Hunter Lawrence also begins 250MX campaign with strong round victory.
Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence completed a near-perfect day at the opening round of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship at Fox Raceway, with a double-moto victory in his first 450MX outing. At the same time, older brother Hunter Lawrence claimed the round win in the 250MX class.
The rookie Jett’s impressive performance means he remains undefeated at the Pala circuit, as he saw off a fierce challenge from his team-mate, Chase Sexton, who finished the day with 2-2 results.
Returning former motocross champion Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) completed the podium with a consistent 3-3 scorecard.
After topping the qualifying sheets earlier in the day, Lawrence put in a near-flawless performance to open his 450MX account with a win in the opening moto.
Lawrence found himself leading the field through the first turn, and after quickly establishing a healthy buffer, controlled the race to finish with a 10-second margin over Chase Sexton.
Ferrandis finished third after holding down P2 for the first half of the moto.
Red Bull KTM pairing Cooper Webb (P4) and Aaron Plessinger (P5) traded positions throughout the race as Plessinger crashed multiple times.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo finished a distance sixth ahead of the Venezuelan Lorenzo Locurcio (Wildcat Race Team), Jerry Robin (Yamaha), Grant Harlan (Yamaha) and Spain’s Jose Butron (Wildcat Race Team).
Off the gate for the second moto, Lawrence again led the pack through the first turn, and spent the vast majority of the race holding off a relentless attack from Sexton on his way to a perfect 1-1 450MX debut.
Sexton clung doggedly to the back of Lawrence, but couldn’t quite get close enough to stick a pass around the degrading Pala track, and had to settle for second, just one second behind his team-mate.
A distant 44.90 seconds down the track, Ferrandis successfully defended his third-place spot from Plessinger after a lengthy battle, while Webb finished with another top five result.
P6 went to Harlan, while Cianciarulo rebounded from an opening lap crash to finish seventh. Butron, Noren and Drake rounded out the top 10 spots.
Meanwhile, Team Honda HRC rider Hunter Lawrence has begun his bid for a first-ever 250MX Pro Motocross Championship with a strong win at the opening round of the series at Fox Raceway.
Lawrence scored a 3-1 result from the day’s two races to take the round overall, as Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rookie Haiden Deegan finished second overall, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire third.
Hampshire opened his 2023 Pro Motocross account with a win in the opening 250MX moto.
The two Rockstar Energy Husqvarnas of Jalek Swoll and Hampshire rounded the first turn at the head of the pack, but Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda wasted no time finding his way into the early lead.
It didn’t last long though, as a small error let Hampshire take the advantage. The two continued to dice before Shimoda cross-rutted and crashed, allowing Hampshire to build a healthy lead and promote Red Bull KTM’s Maximus Vohland to second.
As championship rivals Lawrence and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper worked their way up the field from P10 and P9 respectively, Hampshire continued to ride his own race, claiming a seven-second win over Vohland.
A fast-finishing Lawrence made a last-lap pass on Shimoda to claim third, while Cooper crossed the line in fifth.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan recovered from an early fall to finish P6, ahead of early charger Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM), Guillem Farres (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Ryder DiFrancesco (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing).
Hunter Lawrence came back with a vengeance to win the second 250MX title and take the round victory.
Lawrence scored the holeshot and was never headed as he steadily stretched his lead to eight seconds by the time he crossed the finishline.
There was plenty of action behind him after a pile-up in the opening corners held up some of the championship contenders, and moto one winner RJ Hampshire crashed twice on the first lap and had to fight his way from dead last.
By the time the checkered flag fell, Deegan had wrapped up a successful first outing to his full-time rookie Pro Motocross season with a P2 result for both the race and round, while Vialle put in an improved display in third.
Cooper crossed the line in fourth, with Farres in fifth.
Shimoda, who was caught in the opening lap pile-up did well to finish sixth, ahead of Kitchen, Carson Mumford (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Vohland and Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas). Hampshire made his way from 40th to 11th to finish on the round podium.
The second round of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship will be held at Hangtown, Sacramento on 3 June.