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Supercross Kicks Off in Houston!

The 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season kicked off with three rounds inside of one week all taking place in Houston at the massive NRG Stadium.  While it was certainly different not having the opener take place at Anaheim, riders, teams, and fans were all thrilled that Feld Entertainment was able to make a full schedule happen at all given the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.  

Despite not being in California to start the series, there was still all of the angst, nerves and drama surrounding the season opener just over a week ago for Houston 1 or H1.  In the 250 class, RJ Hampshire had some serious speed all day and in the main event was challenging for the win at one point with Christian Craig.  Craig put a block pass on RJ and while RJ was later battling for a podium he lost the front end and had a small crash.  By the time he remounted the race was in the later stages and he had to settle for fifth place overall.  RJ also sustained a fairly significant injury when Craig put a block pass on him that resulted in 5 stitches in his finger post H1. 

The short turnaround time to H2 wouldn't do RJ any favors as the injury to his finger was still an issue.  Despite the finger injury that resulted in a glove full of blood every time RJ rode, RJ still put himself in a fantastic position come the main event for H2.  He was battling with Austin Forkner when Austin attempted an ill advised pass taking them both down in the process.  RJ ended up falling on top of Forkner's bike while the rear tire was still spinning at a high rate, leaving RJ's whole right side cut up and bruised.  

RJ Hampshire had a rough go during the Houston stretch of the 2021 Supercross season.


With H3 just a few days later, RJ was already beat up and was just looking to get out of Houston fully healthy and recover for the next stretch of racing in Indianapolis.  Unfortunately while practicing for H3 RJ went down hard injuring his wrist in the process and was unable to line up for the night show.  We hope that his wrist injury isn't too severe and we see him racing in Indy this weekend.  

Grant Harlan powering through the sand at H2!


Other Team EVS riders in the 250 class fared well overall during the opening rounds of the 2021 season.  Texas native Grant Harlan racing for the TiLube Honda squad has enjoyed a strong start to his season showing flashes of speed from time to time but struggling to be consistent at times.  Hunter Sayles and Wilson Fleming have also been strong battling for top 10 finishes and young Jonah Geistler, racing for Rides Unlimited KTM outfit, made his first ever main event at H3.  

Jonah Geistler on his way to making his first ever Supercross Main Event at H3!
In the 450 class Team EVS Kyle Chisholm has been, for the most part, strong and consistent through the first three rounds.  Chiz will continue to Chiz for as long as we know it and is consistently a top 15 threat.  
Kyle Chisholm on his way to a solid finish at H3!
Alex Ray, AJ Catanzaro and Justin Rodbell, all riding for the SGB Kawasaki effort have had up and down starts to the season.  Alex Ray looked good in both H1 and H2 despite crashes in both main events, but was unable to make the main event in H3. 
Alex Ray on the gas in the sand at H3!
AJ Catanzaro has shown flashes of speed at times but is struggling to put it all together for the night show which isn't a complete suprise as he hasn't lined up for a Supercross in over a year and a half.  Justin Rodbell, the breakout rider of last summers Pro Motocross Series, has had some poor luck the first three rounds but will be looking to improve in Indy.  
Long time Team EVS riders like Freddie Noren and Austin Politelli have also shown flashes here and there but will be looking for more come next weekend when the series heads to Indy.  
Game face with Freddie Noren at H2!
Racers and Teams now have the more traditional week in between races to rest and get ready for Indianapolis.  The Indianapolis stretch of rounds will mirror the schedule of Houston with the first race kicking off 1/30, Indy 2 being 2/2 and Indy 3 being 2/6.  
Photo credits to BrownDog Wilson
Written by Jackson Halsmer

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