Perfect Lawrence remains unbeaten with Thunder Valley double
Three-straight for 250MX leader Lawrence with Colorado overall.
There was no stopping Jett Lawrence in Thunder Valley’s third round of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, remaining perfect with his sixth moto win in a row and third-successive overall victory, as Hunter Lawrence also won again in 250MX.
It was the story of Lawrence in the first 450MX moto of the round, hitting the front from the outset and effectively cruising away to a 31.609s victory.
While the teenager was unchallenged on his way to a fifth win in as many races, Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) was solid on his way to the runner-up result, despite a crash in the mid-stages that almost enabled third-placed Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) to takeover the position.
That’s how they would finish, however, and it was the race for fourth that stole much of the attention, with Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – rebounding from a first lap clash with Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – managing to fend off a determined ride from Masterpool, who took it right down to the wire.
Making Masterpool’s ride even more impressive was that he had crashed in the first turn and fought all the way back into the top-five.
Positions sixth through 10th included Garrett Marchbanks (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) in his first premier class appearance of the year, Ferrandis, Grant Harlan (Manluk Rock River Racing Yamaha), Derek Drake (BarX Suzuki) and Fredrik Noren (Twisted Tea Suzuki).
Another measured performance saw Lawrence continue his unbeaten run in 450MX moto two, crossing the finish 11.993s clear of the field to further stamp his authority on the class, despite his rookie status.
After taking the holeshot, Lawrence sprinted away and controlled the gap, winning ahead of Plessinger and Ferrandis, who made a final lap pass on the impressive Masterpool.
Webb was fifth this time out, but ahead of Cianciarulo after he ran as high as second early on, with Harlan, Marchbanks, Lorenzo Locurcio (Wildcat Race Team GasGas) and Noren the top 10.
That resulted in victory for Lawrence overall, joined on the podium by Plessinger and Webb. Heading into High Point next Saturday, Lawrence holds a 34-point lead over Ferrandis – fourth overall today – and with Webb directly behind him in third position.
250MX red plate-holder Hunter Lawrence has made it three from three to open the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship following another well-earned victory today at Thunder Valley.
The drama began at the very beginning of moto one, with a major pile-up taking a lengthy list of the major players down, but out front it was Haiden Deegan with the holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Justin Cooper.
By the end of lap one, Cooper had managed to take control after a minor Deegan mishap and that’s where he would stay, going on to win by 2.773s ahead of Lawrence, who had climbed up the order from outside of the top five in another convincing effort after a battle with Deegan along the way.
One of the rides of the moto was Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), who remounted from that first turn incident and charged all to way back onto the podium in P3, making his way by the fast-starting Deegan in the closing laps of the moto.
Two more Star Racing entries were next in line, as Levi Kitchen and Jordon Smith recovered from qualifying outside of the top 10 to finish fifth and sixth, followed by RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) as he too salvaged what he could after going down in the first corner, DiFrancesco and Swoll.
Two-time world champion Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) was a high-profile non-finisher, crashing while working his way forward from the crash at the start of the encounter, which also took Farres out of contention with an arm injury.
As he has done all season, Lawrence rose to the occasion when it counted in the final outing, picking up his third moto win of the year and third-consecutive overall as a result. First moto winner Cooper jumped out to the holeshot, but made an error soon afterwards, which enabled Lawrence to take charge at the front.
From there, the points-leader stretched a 4.736s advantage to win from Kitchen, with highly-rated rookie Hymas making it a pair of HRC entries on the podium in P3. Cooper fought his way from outside of the top 10 to fourth by race’s end, ahead of Vohland, Smith, Hampshire, Shimoda following a late crash, Deegan and Swoll.
Overall for the round, Lawrence maintained his winning streak, topping Yamaha teammates Cooper and Kitchen, while in the standings, Lawrence now leads Cooper by 16 points entering High Point next weekend.