News 16 Jul 2021

Hunter Lawrence would welcome 450 chance at MXoN

Team Australia position beckons for Team Honda HRC standout.

Image: Octopi Media.

Southwick 250MX winner Hunter Lawrence has indicated that he would welcome the chance to ride a 450 at the 2021 Monster Energy Motocross of Nations (MXoN) with Team Australia.

Lawrence and younger brother Jett – current leader of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross in the 250 Class – have applied to represent their home country at Mantova, Italy, this September.

However, with only one 250 (MX2) position and two 450s (MXGP/Open) per nation, the 21-year-old Lawrence will almost certainly be in the frame to move up to a larger capacity entry should Motorcycling Australia (MA) fittingly select him.

The popular opinion is that it would make sense to have Jett remain on the 250 considering he’s currently only 17 years of age, while Rockstar Energy Husqvarna MX2 World Championship regular Jed Beaton could also potentially transition to a 450 for the event.

Beaton will age out of MX2 at the end of this year, so will be forced to step up to the premier class if he is to secure a deal and continue in grands prix from 2022. An appearance at the MXoN riding a 450 could be a rare audition if he’s yet to sign a contract beforehand.

Complicating that matter though is the fact that Infront Moto Racing is still weighing up whether to make the Nations a point-scoring world championship round, which could result in Beaton instead staying put on the 250 for that weekend and bump both Lawrences onto 450s.

“For sure, we sent our resume, so yeah, dude, me and my brother are both trying to get selected for it,” Lawrence told MotoOnline when contacted this week. He won the MX2 category at MXoN in 2017.

“What we think for it, obviously with Jed Beaton over there and Mitch [Evans] being unfortunately injured, looking like he probably won’t be ready even though I’m not 100 percent sure, it depends where Jed is with his championship because there is talk of the Nations being a point-scoring round towards the world championship.

“If that’s the case, does it mean Jett and I would be on 450s, or? There’s so much in the air, even if we get selected. I want to do it, but there’s so much uncertainty in regards to the event itself.

“I’ve ridden the 450 in Europe pre-season when we had no 250s and then same thing last year with Geico when we were struggling with bikes or whatever, waiting on an engine or something, we had some stock 450s to ride. I mean, we can ride them… [laughs].”

Outside of the Lawrences and Beaton, double Australian MX2 champion Wilson Todd (Bike It MTX Kawasaki) is currently a world championship regular, while a mix of Australian-based ProMX contenders would also potentially make themselves available.

Top of that list would be MX1 title-leader Luke Clout (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy), as well as teenage talent Regan Duffy (KTM Racing Team), who impressed in the Open class following a late inclusion in 2019 and is expected to be Australia’s next international export.

Team HRC’s Mitch Evans, who is Australia’s lone rider in the MXGP World Championship, is currently sidelined with ongoing wrist problems, undergoing a third surgery in Brisbane on Friday and unlikely to be back in time for MXoN.