News 29 Sep 2023

SMX crown to benefit Lawrence ahead of rookie 450SX campaign

'It was a learning curve for me for next year in Supercross'.

Image: Octopi Media.

Winning the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) crown will serve as a benefit to Jett Lawrence when he begins his 450SX career in Monster Energy Supercross at Anaheim 1 in January.

After claiming the 250SX West title earlier this year, Lawrence transitioned to the CRF450R and dominated his rookie Pro Motocross season in the category, taking 22 out of 22 moto wins on his way to the title.

Despite an uncharacteristic fourth overall at the opening SMX playoff event in Charlotte, 20-year-old Lawrence managed to rebound with the overall win at Chicagoland and secured the SMX450 championship with a 1-1 scorecard at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Every 450 championship Lawrence has raced in so far, he has won, and with the hybrid track layouts used in the post-season featuring Supercross elements, he looks to draw from his success, particularly at the finals, ahead of his first-career 450 Supercross campaign next year.

“It’s definitely nice,” explained Lawrence. “It’s hard to take, each championship has their special moments and feelings and what you learn. This one I definitely learned, coming into the first one I thought I got curb-stomped. I just had nothing for the guys, I missed the bike set-up by a lot and Chase [Sexton] was riding really well that day.

“Then going into Chicago, it was a bit more outdoor style of track, but I found that it’s so limited for me. I feel like outdoors you have a lot more room to get creative, there’s a lot more things I can get creative with. So the last three rounds, everyone was doing the same stuff and it was fairly basic to go fast, so it was hard to make up that time, like Kenny [Roczen] said.

“It’s just the small things like coming out of a turn and hitting a bump and it spins out a smidge, that’s literally a couple of tenths. It might not be a massive mistake, but going down a long straight or something, it makes a big difference. So you just had to be perfect, hit your marks as best as you can and when you make a mistake, try and make that time back up, [laughs].

“But this win definitely feels a little bit better than the outdoor one, just cause we got to learn how these guys race in stadiums and more so because I haven’t raced any of these guys in stadiums at all.

“It was a learning curve for me for next year in Supercross. I haven’t really done any Supercross stuff [on the 450], it’s just been SuperMotocross stuff, but I haven’t done much Supercross testing, only about two weeks. I was excited to see how it was going to go and definitely thankful that we’re leaving on top.”

Before the off-season then preparation for next year begins, Lawrence will represent Team Australia in the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) at Ernee, France, between 6-8 October.