunately, I got a concussion and wasn’t able to ride in the LCQ or main. I’m super bummed with how these first races have gone. If you watch me in practice, you know what I’m capable of so it’s hard to understand why I can’t make it happen when it matters. Hoping to get clearance to ride early this week and be in Toronto.”
Sexton’s delayed pro debut was supposed to happen in Atlanta, as he missed last week’s 250SX East opener to give his injured wrists an extra week to heal. He looked solid in his first professional practice sessions until the whoops bit him late. Sexton tried jumping out of the section but caught a wheel, sending him to the ground and leading to a red flag stoppage of the action in practice. There is no timetable yet on his return from the femur injury.
Hampshire, and possibly Craig, will represent the team this weekend in Toronto.