Features 13 Oct 2020

Conversation: Jett Lawrence

Pro Motocross 250MX rookie on his winning end to the 2020 season.

At only 17 years of age, Australian Jett Lawrence rode to his first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX moto and overall victory at Fox Raceway’s 2020 finals. Part of the outgoing Geico Honda team, it was an emotion-charged result for the rookie and he spoke to the media post-race.

Image: Octopi Media.

First off, congratulations. I know this is what you’ve been looking for, why you came to the US and you were on it today – you’re a winner now at the end of the in the Pro Motocross championship. What does it feel like to be on top of the box at 17 years old?

It definitely feels good. That’s what we work up to, is to be on top of the box, so it definitely was good to be up there finally. This year I was shooting to be on the podium as much as I can, just to get on the podium, and it’s funny that we were talking about before, like my first-ever podium is an overall win. It definitely feels great to finally get this done and under my belt, to get a moto win and an overall win, so everyone’s told me the first one is always the hardest and the next one is a lot easier because you mentally know it. I’m definitely happy with this, it puts you on a very good mentality for next season, so I’m definitely happy with this.

Did your confidence grow the more and more motos you got under your belt as the season went on and did you feel like this was a real possibility for you this season?

Yeah. One thing with me and my brother, we get better the more races we do, the more we get to know how everyone races, it becomes a lot more natural for us. Definitely, my progress from the start of the year to now is a big difference, but I’m glad that we improved. If we didn’t, we would be scratching our heads, so it’s definitely good progress this season.

You mentioned on the podium in the first moto that you kind of were doing this for your brother [Hunter] today because he didn’t get that chance to get out there. Talk about your relationship a little bit and how much you feed off one another and how that helps you both kind of elevate your game.

Well, we just want to beat each other as much as we can. We don’t really care about most other people, we just want to beat each other, so… We love each other, but then again when we’re on the track we hate each other. We’ll take each other’s front wheels out. We have a pretty good connection, we joke around, that stuff and now we don’t fight as much because we’re not living in the same house. We get along really good, same with racing, when we race each other, we race each other clean and not dirty at all.

We obviously have talked about the drama on the podium last week. At the end of moto one you had a few words, a little fist bump with Coop [Justin Cooper]. You guys good?

Yeah, obviously when you beat him after talking crap to him, you’re pretty good [laughs]. My opinion, that’s last weekend, this weekend it’s about the moto win, really [laughs].

Image: Octopi Media.

Is there anything you can point to that was different today that made the difference… what came together finally to make it happen?

Obviously starts helped. They ripped the track deep – it wasn’t five feet deep like they normally do at every other race. So, the race today, the track, you had to be really smart and smooth, not like normal just go and hit into the turn hard on the brakes and bury the bike. It was a lot more technical today, you had to be smart, where I felt like us riders like Dylan [Ferrandis] and I could really stand out. Obviously, we had those sand rollers, so Dylan ended up telling me how I was so much better in the rollers because of Lommel. This felt like more of a euro track with really dry, sharp-edge bumps, so I felt comfortable. As everything went together, every piece of the puzzle was put together. I got good starts, was riding good.

I think we all assume Supercross is starting in January. What do you do for the next month or so before it’s hardcore training time again? Maybe it’s hardcore training time already.

Yeah, most people would take some time off, but I feel like I’m just getting started, really. I still have way more speed to come, so I’m starting Supercross on Tuesday to get back in that prime again. I don’t want to lose my speed and that stuff from this year, so hopefully I can just start where I ended off in Supercross and just keep on building.

Your team is done, so what was that like after the race, going out and helping them leave as winners?

It sucks for the team cos there’s a lot of good guys behind the scenes. It sucks to see a truck leave the paddock, as most people said, and it definitely felt good to go 1-2-3 in that last moto. I was surprised Jo [Shimoda] was up there, I thought he was a lapped rider, so congrats to him – a nice, clean Honda sweep. Jeff [Majkrzak] and Ziggy [Rick Zielfelder] have been in this industry for so long and it’s a bummer to see them leave. They’re like a family to me, so will always stay in my heart for the rest of my career.

Your future, we know that Factory Connection, the Geico team, is departing and nothing has been confirmed for you, but by all indications you’re safe for next year. You’re good?

Yeah, luckily for a rider on that team it’s a lot more easy to kind of keep on riding, unlike the mechanics. I’m not sure when, but we’ll obviously release something soon. I’m not gonna give you guys any details. I’ll let you wait till then and give you a bit of a surprise, but yeah, I’ll give you one hint… basically, it’s gonna have two wheels.