News 22 Feb 2023

Lawrence to begin SMX 450 preparations during break

Australian states that 450SX appearance is not on the cards in 2023.

Image: Octopi Media.

Runaway 250SX West points leader Jett Lawrence will begin his SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) preparations on a 450 during the western regional break, outlining his plans before he returns to action in Seattle late next month.

Lawrence has dominated across recent AMA quarter-litre seasons, winning back-to-back 250MX titles, also securing the 250SX East crown last year and is on track to notch a second-consecutive 250SX regional championship in 2023.

The 19-year-old officially debuted on a 450 at the 2022 Motocross of Nations (MXoN), impressing at RedBud to win the Open category overall as part of Team Australia’s charge to bronze at the prestigious event.

Already confirmed to move the premier class full-time once Pro Motocross commences this year, Lawrence intends to race the SMX playoffs onboard a CRF450R and will use the current gap between races to start developing a setup for the hybrid track layouts.

“I get on the 450 next week for some supercross testing, getting ready for the SuperMotocross at the end of the year, just to get a rough setting,” Lawrence explained. “We don’t really know what the SuperMotocross layouts will be like exactly, like if it’s more SuperMotocross or stadium-cross, so were going to test for about a week on the 450 then I’ll get back on the 250 before we get back to racing.”

The idea of Lawrence stepping up to a 450 for some races during the 250SX West break was labelled unlikely by Team Honda HRC team manager Lars Linstrom prior to Anaheim 1. However, Lawrence’s points lead of 20 and continued dominant form has raised speculation about a 450SX appearance this season, potentially at Daytona which is suspected to be the most similar layout to those featuring in the SMX post-season.

That said, following the races at Oakland Lawrence stated such a step is not on the cards before Pro Motocross, despite a competitive appearance at any 450SX round providing the opportunity to gain points and help secure or improve his 450 seed into the SMX playoffs.

“No, it’s the smarter decision,” he added. “I know you guys would love it, but it’s just the risk factor, like if we have run in’s with anyone, you know if someone doesn’t like me and tries to t-bone me or just something silly like tweaking a knee. Even just jumping rhythms, going long or short thinking I could maybe jump something with more power, but once we get to 450, we’ll stay in the class.”