News 21 Jan 2021

Hampshire blasts Forkner as a result of ‘stupid’ H2 contact

Sights still set on challenging for the 250SX East championship.

Image: Octopi Media.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire has blasted 250SX East title threat Austin Forkner as a result of the ‘stupid’ contact made at Houston 2, taking both riders down and out of podium contention in the main event.

Hampshire had been circulating in second behind eventual winner Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) until a late dive from Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Forkner for position saw the pair come together and drop down the order.

While it was initially Lawrence who had been tabbed as Forkner’s primary rival once it was discovered both would be in the eastern region, this latest drama surrounding the polarizing Forkner instead sets up a newfound feud between he and Hampshire.

“It was stupid,” Hampshire said. “I think you’d agree, it was pretty dumb, it was rushed and I didn’t see it coming at all. He went down with me, so that kinda proves right there that it really wasn’t too smart of a pass. We still want to be in this thing, so what goes around comes around and I’m sure we’ll have a moment again here.

“I’m kinda under a corporation now [laughs], so I don’t know if they would have been too happy [if I did] anything [to Forkner]. My whole side was burnt, I got hit with his tire, so it ripped my side up pretty good. I would’ve liked to tackle him or seen him after, but sometimes it’s like, ‘alright…’.

“It was stupid, he has to know it was stupid and I don’t know if he was even thinking much coming in like that. We have seven races left now, so try to claw myself back and hopefully once we get that first win they start coming easier.”

Left battered from the collision, but somehow remaining composed to remount and continue on as efficiently as possible, Hampshire finished in ninth position and is now seventh in the championship point-standings two rounds into the season. He’s not counting himself out at this point.

“The goal’s still the same thing, just to be there every weekend,” he continued. “In both main events I didn’t overdo it and I wasn’t really off-pace – Christian [Craig] was definitely faster at round one and then last night Jett had the speed, he was faster than everybody else and you could tell. Once again, I was right there with those other four guys.

“I have no doubt that my time’s going to come. I need to put myself in the situation again where I’m out front and just try not to get cleaned out, I guess. I mean, I don’t really know what I could’ve done different in that main event.”