During a routine visit to Glen Helen Raceway late this week, we ran into RJ Hampshire as he tested with the GEICO Honda squad. Hampshire suffered a broken tibia and fibula after a small mistake at the 2017 Toronto SX and has spent the time since on the sidelines healing not only his broken leg, but also a pre-existing shoulder injury. With everything now recovered, Hampshire is set to line up for the 2017 High Point MX next weekend.
It’s been a bit since we saw you. What happened in Toronto?
Toronto just topped everything off. On the last lap I cased a three-on and I broke my tib and fib right there. I kind of knew it and it’s been rough since then. When I went home I didn’t think I was going to have to have surgery, but then needed surgery on my tibia and had a couple of screws put in. I’ve pretty much healed since then.
You said, “on top of everything.” Do you mean in addition to the shoulder injury you had already?
Yeah, I crashed three weeks before round one. I felt awesome right before that but I crashed and hurt my shoulder pretty bad. I was riding through it but never gave it time to heal. My ankle sucked, but it gave my shoulder time to heal up. So all in all it was terrible to miss all of those rounds, but I’m feeling pretty healthy now.
There was talk for a while that you were going to have your shoulder repaired. Are you just going to give it time now?
Yeah, it feels better now. When I first did it, I knew something was wrong. I went to the doctor and had an MRI, and they kept saying that nothing was wrong, but I knew that something was wrong with it. Once they said nothing was wrong, there was no sitting out and I had to go racing. When I did my ankle, I had them look things over and there was some damage, but nothing that needed to be surgically done. It’s not like I could have done both surgeries at once, so I had to wait it out. I reevaluated everything after my ankle and when I started walking, so the doctor said surgery wasn’t necessary. I was doing strength workouts on my shoulder the whole time my ankle was hurt, so it’s feeling good now.
How long have you been back on the bike?
I was released for my ankle seven weeks in, which was pretty early, and then I took some more time off. I’m probably right around three or four weeks of riding now. We are here doing testing now. It’s been good, we’ve switched things up and I’m enjoying stuff a little better now. I have a good group of people with me and it’s smaller than ever, but we’re having fun again.
With all of that, are you still at The Nest with everyone?
Kind of. I’m bouncing around. For the last two years that was pretty much the only place that I rode almost every day, so I kind of got sick of it. I have some good tracks by my house and we have been circulated between three tracks every week. It’s been good to have something different, because we needed a change.
For The Nest, the drive was an hour every day. We never left out stuff there, so all of my stuff was done at home. And then with training, I wouldn’t be done until it was so late. We were just looking for new things and we found it. I don’t necessarily have a trainer right now; I was working with Wil Hahn before he left, so now we’ve found out what works best for me.
So High Point is your return?
Yeah, High Point. We are here testing because we haven’t been able to do any since the last three outdoors from last year, so we’re trying to get the bike better.