According to promoters of the AUS-X Open, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant will not compete in the event on November 11-12 as previously scheduled due to an upcoming testing schedule. GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire, who will jump up to the 450 for the event, now takes Grant's spot.
“We were extremely disappointed that Kawasaki had decided to withdraw Josh [Grant] from this year’s AUS-X Open. Josh was really excited to come out, as were we to have him—but regardless, we’re really excited to have an up and coming talent like RJ Hampshire out to make his Australian debut. He has an incredible style and flair that we’re sure fans are going to love watching,” AUS-X Open director and co-founder Adam Bailey said.
Hampshire got his first pro career win at the MXGP of USA in Jacksonville, Florida, in September, and overall looked like a much-improved rider throughout Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. This will be his first major 450 race, although he will head back to a 250 for the 2018 season.
“I can’t wait to race in Australia! I’ve been putting in a lot of hours on the 450 lately and am feeling really good on the bike. I’ll give it everything I have to compete for the win!” Hampshire stated.