GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire Exclusive InterviewLast year, RJ Hampshire dominated at Loretta Lynn’s – he won every single moto of the 250 A and 450 Pro Sport classes in the AMA Amateur National MX Championships to earn both titles. He then made his pro debut in the outdoor AMA Motocross Championship with GEICO Honda, earning a 13th overall aboard the CRF250R at Unadilla. For 2015, Hampshire begins his first season with GEICO Honda in the Monster Energy 250SX and 250MX Championships.
Ultimate MotorCycling’s Andrew Oldar: Some people may not know that you grew up playing baseball and rode motocross just for fun. What was the turning point that made you decide to purse motocross wholeheartedly?GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire: Pretty much, my love for motocross was more than my love for other stuff growing up. Nothing can compare to that.UMC: You became a household name in amateur motocross after winning the 2013 Monster Energy Cup Amateur All-Stars class. Did you go into that race expecting to win or did you surprise yourself by your performance?RH: I had a lot of confidence going into that race. My trainer, Timmy Ferry and the whole family helped me out a lot to get there. Coming in, I just had a lot of confidence, and I knew I was going there to win.UMC: You dominated Loretta Lynn’s this year by winning every single moto that you entered to wrap up the 250A title, 450 Pro-Sport title, and win the Horizon Award. What was the biggest challenge in achieving all of those titles?RH: The biggest challenge was coming in and knowing you put in the work. You know there was going to be a lot of competition there, but you just try to show them you’re at your best and you’re bringing it into each moto to go out there to win.”UMC: You logged two 10th overall finishes in the last three nationals you raced this summer. How much different is racing a pro national compared to that of an amateur national?RH: It’s a lot different. They don’t care what you did in amateurs. It was fun, and it was cool, but it’s a huge difference than anything you can possibly practice at home. The more experience you get, the better you’ll get. The intensity is also a lot higher.UMC: What is it like to be able to train at Ryan Villopoto’s old property?RH: The Grondahl family bought Villopoto’s place down here and I I’m thankful for them to allow me to train out there. It’s one of the best facilities in the country by far. There are a lot of great tracks and a good group of people, so there are a lot of positive vibes throughout the whole facility.UMC: How influential has your trainer, Tim Ferry, been on all of your success?RH: It’s been huge. Timmy and I have been working together for two years now. I believed in him from the beginning, and he believed in me. We get along really well and we live in the same area, so that has worked out well. We’re looking forward to a lot of success together in the future.UMC: You have had an immense amount of success in the past year and a half. Where have you set your goals for the 2015 season?RH: I have goals, but I like to keep them to myself. I’ll try to achieve them the best I can, and hopefully reach my goals.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!