RJ Hampshire has turned some heads with his speed this year at Loretta Lynn’s . Photo by Shan Moore
Hurricane Mills, TN (July 31, 2014) - After three days of racing, and with four motos under his belt, RJ Hampshire has proven to be one of the fastest on the track, if not THE fastest, at this year’s Rocky Mountain ATV/MX Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s.
So far, the Factory Connection rider is undefeated after two motos of 250A competition, and two motos in the Open Pro Sport class. Loretta Lynn’s operates on a “three moto” format, so Hampshire is clearly in the driver seat heading into the final motos in each of his classes, which will conclude tomorrow and Saturday. He’s also the top candidate for the Horizon Award, which is given each year by the AMA to the individual who has been selected as the most outstanding riders in the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships, and is designed to recognize riders who are about to move from the youth ranks into amateur racing and from the amateur ranks into AMA Pro Racing competition. Hampshire will make his pro debut at Unadilla next week.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Hampshire draw “late” numbers for his gate picks in his first 250A moto and his first Open Pro Sports moto, and despite getting off to relatively poor starts on both he was able to come from mid-pack to win his first two motos of the week. “I was able to fight through it and get to the front,” says Hampshire.
In his second two motos on Thursday, Hampshire grabbed both holeshots and led both races from start to finish.
“I was just feeling good out there and I felt good on the bikes, so it has been a good week for me so far,” adds Hampshire.
RJ Hampshire will make his Pro debut next week at Unadilla. Photo by Shan Moore
Hampshire, who will get his first test as a pro next week at Unadilla, signed with Factory Connection about two years ago. “I think I’m ready and I just want to get out there and mix it up with the big boys,” says Hampshire. “After Mini O’s two year’s ago, I talked to the guys at Factory Connection and I got hooked up with them and after that things just started clicking.”
Hampshire put his name on the map with a breakout performance at last November’s Mini-Os in Florida.
“I won five titles at the Winter Olympics last year and no one expected that from me,” says Hampshire. “I ended up getting hurt at the Spring Nationals, so I could prove to everyone that Florida wasn’t a fluke, so I wanted to come here and prove to everyone that I belong up here. I think I’m doing that right now and I just have to keep it up.”
For the past year-and-a-half, Hampshire has been working with Timmy Ferry, and Hampshire attributes a lot of his recent success to the former pro.
“I think my strongest point is my riding style; I think my technique is good, and that’s where Timmy has helped out,” says Hampshire. “I feel like I have a flowing style like him and I think my endurance it good, too, so I think those are my strong points.”