News 25 Sep 2023

Nations still in the plans of Lawrence after SMX exit

Sets sights on 450 class preparations entering the 2024 season.

Image: Octopi Media.

Representing Team Australia at the 2023 Motocross of Nations is still in the plans of Hunter Lawrence following his exit from the SuperMotocross World Championship finals (SMX) at Los Angeles Coliseum.

A crash on Friday left the 24-year-old in doubt, before added pain Saturday afternoon ultimately led to him withdrawing from his 250SMX title bid with an aggravated back.

“Bit of a sucky night for me, unfortunately, not being able to race,” Lawrence told MotoOnline. “Just bigger picture, I was at the point where my legs were just giving way – the pain just shoots up your spine and down the back of your legs.

“It was kind of just, not a matter of will power or pushing through the pain, it was just my legs would give out… That’s just plain and simple what was happening. Obviously, the pain was pretty damn high, but it doesn’t matter at that point, pain is pain, whatever, you push through it.

“The chances of us, if it happened on a finish line or a triple, or something like that, was just what could happen. I wasn’t going to go out there to ride around for fourth or fifth, it made no sense. I don’t do it for the money, obviously, it’s a nice little payday, not going to lie, but it is what it is, we have got bigger and better things to come as well on the 450, the Nations in a week and a bit, so wanted to be strong for that.

“Didn’t want to push through tonight and just salvage it and beat it up and maybe only get a seventh or an eighth. Then you are chasing up for Nations, you’ve got a niggling injury going into the off-season on the 450, so it was a big discussion, but I think we’ve made the right decision.”

Lawrence is confident that he will be able to line up alongside Team Australia teammates Jett Lawrence (MXGP) and Dean Ferris (Open) at the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) in France between 6-8 October and hopes to be back on the bike later this week before flying out for Ernee.

“As of now, first thing’s first on Monday go and get an MRI,” Lawrence added. “That’s just to figure out what is going on, then just a lot of time at Dr. G’s office, keep working it, keep working it and hopefully fly back to Florida in the later part of the week and – fingers crossed – ride over the weekend before we fly out.”

Despite the premature ending to his 250SMX campaign, it was a stellar season for Lawrence who captured the 250SX East and 250MX titles. Following MXoN, his attention will firmly shift to his transition to the 450 class next year in the SuperMotocross World Championship, which will soon be confirmed that he is replacing Chase Sexton at Team Honda HRC.