Lawrence brothers dominate Fox Raceway 250MX opener
Sexton produces Pro Motocross sweep at opening round.
Defending 250MX champion Jett Lawrence delivered a commanding performance to go 1-1 in the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Fox Raceway, leading Hunter Lawrence in both motos as Chase Sexton swept 450MX.
It was a Lawrence 1-2 in the opening 250MX moto of the season, with Jett 6.688s seconds ahead of Hunter, as RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) made a late move for third.
The early laps were led by Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) until the younger Lawrence made his way by near 10 minutes in, with Hunter following suit soon afterwards and giving chase. Things started unravelling from there for Cooper, with Hampshire next to go by and then a whole group of riders following that.
In the end, it was the Lawrences ahead of Hampshire, with Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) fourth and Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) the top five.
Sixth through 10th included a fighting Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas), top-qualifier Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) and Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna).
Cooper faded all the way back to 11th in his first competitive appearance since Hangtown last season. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll went down and out of contention early with what appeared to be a shoulder injury, as McAdoo was also forced out after going down in the mid-stages.
Another commanding performance from Jett Lawrence saw him make his way by debutant Nick Romano (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) two laps in and control the balance, signalling his intentions for the season ahead complete with the number one plate.
Lawrence’s winning margin by race-end was a full 5.381s, again followed by brother Hunter, who this time had to climb from P7 at the end of lap one. Hunter made his move on Shimoda for the runner-up result on the final lap, as Mosiman delivered a better ride this time out for fourth and was comfortably ahead of Hammaker in fifth position.
Sixth matched his opening moto result for Forkner, followed by Brown, Kitchen, Hampshire – who was toward the rear of the pack at the beginning of the moto – and Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) the top 10.
Overall, it was Jett Lawrence who started his title defense in style ahead of brother Hunter, with Shimoda’s final moto result boosting him up onto the final place on the podium. Next Saturday, the series will travel to Hangtown in Northern California for round two of the season.
A clean-sweep to open the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship marked the perfect start for Chase Sexton ahead of HRC teammate Ken Roczen at Fox Raceway on a weekend where Honda celebrated its 50th anniversary in the sport.
After topping qualifying, Sexton continued his form by winning the opening moto, trailing Roczen for the first half of the race before making a move and going on to win by 15.877s.
Roczen was solid after setting the early pace and then settling into a podium result, while third was exceptional from Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) despite a tip-over early on, a battle with the returning Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) and a late challenge from Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki).
The end result for Anderson was an impressive fourth after clawing his way back from 17th at the end of lap one, while Dungey starred upon coming back to the sport following six years away with a top-five finish in moto one.
Next up was Red Bull KTM teammate Plessinger in P6, followed by Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) after he gradually dropped down the order out of podium contention, Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – like Anderson – also from well back in the opening laps, class rookie Garrett Marchbanks (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) and Tony Cairoli (Red Bull KTM) in a quiet start to his time in the US.
It was an all-Honda duel at the front in 450MX moto two as earlier winner Sexton jumped out front on lap one, only for Roczen to strike with that added early intensity. Come the final 10 minutes, Sexton finally countered and made this move count, going on to seal a perfect score by just 4.587s over Roczen.
Third was yet again a remarkable result from Craig, keeping teammate Tomac at bay, as Dungey made it a pair of top-fives in his comeback ride for fifth. Next in line was Cairoli after making his share of progress between motos, with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna fill-in Shane McElrath seventh.
It was a case of what could have been for Anderson, recovering from a fall on the opening lap to claim P8, with Barcia and Plessinger in ninth and 10th.
The round podium saw Sexton stand on the middle step, joined by Team Honda HRC teammate Roczen and with Craig taking third position. Round two of the season will take place at Hangtown in Northern California next Saturday, 4 June.