Fighting doubt and injury, Hunter Lawrence dominated the 250 East Supercross championship


At one point in his career, Hunter Lawrence considered supporting his brother Jett Lawrence, even if that meant giving up his own dream of racing SuperMotocross, but he fought back against the injury and self-doubt to dominate and won the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross 250 East championship.

Hunter Lawrence sported the red plate for the first time at SLC. – Feld Motor Sports

His is a story of perseverance and fighting the odds – one of the lessons sports continue to teach.

“I was ready to [support Jett],” Hunter told NBC Sports. “He was doing really well at the moment and I was at a breaking point where I’m just like, I don’t think I can take this anymore. It may not work – what’s next for me in life? Because this sport is a huge aspect of our life, but it isn’t everything. It’s only the first 30 years of our life. There’s still so much beyond that.

“But I’m glad we [persisted]. Now we can set our legacy and continue to build an empire.”

In 2023, the Lawrence brothers each claimed championships in the two regional divisions of the Monster Energy Supercross series.

The moments of doubt for Hunter came when the Lawrence family first moved to Europe.

Supercross was not quite as big in his native Australia as it is in Europe and America, so to make a name for themselves, the Lawrence brothers had to make the jump. It was not the smoothest transition; origin stories are hardly told without mention of hard times. There were moments when Hunter described himself as a crash test dummy.

MORE: The Lawrence brothers face off in Salt Lake City 

But Hunter’s philosophy in life is one where one must commit to an action and make it work. There is a difference between making the right decision and making the decision right.

“Everyone has a different philosophy on how they do things, but I’m a big believer in all your eggs in one basket,” Hunter said. “When we went to Europe and left school, I was all in. I never was dedicated to anything in school because I believed that I could do this for real. I was like, I’m just going to do this until I can’t anymore, which maybe was dumb, but at the same time I felt like it’s maybe what has gotten us as a family to this point in our life. It’s just all we know. There’s no other option. Once we went to Europe, there was no turning back. I think that’s the same way we look at everything now, we’ll figure it out. Just put need time.”

Moving to America in 2019, the results were not immediately stellar. Hunter finished 10th in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship that year, was 24th in the 250 West championship in 2020 and 13th later that year in Motocross. Some of this was attributable to the steep learning curve of riding against American riders and some was due to injuries.

In 2021, Hunter finished second in the 250 West Supercross championship. He hasn’t been worse than third in a title battle since.

Hunter Lawrence fought against negative self-talk to win his first Supercross championship in 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

Hunter was originally committed to running in with 250 East riders in 2022, but a minor injury to Jett during the offseason caused the Honda HRC team to make a last-minute adjustment. The West started several weeks earlier than the East and that little bit of time would give both riders the opportunity to perform at their peak. Hunter made the move to help support his brother.

It may well have been what cost him a championship that year. Christian Craig was flawless during 2022 in the West. Hunter was almost perfect, with only one result off the podium. He finished second in the championship, partly as the result of a crash in the third Anaheim race that year.

After that fall, he won the next three races. There was room for improvement, but not much.

“My stats were a lot better [in 2023],” Hunter said. “My average start position was a lot better than last year. And just being better overall. It’s just a compounding work of being healthy. I think that’s the biggest thing. This is now my third year and with no injuries now. Just being healthy and being at every race; that alone has been a huge thing. My average start definitely made it a lot easier.”

The success Hunter began to accumulate beginning in 2021 restored his confidence and his drive. While Jett recently earned his fourth consecutive title by wrapping up the 250 West division with one race remaining at Denver, Hunter matched him stride for stride.

Until the season-ending East/West Showdown in Salt Lake City, the Lawrence brothers had remarkably similar stats in terms of wins, average finishes, podiums, and fastest laps set in a race. And Hunter also wrapped up his title with one race remaining on the schedule.

“I’m not the type of person that can do nothing all off season and then have someone pump me full of confidence and say you can do this, you can do this,” Hunter said. “You have to believe in yourself to do this. But at the back of my mind, I’m going, no, you’re joking mate, I haven’t worked for this. I don’t deserve this.

“I think I’m an extremely reasonable person in everything I do. I don’t feel like I deserve anything unless I feel like I’ve earned it or worked for it. Nothing in our lives has ever really been a handout or given to us. We’ve worked for everything.”

Motocross 2023: Results and points after season opener at Fox Raceway


It was not the first time it has been done, but a rider winning in his Motocross debut is rare as the results show Jett Lawrence swept the motos at Fox Raceway in Pala, California and took the early points lead.

Dylan Ferrandis may not be quite 100 percent yet, but he was good enough to finish on the podium at Fox Raceway – Align Media

Lawrence became the 16th rider to win in his Motocross debut and was the 10th rider to do so in the season opener, At 19, he wasn’t the youngest to perform the feat; Rick Johnson was 17 in 1982 when he won the lidlifter at Hangtown, the site of next week’s race, but Lawrence’s inaugural win bodes well. The last time a rider performed this feat, Dylan Ferrandis went on to win the 2021 Motocross championship as a rookie in 2021.

