News 12 Sep 2023

‘Sub-par day’ costs 250SMX hope Lawrence at opener

Attention shifts to final two rounds in SuperMotocross title bid.

Image: Octopi Media.

Crashes in both 250SMX motos at the first of three SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) Finals proved costly for Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence, recalling a ‘sub-par day’ by his standards at ZMax Dragway.

Just two weeks after wrapping up his first 250MX title at Ironman, on top of his 250SX East crown earlier in the year, Lawrence entered the first post-season playoff with the combined points lead and as an obvious favorite to challenge for the victory.

The weekend for the Team Honda HRC rider leaves him third in the 250SMX standings, only managing to add 14 points to the 25 that he entered ZMax Dragway with as the number one seed. A bad start in the first outing saw Lawrence round the first turn nearly last, before a crash in a tricky right-hand sweeper saw him go down, remounting to finish race one in a lowly P9.

Race two was much the same for the Australian, this time a crash in turn one leaving him on the back-foot and once again fighting his way from the back of the pack. With the hybrid-style track layout proving hard to pass, Lawrence was only able to manage his way back up to P7 in race two, the 9-7 scorecard placing him eighth overall in Charlotte.

“It was a rough day in the office – we sucked,” the 24-year-old Lawrence reflected. “Two crashes today wasn’t ideal, especially one in each moto… It was a sub-par day. We need to go back and be perfect in the next two.”

The SMX Finals resume this weekend, 15-16 September, with Chicagoland Speedway playing host to the second stop of the playoffs, where a double-points system will see the stakes elevated in the penultimate race of the year. The 250 class is currently led by Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki).