High expectations greeted the GEICO Honda squad at the 2019 opener for the Monster Energy Supercross Championship, but when rain moved in and turned the track into a slippery affair, the strategy turned from aggression to survival. Team riders RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo did indeed survive, but not without some drama on a rainy night in California.
Hampshire looked strong in qualifying and then won his heat race, and ran in contention for a podium for much of the race. A mid-race crash cost him a little bit of time, though, and he ultimately finished fourth.
“Glad to get back to racing, we had a really good offseason,” said Hampshire. “Practice went well and then the rain came. The heat race was a little sloppy but I was able to get a good start and get out front. I won my first heat race in a while, which I was pretty pumped on. Main event came around and it was still raining pretty heavy. Got a decent start and was just kind of riding around in third for a few laps. I made a dumb mistake and went for the quad-quad in the rhythm before the whoops and came up way short and went down pretty hard. Then once I got up I was in fifth and had a couple more close calls throughout the race. Happy to get out of round 1 healthy and ready to go racing next weekend!”
Early in the race, McAdoo ran up front along with his teammate, but he suffered a big crash of his own and landed hard off the side of the track. McAdoo didn’t give up, though, and despite some bumps and bruises, got back on the bike and salvaged 11th.
“I felt pretty comfortable on the bike during the day, but I’m never at my best in practice,” said McAdoo. “I started to find my groove in my heat race and was happy to finish third there. In the main I was running around fifth, but I slid out on the little double-single after the finish and launched onto the concrete! I banged up my arm and got a little burnt, and the bike was bent up. So that wasn’t great, but I did my best to get back up and rolling. The conditions were really sloppy, though. With all that rain, it got crazy out there.”
Hampshire and McAdoo represent the 250SX Western Region half of the GEICO Honda 250 team, and they will compete in round two of the West Championship next Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.