Jett Lawrence aims to carry 250 East title momentum outdoors, help Hunter Lawrence


With his second-place finish two weeks ago in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Jett Lawrence wrapped up the Monster Energy 250 East championship with one round remaining, but he has not had any time to rest on his laurels.

After a quick round of Top Golf, Lawrence and crew “came back and went to the chalkboard,” he told NBC Sports before the 250 West riders mounted up to tackle Denver for their penultimate race. “I still have to back up my other title.” 

Lawrence referenced his impending defense of the Lucas Oil Motocross championship that he won in 2021.

To refer to any athlete as an overnight success does them a disservice, but it’s difficult to avoid noticing how quickly Lawrence became a threat to win races and titles.

After a 2019 Motocross season that saw him ride only three rounds at the end of the year, he posted modest results in 250 West the following spring with only one podium finish in six rounds. Later that year, he finished fourth in Motocross points and won his first race in his final attempt at Fox Raceway.

He continued to win in 2021 with a victory in his second Supercross race that season and a third-place finish in the points. Then came the 2021 Motocross championship, and now back-to-back titles in the stadium series.

But success has not gone to Lawrence’s head because there are other things to consider.

“I don’t know actually, because I haven’t really stopped and thought about it much,” Lawrence said. “I’ve just been working, working, working, working. So, it’s like I haven’t had time to stop and think about it – but coming into this, in America, my goal has always been to be successful and that hasn’t changed while it’s playing out.

“It still is the same now. But to have this much success this early, I’m definitely a bit blown away. … I’d say talent had a little bit of helping hand in it, but I would definitely say (my success is) more work ethic.”

Lawrence, 18, shows composure that belies his age. Even without the goals that still lie ahead, he knows how to balance confidence with humility.

“I kind of think there’s always one guy that’s better than me, or multiple guys that are better than me and that’s what keeps me charging,” Lawrence said. “I don’t really think about it so much. People always talk about social media being a distraction, but realistically I was born in 2003 so I was born into the iPhone, iPod stuff – into Instagram. It’s all natural to me.

“What keeps me going and keeps it from going to my head is being with my family and talking smack all day.”

Now the focus shifts to taking some momentum into the outdoor season, which begins May 28 on the track where Lawrence earned his first win, Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

But even that is a secondary concern. This week in the season finale, he will do everything he can to help his brother Hunter Lawrence erase an 18-point gap to the 250 West leader, Christian Craig.

“We work very well together, we can bounce ideas off each other,” Jett said. “Whoever wins the race, the other is not going to be butt hurt after. It’s definitely a bit of a sting, like ‘dammit I wish I could’ve got him,’ but the excitement of him winning takes over.”

Racing is the family business and it pays most to have two strong riders in contention. The Lawrences mortgaged their assets and moved from Australia to Europe to give Jett and Hunter the best opportunity to showcase their talents. And it worked, with both riders securing high-profile, extremely strong mounts with Team Honda HRC.

Originally Jett was schedule to race in the West, but a minor injury – minor by Supercross standards, in any event – caused the brothers to swap series. While Jett had strong competition throughout the season in each event, he swept the podium in the first eight rounds as his closest rivals in the points experienced injuries that kept them off the bike for multiple rounds.

Meanwhile, Hunter walked into a buzz saw in the form of Craig, who has also swept the podium in the West.

Hunter was almost perfect as well, but a crash in Anaheim 3 sent him to the hauler with an 18th-place finish. He responded with three consecutive wins, including the East/West Showdown in Atlanta.

“You can never count out Hunter, so this weekend I’m pretty sure he is going to give it to us,” Jett said. “You really can’t say that Craig doesn’t have to worry about it. I think everyone knows how much of a hard charger Hunter is.

“Going into the East/West Shootout (finale in Salt Lake City), if it’s close then I’m just going to be a helping hand. It’s going to be like there’s two Hunter’s out there. I’m going to make sure I can keep an extra gap between Christan to give Hunter the best chance of winning the title. Craig doesn’t have it wrapped up just yet.

“If my family can get more money then that’s what I’ll do.”

Jett Lawrence wins Hangtown Pro Motocross, remains perfect in 450s

Lawrence Hangtown Motocross
Align Media

Jett Lawrence remains perfect in the Pro Motocross series after recording another perfect round at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California. In his second start on a 450, Lawrence won his second National with his fourth consecutive moto win. It is getting increasingly difficult to find the right superlatives to describe the exploits on the reigning 250 West Supercross champion.

“The track was so brutal out there,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Jason Thomas. “The bike handles amazing even when it’s not too friendly. You had to be really patient; you couldn’t take too much. I didn’t eat enough before that second moto. I kind of lost energy halfway through, but luckily I could use technique and balance and just keep that flow going.”

Lawrence leaves Hangtown with an 18-point advantage over Ferrandis in the 450 Motocross standings, but perhaps more importantly, he climbed to 19th in the SuperMotocross standings and should he stay there, he has an automatic invitation to the Main events in the SMX Championship.

“On this track, you just have to manage,” Lawrence continued. “If you try to take too much and not respect the track, it will bite you very quickly. It was humbling on the first few laps. I got kicked on the cutout at the start of the third section, the tabletop going to the left. I had to get my focus because the boys were coming.”

Still in his first few races since returning from a concussion suffered at Houston in the Supercross series, Dylan Ferrandis finished second with results of third in Moto 1 and second in Moto 2. While Ferrandis was happy with the result, he remains hopeful that he will contend for victory shortly.

