Features 19 Sep 2023

Conversation: Jett Lawrence

Team Honda HRC rider on Chicago SuperMotocross win.

After finishing off the overall podium to start the post-season last weekend in Charlotte, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence bounced back with a 1-2 performance, taking the round victory at Chicagoland Speedway for the second SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) playoff. The 20-year-old features in our latest Conversation.

Image: Octopi Media.

In the pre-race press conference you said you were annoyed, pissed off and motivated to win this race. You came out and did it in the first moto, was that redemption?

It was definitely lighting the fire for sure. After last weekend, when you do so bad, people only know you for your last race. So I didn’t want to do another weekend like that, definitely the motivation from that helped a lot. Working on our starts was a very big thing and it ended up proving to be with getting off to a more regular start. But like you said, the loss last weekend hurt, a lot, and motivated me a lot more to try and come out here swinging.

Word in the pits was that this was a more motocross-style track than last week. Did that factor in?

I feel like the more motocross it is, the better it is for me. I’ve been riding motocross my whole life, whereas supercross I started back in the end of 2019. So supercross is still fairly new to me, where most of the guys I’m competing with have done it for years. It’s still new, I’m getting there, it’s a good learning curve for me. But it definitely helped with the track being a little more motocross layout this week. I definitely felt a little bit more at home and it definitely made it a lot easier for suspension, just to go with an outdoor setting and stiffen it up a bit.

Image: Octopi Media.

In that last moto, letting Kenny [Roczen] go. At what point in the moto did you start doing the math a little bit and seeing where those guys were so you could do that?

I think it was the two laps when Kenny was really on me, when he kind of closed the gap. I was riding but my mind was somewhere else, trying to do maths. But, I kind of took two laps aqnd was just thinking and making sure that if I did let him past, it wouldn’t affect my overall, but turns out it wouldn’t have meant anything if I didn’t let him past. So that’s my great maths, but there was two laps where I was thinking it, then I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure I’m good,’ then that back section I just let him past and kind of just rode around behind. I got to see how he races, so it was also a good thing for me, cause I can only learn so much if I’m in front of the guy. So it was nice to see what Kenny’s lines were and see how he races on a bit of a tighter track. I got to see it on outdoors, but I haven’t seen it in more of a supercross kind of layout.

Considering you’re the new 450 outdoor champion, what was your take on track, the high speed, speedway atmosphere and just that environment?

I think in all honesty, it just made it suspension decision easier. Obviously last weekend we struggled with suspension cause it was the first time. But we had a supercross rhythm lane, whereas this week there was rollers and a few doubles, so it definitely made it a lot easier coming into this one and seeing the track, we already had a two settings during the week that we tried. So we were ready to go racing on either one depending on how the track was. It just made it easier. But who knows, [next week] could be a lot more like supercross, but I feel like whatever it is, I’ll adapt to it and I’m definitely feeling a lot more confident on my bike. So I’m looking forward to it.