Features 16 Mar 2021

Fast Thoughts: Hunter Lawrence

First-time Supercross podium finisher on his runner-up in Arlington.

As one of the most high-profile exports Australia has had in many years, Hunter Lawrence has been excelling in 2021 Monster Energy Supercross through the first three rounds of 250SX West and picked up his first-career podium in second position at Arlington 1 over the weekend. The 21-year-old Team Honda HRC rider is now third in points and now on the eve of Arlington 2, he’s emerging as a contender for potential main event wins this season. The elder Lawrence brother features in our latest Fast Thoughts.

Image: Octopi Media.

Achieving that first Supercross podium…

Yeah, it’s awesome mate. It’s pretty cool to prove yourself right and just keep believing, keep believing. You believe in yourself for so long and no one believes in you more than yourself, so you keep telling yourself ‘you can do it, you can do it’, but when you’re not doing it, it’s tough. It mentally just chips you down and down. To push through that time last year when obviously Jett was doing really well and I was just struggling with my body and the injuries and stuff, it was like it was just never-ending – it took a big toll on me. We just dug deep and pushed through it… Even two months ago I wasn’t even doing the full Supercross track, just due to coming back from that shoulder surgery after the outdoors. The progression rate’s pretty steep at the moment, every time I get on the bike, I just feel better, feel more comfortable, feel fitter, stronger, more confident, more sure of everything and it’s cool.

Key to this latest success…

I think the biggest thing was figuring out my body and getting that to work properly. My body was just so fuelled with inflammatories and created autoimmune disease and, basically, I’m almost a type two diabetic and stuff. That alone was a huge thing on just not being able to train. I’d do something and the next day I would just be like, I can barely move, so that was a huge thing alone. Then just being healthy, every time I would feel good on the bike, I’m on it and getting better and stuff, but that side of things is huge. Obviously, there’s other little bits and pieces, but that was the biggest thing is just being healthy.

Image: Octopi Media.

Chances of catching for the victory…

The victory, in my head I was like ‘dude, it’s right there’. When I got into second, I was right there, but he was riding really well and wasn’t making too many mistakes. I think the track was pretty simple as far as the rhythms and stuff, like even if you messed something up in the turn, you could still hit all the rhythms all the same, but for sure, in the last five minutes I was getting closer and closer. I think it was a lap or two to go, I was probably the closest I had been and then there was lappers kind of in their battle without even realising it held me up a smidge and it kind of opened it up again. I just kept trying to pull it in and ran out of laps. Everyone was riding good today, it was just the track was pretty simple for the most part – you had to do something a little better to pass and stuff.

Physical state leading into Tuesday…

Yeah, good mate, I feel really good. I felt strong all day, main event I was able to push all the way through the end and put in the fastest lap time as well for the main, so that was cool. I’m looking forward to it, I think it’s awesome that we just get to race again. Maybe some of the 450 guys aren’t as stoked with the 17 rounds they do [laughs], but it’s only our third round so I’m eager to race and I look forward to it.