“The first moto was very hard for my physically, Ferrandis said. “I got arm pump and when you get arm pump your body gets tired. But I’m very happy because we made a big change for the second moto. We tried stuff every session today and in the last moto the bike was much better, but unfortunately I wasn’t sure what I could do with this bike because the track was very hard and difficult to pass.”

RESULTS: How they finished in the 450 Overall at Hangtown

With the rash of injuries at the end of the Supercross season, the podium was filled with heartwarming stories. Cooper Webb returned to action last week in Pala and failed to make the podium. He is steadily improving with a third-place finish in Hangtown. after finishing with a 4-2.

“It’s incredible what seven days can do,” Webb said. “Last week I felt like I was going to get lapped in the second moto. This week, I could see the leader. It was nice. I fought hard, learned how to suffer again there and that felt nice.

Moto 2 wasn’t pretty for Lawrence. On several occasions in the opening laps, he nearly high sided as he rode the front wheel through the ruts. The reward was worth the risk. By the halfway point, Lawrence had 4.5-second lead over Webb, who was embroiled in a tight three-rider battle for second with his teammate Aaron Plessinger pressuring him and Ferrandis ready to take advantage if those made contact.

It took 20 minutes for Plessinger to get around Webb and once he did, he trailed Lawrence by four seconds. But then, with three minutes remaining, Plessinger crashed and had difficulty restarting the bike, handing second back to Webb who has seven seconds behind Lawrence. Plessinger fell to fourth with results of third and sixth.

Adam Cianciarulo rounded out the top five with a 5-4.

Last week Hunter Lawrence won the overall with a 3-1. He repeated that feat in Hangtown in an exact replica of his Fox Raceway results last week. In Moto 1, Lawrence got off to a slow start and lost 10 seconds in the opening laps. Forced to overcome a sixth-place position in the race at the end of Lap 1, he once again caught the riders ahead of him when the field hit heavy traffic. For the second week, scored another 3-1 for the Hangtown National win.

“The start was crucial’ I knew I had to go,” Lawrence told NBC Sports’ Jason Thomas. “They laid a lot of water down, so I didn’t want to be behind any longer than [I was]. First hot one of the year, was a bit of a wakeup call, so I’m happy to get out of here safe and healthy.”

Lawrence’s third-place finish in Moto 1 featured a fierce battle for final spot on the podium when he caught Spain’s Guillem Farres and France’s Tom Vialle. With Lawrence hailing from Australia, the international nature of the sport was highlighted.

Lawrence left Hangtown with a 10-point advantage over Haiden Deegan in the Pro Motocross championship battle.

Click here for 250 overall results

Justin Cooper finished second in both motos to finish second overall. Hangtown represented a huge improvement from Fox Raceway where he finished fifth overall with a 5-4 finish in the two motos. Cooper pressured Haiden Deegan in the second half of Moto 1 and he earned the holeshot in the second moto and stayed within three seconds of Lawrence in that race.

“He was following me a little bit, checking out my lines, seeing where he was better,” Cooper said. “It’s disappointing to give up the lead like that but it was way better than last weekend. I will definitely take two seconds. I want to be on the top of the step. I feel like I get close to the top step but I never get it done. That’s building up the frustration – the fire. I really want to get one of these wins, so it’s time to start digging.”

Haiden Deegan earned the first holeshot of his career in Moto 1 and rode away from the field, building a four-second lead in the opening laps. Cooper trimmed the lead at the halfway point and for a while it leveled off at two seconds. Then Cooper made another charge with three to go and closed to within a second. Deegan was biding his time, however.

“I was saving a little. I knew at the end Justin was going to try and put a charge on. I let him get up close and then sent it super hard at the end to break him a little at the end.”

Deegan’s first moto win comes in only his fourth National and he remains perfect in regard to podiums this year.

“This was a dream since I was a little kid, to win,” Deegan said. “And in my fourth race, it’s gnarly. I was just sending it. I was getting a little tired at the end becasue I left my mouth open the whole time. It’s unreal; I’m so hyped. I wanted to win bad and I proved it to you guys.”

Chaos erupted in turn 1 in Moto 2 Jeremy Martin went and another rider ran over his arm. Michael Mosiman crashed further down the track on that same lap. Both riders were helped off course by the Alpinestars Medical team.

2023 Motocross Race Recaps

Fox Raceway: Jett Lawrence wins in first 450 start

2023 Supercross Race Recaps

Salt Lake City: Chase Sexton ends the season with win
Denver: Chase Sexton wins, takes points’ lead with Eli Tomac injury
Nashville: Chase Sexton keeps hope alive; Cooper Webb out
New Jersey: Justin Barcia wins muddy race; first in two years
Atlanta: Chase Sexton is back in the championship picture
Glendale: Eli Tomac wins 51st, breaks tie with James Stewart
Seattle: Eli Tomac wins and ties Webb for first
Detroit: Chase Sexton inherits win after Aaron Plessinger falls
Indianapolis: Ken Roczen gets first win in more than a year
Daytona: Eli Tomac extends Daytona record with seventh win
Arlington: Cooper Webb wins for second time, closes to two of Tomac
Oakland: Eli Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael with 48 wins
Tampa: Cooper Webb gets first 2023 win
Houston: Eli Tomac bounces back from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Eli Tomac wins opener for the first time

More SuperMotocross coverage

Chase Sexton is out for Hangtown
Enzo Lopes re-signs with Club MX for 2024
Record Supercross attendance reported in 2023
SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Pala
Results and points after Pala
Jett Lawrence wins Pala in his first MX start
450 Champion Chase Sexton takes back what he gave away
250 West Supercross champion Jett Lawrence ends dream career
250 East Supercross champion Hunter Lawrence overcomes doubt and injury