250SX West champion on Denver and fourth pro quarter-litre title.
Just one week after his brother Hunter Lawrence wrapped up his first 250SX East title, Jett Lawrence made it a double for Team Honda HRC as he claimed the 2023 250SX West Championship in Denver. After wrapping up his fourth professional AMA championship, the talented 19-year-old features in this Conversation.
Jett, you were on a mission. You had the fall in the heat race, the bad gate pick. But, then coming from 10th place, can you describe what was going through your head as you were slicing through the pack?
Yeah, it did not go as planned for that heat race. One guy kind of went left, so I went left, it wasn’t ideal, but hey we ended up getting through even though I think that was my worst qualifying of the year in eighth. In the main the gates were wrecked, the ruts out of the gate were chewed up and there were only a few good ones. I found an okay one on the inside, there weren’t too many holes but they had some loose stuff on top. I had a good jump but, I just spun out on the dirt. I kind of just took my time, I knew I had to get 10th or better, so I just chugged along. I ended up getting into third about halfway I think. The boys were pretty far out front at that point and it wasn’t really the kind of track to try and send it on. So, I’m happy with third, we didn’t quite equal Hunter on his championship, but we still got the number one plate at the end which is nice.
I think you and Hunter are tied in career wins and there’s one race to go. I know you both have titles wrapped up, does that mean something now, that you’re tied on career wins and there’s one race to go between you?
I don’t know, I’ve kind of already done my job this year, but we’ll go into Salt Lake City and we’ll see how we go there, we’ll see how the track is. If I’m feeling it, okay, but if not, I’m not going to try and push it. My focus now is outdoors on the 450 and that’s what I was going to say next. It was a bummer to see [Tomac] go down tonight, I was really looking forward to racing one of the legends of the sport, I mean, 51 wins in just supercross and there’s plenty more outdoors. I was really looking forward to that. It sucks, I hope he can come back next year or something and I get to race him, cause that would be an awesome experience to race such a legend like Tomac.
You’ve now won four titles, but this is the first one where you’re moving up to the 450. Was it tough to balance that knowing that you’ll be on a 450 in a couple of weeks?
I kind of only rode 10 minutes on the 250 on supercross on Wednesday because we’ve just been so focused on outdoors. We realised the more time I had on the 450 the faster I would get. After nations, we did six weeks on the 450 and I got even faster from there, so we’ve just been focusing on the 450 cause I got that good points lead after New Jersey.
How does this championship rank compared to the past titles that you’ve won? And does it make it that little bit more special considering you were celebrating your brother’s titles last week?
I wouldn’t say it was as good as Hunters, I feel like we were a lot more pumped up for his because that’s been a long time coming and he really deserved it. Any championship you’re pumped for, but I wouldn’t say I was the most pumped for this one. I had other ones where I had to come back through. I’ve been told that the second title’s always hard to win. Either way, you have to be happy, this year’s been pretty good, so I’m definitely happy about that.
Describe to us how the Lawrence family celebrates the two championships in one household.
People that know Daz know that he’ll celebrate tonight, but we’ll go back and it’ll be back to the chalkboard. I said earlier, my focus now is on the 450, it’s a big task coming up. I’ve got a lot to learn with those guys, they have a lot of knowledge and stuff. Same with Hunter, he’s now focused on outdoors and trying to win that title. So, hopefully, he has a good run at that. And for me, it’s a little bit easier you could say, I’m not going in expecting to win straight away, so I’ll just go and feel where I’m at on the 450 and have fun with it. The 450 is going to be a new chapter and I’m excited for it.