News 2 Jun 2023

Lawrence anticipating added challenges in rookie year

'I’m just not going to have it some rounds' in first 450MX season.

Image: Octopi Media.

450MX rookie Jett Lawrence is anticipating added challenges in his maiden premier class campaign despite a dominant debut at Fox Raceway that saw him emerge from the opening round of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship with the red plate.

Lawrence qualified fastest in Pala and went on to win both motos, taking a comfortable 10.082s victory in race one before withstanding constant pressure from teammate Chase Sexton to emerge on top in the second bout.

“I think the closest thing that I had to that really was when I was racing my brother last year in outdoors, I think at Millville and High Point in one moto,” Lawrence explained. “I think this year it’s going to be, like, the first moto I got pretty lucky, I ended up getting a good start and kind of getting a bit of a safety kind of gap and just managing. As Chase said, he didn’t feel as good and had to make a shock change, so obviously didn’t feel up to par, like how he felt on that one.

“Then the second one, he got a better start. For me, I find it fun because it makes me a better rider all around, I don’t get that very often. I’m definitely going to be having that all season, I can tell you now, there are going to be some races where just because it’s the first year on a 450, I’m just not going to have it some rounds.

“I think the best thing for me is to just be smart and just learn. I get to race with some of the fastest guys. It’s kind of crazy because last time I raced these guys was when I first went pro back in 2020, so it’s kind of like I’ve raced them, but then back then I was nowhere near them, so I barely even got to learn how they ride. Now I’m up there and I’m just really excited, it’s going to be an awesome summer with some gnarly dudes.”

Lawrence has impressed both times he has competed on 450, and while 2023 Pro Motocross marks his first campaign in the premier class, the Team Honda HRC rider also delivered a stand-out performance at the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) last year to claim the Open overall in his CRF450R debut.

The multi-time AMA quarter-liter champion leads this year’s 450MX standings by six points as the series moves to Hangtown this Saturday for round two.