Hampshire returns to the top of the podium in the 250SX West class
Through the first five rounds, the 2024 AMA Supercross season has been defined by the variety of racers that have graced the top of the podium.
That trend continued during Round 6 on Saturday, Feb. 10, in Glendale, Ariz., as Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen became the fifth unique winner to claim victory in the 450SX class this season.
After taking the holeshot, Roczen led all 20 laps to cruise to his first win of the season. Roczen was joined on the podium by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson and Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence, who collected 22 and 20 points on the weekend.
Roczen’s victory marked his first since March 11, 2023, in Indianapolis, and he recognized the significance of returning to the top of the podium.
“I haven’t won much in the recent years, so I take these moments in so much,” Roczen said. “I just managed the race the whole way… I tried to not look at the time, I just clicked my laps, lap after lap. My Progressive ECSTAR Suzuki was working flawless out here today.”
Through six rounds, seven racers in the 450SX class have already eclipsed 100 overall points, with Lawrence — the only multiple-time winner in the class — leading the pack with 117 points. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton and Aaron Plessinger follow the standout rookie with 111 and 108 points, respectively.
While Roczen continued a trend of unique winners in the 450SX class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire became the first repeat winner in the 250SX West class.
It wasn’t a cakewalk for Hampshire, however. The Hudson, Fla., native battled back from a fifth-place start to gain the lead midway through the race and held on for the win. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Levi Kitchen — who got the holeshot and led early — took second while Team Honda HRC’s Jo Shimoda landed on the podium for the first time this season.
“I got a decent start, made those passes quick. And just kind of rode my own race,” Hampshire said. “We work hard and it’s awesome to repay this whole Austrian team with another win.”
Although Hampshire is the only competitor in the class to win multiple races, he faces an uphill battle in the overall 250SX West standings as Kitchen holds the lead with 106 points. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith sits in second place with 102 points, while Hampshire follows with 101.
The 250SX West class now enters a brief hiatus, with the 250SX East class race taking the spotlight for the next four rounds. The West class returns Round 11 in Seattle on March 23.
The 2024 AMA Supercross season shifts to Arlington, Texas, with the seventh round of racing action set for 7 p.m. EST on Feb. 24 and will be streamed live on Peacock.