Ferrandis did not sweep the motos that season while Lawrence’s performance on Saturday was perfect. He paced both practice sessions, earned the holeshot in each race and finished first in both motos after leading every lap to score maximum points. Lawrence started the weekend needing 85 points to climb into 20th in the combined SuperMotocross standings for the 450 class. Earning 50 with his perfect Motocross results at Fox Raceway, he is nearly 60 percent of the way to his goal.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results

Chase Sexton was second across the board. He qualified in the second position and finished 2-2 in his motos. In the first race, he was a relatively distant runner-up behind Lawrence, crossing the finish line a little more than 10 seconds ahead. He got a great start in Moto 2 and pushed Lawrence for the entire race, never getting further back than three seconds. He tried to pressure Lawrence into making a mistake, but both riders hardly put a wheel wrong and they finished within a second of one another.

Returning from a concussion suffered in the Houston Supercross race earlier this season and exacerbated at Daytona, Ferrandis finished third in both motos to take third overall. His most important task at hand this week was to avoid trouble and start the Motocross season healthy at Fox Raceway so he can begin to accumulate strong results and move up in SuperMotocross points.

Ferrandis entered this round 25th in the standings and left Pala in 19th. With that position, he has an automatic invitation to the feature starting grid in the SuperMotocross World Championship as long as he does not fall back.

Click here for 450 Moto 1 [Lap Chart] | Moto 2 [Lap Chart] | Consolation Race

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb both ended the race with 34 points, but Plessinger had the tiebreaker with a better finish in the second race. Notably, both riders sustained injury sometime during the season, but Plessinger had an advantage by coming back a week sooner in Salt Lak City for the Supercross finale. He finished second in that race.

Webb was cleared late in the week by doctors after being on concussion protocol from a vicious strike to his helmet in a Nashville Supercross heat race late in the season. He made a beeline to the track to run the Motocross opener. After missing last year’s outdoor season, he wanted to make certain that did not happen again. He still has a solid opportunity to catch Sexton for the No. 1 overall seed in the SuperMotocross standings., but he will need to make up 78 points.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

For the first time in history, Pro Motocross results from Fox Raceway show brothers as winners on the same day.

Battling a rib injury suffered practicing earlier in the week, Hunter Lawrence got a poor start to Moto 1 and had to overcome his 10th-place standing at the end of Lap 1. He methodically worked his way toward the front but might have settled for a position off the podium if not for heavy traffic in the closing laps. Lawrence was able to get through the field quicker than Justin Cooper and Jo Shimoda to finish third.

Hunter Lawrence overcame sore ribs to score the overall 250 win at Fox Raceway – Align Media

Lawrence’s second moto was much stronger. He earned the holeshot and led all 15 laps of the race to win by a more than eight seconds.

Haiden Deegan didn’t feel any pressure heading into this round. No one expected much in his third Motocross National and he would have been happy with anything in the top five. At least that’s what he said in the post-race news conference. Deegan said similar things after finishing fourth in his first Supercross race this season. In a stacked field of 40 riders at Fox Raceway, “Danger Boy” finished sixth in Moto 1 and second in Moto 2 for the second-place finish overall.

Click here for 250 Moto 1 [Lap Chart] | Moto 2 [Lap Chart] | Consolation Race

In only his third Pro Motocross National, Haiden Deegan finished second overall. – Align Media

RJ Hampshire had an eventful weekend. He dominated Moto 1 and won by a healthy margin, making a statement about how he will race now that Jett Lawrence is no longer in the field. He was a victim of mayhem in Turn 2 of Moto 2, which forced him to the ground. Another crash on an uphill portion of the track later that same lap put him in 39th. Hampshire salvaged as many points as he could and finished 11th in the second race to stand on the final box of the podium.

Tom Vialle came within a lap of scoring his first career podium. He had the position based on a tiebreaker over Justin Cooper and Maximus Vohland until Hampshire passed two riders on the final lap and earned one point more than that threesome. Instead, Vialle settled for his first podium in an individual moto with a 7-3 in the two races. More accustomed to this style of racing, Vialle will be a factor in the coming rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Cooper finished with a 5-4 in the two motos to sweep the top five and take fourth-place overall. Cooper started five rounds in the 450 class in Supercross this season and none on a 250, so he is starting with zero points in the SuperMotocross seeding, but with runs like this it won’t take long to make up the 89 he needs to climb to 20th.

One of the best performances of the weekend was put in by Vohland. He finished second in Moto 1 and had to withstand pressure from Lawrence in the closing lap. A poor start of 16th in the second race forced him to play catchup and he could only climb to ninth at the checkers.

2023 Supercross Results

Round 17: Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence win
Round 16: Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire win
Round 15: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 14: Justin Barcia, Max Anstie win
Round 13: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 12: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Eli Tomac, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 16: Chase Sexton takes SX title
Week 15: Eli Tomac is back on top
Week 14: Justin Barcia, most of top 20, hold steady
Week 13: Barcia leapfrogs the Big Three
Week 12: Eli Tomac gains momentum
Week 11: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Week 10: Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Sexton unseats Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s