Budds Creek, MD (August 17, 2019) – The GEICO Honda squad was loaded with talent for the GEICO Budds Creek National in Maryland, the race held closest to the headquarters of the team’s title sponsor. The riders showed speed, too, with Chase Sexton collecting the fastest qualifying spot and Hunter Lawrence and RJ Hampshire also within the top five. When the motos started, though, things turned the wrong direction. Lawrence was held up in first-turn crashes in both motos, and Hampshire ignited a crash in moto two that trapped several riders, including Sexton. The trio essentially spent the whole day coming through the pack.
Hampshire, who won the race last year, was on fire in the first moto and clawed back through for third. He appeared to have a good start coming in moto two until he went down, and had to fight from way back to grab eighth. The 3-8 scores resulted in fifth overall.
“Riding was good all day,” said Hampshire. “Bad start first moto but made some good passes. Finally had a start that second moto and lost the front coming into the first turn. Tough deal but can’t be to bummed, it’s the best I feel like I’ve rode all year. One more to go.”
Sexton went 12-6 for seventh, but that wasn’t what he wanted after going so fast in qualifying.“Yeah it was not a good day,” Sexton said. “I was riding good, qualified first, I feel like I’m really good speed-wise. But when you get blown by on every start, it’s not a good feeling. I got ran into in the first moto, second moto, a guy fell into me and it just ruined the whole start for anyone behind him. It was a struggle today, rode good but can’t come from last. One thing I’m happy about is that it was hot today and I didn’t have any problems, I felt good. Next week, Indiana, I love that track, so hopefully I can end this on a high note.”
Hunter Lawrence returned to action after a broken collarbone, hoping to gain more experience on American tracks. He went 10-13 for 12th overall.“Gnarly day at Budds,” said the Australian. “I was already facing a tough day coming from two weeks of no riding and limited off bike training so the two first turn pile ups I was involved in really weren’t the cherry on top that I was looking for. We did our best and learned a lot for next year about the track. I’m safe and healthy which is good and just building each time I am on the track! Looking forward to ironman. Also, I have to give it up to the team for dealing with the heat and humidity! That was gnarly!”
Three young riders also competed fresh from the amateur ranks. Jo Shimoda bounced back from a tough debut last weekend at Unadilla with solid 13-12 scores on his pro GEICO Honda bike for 13th overall. Jett Lawrence and Carson Mumford raced on their Amsoil Honda amateur machines, but both struggled with the long motos in the heat and humidity. Lawrence took 26th overall, he was running inside the top ten in moto two before the heat caught up to him. He went 24-30. Mumford took 36th via 31-40 scores.
GEICO Honda Results
GEICO Budds Creek National
Budds Creek, Maryland
5. RJ Hampshire (3-8)
7. Chase Sexton (12-6)
12. Hunter Lawrence (10-13)
13. Jo Shimoda (13-12)
26. Jett Lawrence (24-30)
36. Carson Mumford (31-40)