New Berlin, NY (Aug 10, 2019) – At the 50th anniversary of racing at the famed Unadilla Motorsports facility in New York, Chase Sexton joked that he was now a veteran of the GEICO Honda team, despite still being just 19 years old. A trio of new racers logged their first professional motos on Saturday, but Sexton showed solid, experienced form via his 3-3 moto scores and third overall. It’s his first podium since the High Point National back in June.
Sexton won a moto at the Florida National in Jacksonville, but then succumbed to the heat and humidity, and those effects led to diminished results and even missing a race. He’s finally recovered, and spent both motos at Unadilla chasing series’ points leaders Dylan Ferrandis and Adam Cianciarulo.
“It was a rough couple of weeks after that race in Florida, it kind of just took away all the confidence I had,” said Sexton. “After that it’s taken a long time to feel good again, I feel like I’m getting back to 100 percent and back where I’m supposed to be, which is on the podium. That pace we had second moto was fast, I was trying to make something happen but these guys were good. They’re 1-2 in points for reason. I’m just trying to build after a solid weekend and get even better.”
The day was an adventure for RJ Hampshire, who is a strong fifth in the AMA 250 National Motocross standings, but took eighth overall at Unadilla with 12-7 moto scores.
“Bad start first moto then someone slid out and I hit their bike, so I did a front flip in the second turn,” said Hampshire. “Later that lap, I had already passed a bunch of people and someone fell into my line and I hit them, crashed again. I did what I could the rest of that moto and tried to send it for a couple more spots. On the last lap, there were three more guys right there but I lost my front end and went down again. Second moto, on the gate, [Mitch] Oldenburg’s bike wouldn’t start so they were working on it, got it going and rolled back in as the card went sideways. They set the hole shot device on his forks, so his mechanic went under my bars as the gate dropped. I don’t blame them, I’m sure we would have done the same thing in that situation but for sure feel like the officials should have held them up or done something about it. Anyways, track was sketchy that second moto and had pretty good speed late in the race, I just made a big mistake when I caught Shane [McElrath] and [Colt] Nichols and that ended my charge in that moto. Two more [races] to go.”
Jo Shimoda made his professional debut as an official member of the GEICO Honda team, but was already hurting after a shoulder injury suffered at last week’s AMA Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s. A series of crashes throughout the day at Unadilla further aggravated the injury, and Shimoda took 36-35 moto scores to 36th overall. He will have the shoulder evaluated this week to determine his status for this weekend’s race in Budds Creek, Maryland.
Jett Lawrence and Carson Mumford also competed at Unadilla on their Amsoil Honda amateur bikes. While still maintaining amateur status, they can compete in a limited number of pro events. Lawrence suffered a crash early in moto 1 but came back for 21st, he logged a solid eighth in moto two to collect 13th overall with his 21-8 scores. Mumford scored points in both motos with 16-20 scores leading to 20th overall.
The next-to-last round of the season looms this weekend with the Budds Creek National.