News 23 Jul 2023

Unbeaten Lawrence maintains 450MX win-streak at Washougal

Perfect eighth round sees Deegan draw closer in 250MX.

Image: Octopi Media.

Runaway 450MX points-leader Jett Lawrence kept his unbeaten season in tact with another double victory at Washougal, the Team Honda HRC standing atop the podium in all eight rounds so far, as Haiden Deegan went 1-1 for the 250MX overall.

The opening 450MX moto saw Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) power to the holeshot and he led the first lap until red plate-holder Lawrence took control.

Former champion Ferrandis put up a fight of sorts before Lawrence went by and by lap six he was bumped back to third by Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC), which is how they would finish. Lawrence’s winning margin was 7.992s, with the rookie’s streak building to 15 motos in succession.

Chasing the leading trio, Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) took the chequered flag directly behind Ferrandis, as teammate Adam Cianciarulo took P5.

Positions six through 10 included Ty Masterpool (Kawasaki), Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM), Garrett Marchbanks (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), Fredrik Noren (Twisted Tea Suzuki) and Colt Nichols (Kawasaki) in his return to the outdoors.

The restarted second premier class moto saw Plessinger repeat his front-running start for the hole shot, with Lawrence quickly looming from the outset. Plessinger managed to bounce back from the opening moto though and led for near 10 minutes, until Lawrence went by and Sexton followed suit.

The race was on at that point and Sexton managed to track down his title-leading teammate, until he crashed in the latter stages. That was all she wrote, as Lawrence went on to win by 3.053s, still over Sexton, with Plessinger fending off a late charge from Anderson to maintain third.

In fifth came Ferrandis, followed by Marchbanks, Cianciarulo, Masterpool, Nicoletti and Nichols, marking his second top 10 in as many races. Australian Jed Beaton (Boost Mobile Honda Racing), after finishing 13th in the opening moto, was out early with a throttle issue on the second lap.

The overall belonged to Lawrence as he maintained his unbeaten run this season, joined by Sexton and Anderson on the podium. In terms of the points, Lawrence now has a 95-point advantage over Ferrandis coming into two weekends off prior to Unadilla.

Image: Octopi Media.

A perfect day out at Washougal has signalled Deegan’s intentions in the final stages of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, the 250MX rookie going 1-1 for the overall victory.

It was Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Deegan who hit the front early and controlled the early stages of 250MX moto one, maintaining an advantage of around five seconds through much of the encounter.

Behind him, teammate Justin Cooper started applying pressure in the final 10 minutes, until points-leader Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – who was as far back as sixth on the first lap – gradually moved forward into podium position and eventually made the move for P2 in the closing laps.

It was Deegan, however, who managed to hold on at the front to win by 2.762s – on the weekend where Yamaha is opening its 50th anniversary of the YZ range celebrations – ahead of Lawrence, with Cooper another four seconds back in third.

Fourth was RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), ahead of Maximus Vohland (Red Bull KTM) after he challenged for the podium early, with Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), teammate Seth Hammaker, Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha), Carson Mumford (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) the top 10.

Austin Forkner went down in the first turn and rebounded for 21st, while also Ryder DiFrancesco (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) were first lap casualties, each ruled out for the remainder of the moto.

When the gates dropped on moto two it was a three-way Star Racing fight at the front, led by Cooper ahead of Kitchen and Deegan. From that point, Cooper began to stretch an advantage out front, with opening race winner Deegan making his way by Kitchen at midway.

It was Deegan who put on a late charge to set the quickest lap of the race and, with that, made his way by Cooper into the lead with four laps remaining. That allowed him to again take control for the second time this afternoon, going on to win by 7.974s from Cooper, with Kitchen holding strong for third on the podium.

Lawrence recovered from an error of his own to finish in fourth position, comfortably ahead of Hampshire in P5. Sixth to 10th included Hammaker, Shimoda, Vohland, Mumford and Forkner.

Overall, Deegan went 1-1 to clinch the overall ahead of Cooper, with Lawrence rounding out the top three. As a result, Deegan has closed to within three points of Lawrence, with Cooper now a further 16 in arrears entering into the upcoming two-weekend break in the series before Unadilla on 12 August.

Detailed results