News 30 Mar 2023

West leader Lawrence came close to riding 450 at Daytona

Testing time spent on the CRF450R during western region break.

Image: Octopi Media.

250SX West leader Jett Lawrence admitted he came close to riding a 450 at Daytona after spending long hours testing on the premier class platform that week.

The idea of Lawrence stepping up to a 450 for some Supercross races this year was downplayed by Team Honda HRC team manager Lars Lindstrom at the start of the season.

However, Lawrence’s dominant start to the 2023 250SX West championship and 20-point lead after Oakland raised speculation about a 450SX appearance during the region’s break, potentially at Daytona which is suspected to be the most similar layout to the tracks featuring in the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) post-season.

Lawrence indicated post-race in Oakland that such a step was not on the cards before he transitions to the premier-class full-time from Pro Motocross later this year, but revealed after his fourth 250SX West win of the season on Saturday in Seattle that a 450SX appearance at Daytona nearly became a reality.

“It was funny on the 450, at Daytona I was actually very close to going racing,” Lawrence explained. “I was excited, I ended up testing Monday all the way through to Thursday on the bike, all 10-5 days to where the sunset would go down.

“It was long days of trying stuff, seeing what works with it and more for my sake learning the 450, learning its character and that stuff. I was still wanting to do press day and that, Dazzy ended up pulling the pin going ‘no, you rode all week – long hard hours’, so it was kind of more just take the weekend off and have fun.”

After winning 250SX East last season and capturing back-to-back 250MX titles, Lawrence debuted on a 450 at the 2022 Motocross of Nations (MXoN) at RedBud, impressing as part of Team Australia’s third-placed squad to win the Open category.