Australian to commence next phase of career after this weekend.
Words: Adam Wheeler
When most MXGP riders will be considering some holidays, Australian Hunter Lawrence will be neck deep in an adaption phase with Geico Honda and learning the inches of the Californian test tracks.
Lawrence, who made his final MX2 grand prix appearance last week at Imola in Italy as part of the Honda 114 Motorsports team, has been on the world championship scene for two years and also claimed victory in the EMX250 European championship in 2015. In that period he raced Kawasaki, Suzuki and Honda machinery, but has found his path with the Geico set-up.
“I’m not too sad to leave because this is what I’ve always dreamed of, so I’m creating goals,” he admitted. “It has been a disappointing year and I didn’t achieve what I set out to do but I’m not going to sit around and ponder on it. I’ll miss all the people I’ve met here.”
Lawrence had his bags packed and flew straight from Imola to Chicago to represent Australia at the 72nd Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) and will travel directly to his new apartment in Corona, California, where the next phase of his career begins.
“We’ll do some testing and work on the motocross suspension a bit to get ahead of the game for next year,” he said. “They have stuff they want to test with me and then we’ll be into supercross.
“We don’t have a super-strict schedule but I’ll be ‘into’ it for a couple of weeks after the Nations while I’m still hungry on the bike to get all dialled-in with engine configuration, suspension and the different parts from team sponsors. We’ll go through the whole bike, dissect and try to improve the comfortable feeling I have on the Honda already.”
Lawrence scored six grand prix podiums in his two full seasons and could have ridden another three years in MX2, but took the opportunity with Geico that will also see his younger brother Jett go into the American squad.