News 13 Sep 2023

Improved starts a focus of Lawrence ahead of Chicago

An uncharacteristic 7-2 scorecard places him fourth overall in Charlotte.

Image: Octopi Media.

Mediocre starts at the opening SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) playoff in Charlotte left Jett Lawrence on the back-foot after he uncharacteristically missed the overall podium, despite finishing second in moto two.

After a perfect rookie 450MX campaign with 22 out of 22 race wins, the Team Honda HRC rider was a favourite for victory at ZMax Dragway, underlined after he posted the fastest time in qualifying.

However, the 20-year-old suffered from a lack of comfort on the bike during the first encounter, starting sixth before losing a position and then crashing on lap six to drop back to 10th. He was able to reach P7 by the race’s end.

Race two saw Lawrence eighth after the first lap, but with much stronger pace than in moto one, he was able to charge his way forward and take the runner-up position from Ken Roczen (HEP Suzuki) with three laps remaining. With a 7-2 scorecard, he concluded the event fourth overall.

“The first SMX didn’t go the best – I just didn’t have my starts down and need to go back to working on that. It was a tricky start and I didn’t execute all day,” said Lawrence.

“The start was so key, since this track was so one-lined. The first race I didn’t have the best setup, but we made some changes before the second race and I was able to ride a lot better. I just have to put myself in a better position off the start in Chicago.”

Lawrence won the 250SX West title earlier this year and did not compete in any 450SX rounds. Nonetheless, his standout outdoor season in the premier class saw him elevate to the third 450SMX seed ahead of the post-season and he enters the next event at Chicagoland second in the standings, 12 points behind teammate and playoff one winner Chase Sexton.