Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team braves rain-soaked San Francisco

It was a challenging evening for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing at the second round of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship in San Francisco, California, with RJ Hampshire salvaging a ninth-place finish in the 250SX West division, as Christian Craig and Malcolm Stewart battled hard against the elements in 450SX.

Entering with the points lead, Hampshire continued his impressive form in the San Francisco mud by topping the qualifying timesheets amidst the chaotic conditions. A consistent ride on his Husqvarna FC 250 Rockstar Edition resulted in a second-place finish for his Heat Race.

As the conditions worsened for the Main Event, Hampshire got off to a mid-field start, which created an eventful race of being caught up with other downed riders. Despite those challenges, Hampshire salvaged a P9 result and a solid bag of points toward the championship.

“Man, that was just a really, really, long and tough day for us,” recalled Hampshire“Start was decent, got up to fourth, I think… but stuff happens with this type of racing with a guy cross-rutting and falling into me. I was in a really bad spot to go down in, hard to get back going, but managed what I could and knew I needed to get some points, so now headed to San Diego and hoping it’ll be a lot better than this weekend.”

450SX racer Craig posted the 15th-fastest qualifying time, before improving to a seventh-place finish in his Heat Race and a direct transfer into the Main Event for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing pilot.

A high-speed fall on the start straight meant that Craig would be playing catch-up for the remainder of the race, which the Californian would do, and claw his way back to a 14th-place finish as the checkered flag flew.

“The day started off as a mud race and that’s obviously chaos,” Craig commented. “Qualified decent, then went to the Heat Race just wanting to make it through to the Main, which we did. In the Main I went down 100 feet off the start, was lying in the mud with some others for a while, but just charged from the back and did what we could do. I'm excited for some dry conditions next weekend.”

For teammate Stewart, he navigated the challenging conditions onboard his Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition to the ninth-quickest 450SX qualifying time, before crossing the finish line in sixth place for his Heat Race. A difficult night of racing, combined with a trip to the mechanic's area, saw the number 27 credited 22nd.

“SF was a muddy one for us,” said Stewart“Went down off the start, then the vision was blind for a bit, pulled a tear-off and I was in the tuff blocks. It got stuck in around the shifter, and someone had to go get a razor blade to cut it, so that’s how I got back on the track! Didn’t do very well, it was survival mode, and in these conditions, it’s hard to predict where you’ll end up. I'm disappointed as the team and I made great progress through the week, but we're looking forward to San Diego where I got my first Heat Race win last year.”

Next Event (Round 3): January 20, 2024 – Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

Round 2 Results: San Francisco

250SX West – Main Event

1. Jordon Smith (Yamaha)

2. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki) 

3. Garrett Marchbanks (Yamaha)

9. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

450SX – Main Event

1. Chase Sexton (KTM)

2. Eli Tomac (Yamaha)

3. Ken Roczen (Suzuki)

14. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

22. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

250SX West Rider Point Standings

1. Jordon Smith (Yamaha) – 47 points

3. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki) – 42 points 

3. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 38 points

450SX Rider Point Standings

1. Chase Sexton (KTM) – 45 points

2. Jett Lawrence (Honda) 38 points

3. Eli Tomac (Yamaha) 35 points

17. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 11 points

18. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 10 points