Jett Lawrence Stays Perfect in AMA Pro Motocross, 20 Moto Wins in a Row

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Budds Creek Motocross Park, Mechanicsville, MD— August 19, 2023

In the midst of a prolific first season of 450 Class competition, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence became the eighth different rider in the history of the division to capture the title as a “rookie.” Doing so two rounds early with an extension of his perfect season.

Lawrence captured his ninth overall victory and collected moto wins 17 and 18 to hoist the Edison Dye Cup and move one step closer to completing the sport’s rarest feat. He comes to Budds Creek with one goal in mind, to collect more checkered flags.

In the 250 Class, a stellar afternoon from Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence saw the elder Lawrence secure his sixth overall win of the season, relying on consistent 2-2 moto scores, and seize control of the title fight after an adversity-filled afternoon by Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rookie Haiden Deegan.

Lawrence brings a 22-point lead into Budds Creek and appears to be in control of his own destiny as the Australian siblings look to become the first brothers to prevail with both championships.

250 Moto #1

Jo Shimoda(30) nosed out Haiden Deegan(238) for the holeshot but did not hold the lead very long. Deegan passed early and began to stretch out the interval over Shimoda and Tom Vialle(128), with Hunter Lawrence(96) riding in the fourth position.

The other player in the 250MX points battle is Justin Cooper(32), who was fighting with Ryder DiFrancesco for the fifth position. Then the unexpected happened, an on-track crash involving Hardy Munoz(99) brought out the red flag just before the halfway point of the race.

The race resumed with a full gate restart for the time remaining on the clock, plus two laps. Jalek Swoll(38) fired off into the lead. Hunter Lawrence and Justin Cooper came together as they both vied for the second spot. Cooper nudged Lawrence out of the way, taking full advantage of the restart to improve his track position.

Haiden Deegan ran into the back of Tom Vialle on the first turn and went down. Deegan dropped to the rear of the field as he worked to restart his bike. The restart was also unkind to Jo Shimoda as he was mired in traffic outside of the top ten.

The three leaders were all within one second of each other with seven minutes remaining in the timed portion of the moto. Cooper snuck past Swoll, and Lawrence followed a minute later.

Lawrence leads Cooper in the points by 22. If they finish one-two, Cooper-Lawrence, the margin will drop to 19 points with three motos to go in the season.

Cooper pulled away, Lawrence and Swoll held their positions to join Justin on the podium. Shimoda worked his way back up to the seventh position, and Deegan finished in the 17th spot. Effectively eliminating both riders from title contention.

Justin Cooper / Photo Courtesy of Cycle News

250 Moto #1 Results

Pos # Rider Interval
1 32 Justin Cooper
2 96 Hunter Lawrence 2.120
3 38 Jalek Swoll 13.980
4 241 Daxton Bennick 17.987
5 128 Tom Vialle 23.754
6 35 Seth Hammaker 24.728
7 30 Jo Shimoda 25.446
8 55 Austin Forkner 30.352
9 34 Max Vohland 31.330
10 40 Stilez Robertson 31.455

450 Moto #1

Does the unbeaten streak continue? If it does, Jett Lawrence(18) will have to overcome his worst start of the year. He was 9th across the holeshot line, behind both Chase Sexton(23) and Dylan Ferrandis(14).

The top five early were Adam Cianciarulo(9), Aaron Plessinger(7), Justin Barcia(51), Garrett Marchbanks(36), and Jason Aderson(21). Five minutes in, Lawrence had worked his way up to sixth, seven seconds off the lead.

Jason Anderson / Photo Courtesy of Cycle News

Time remaining, 23:30, Lawrence passes Anderson. While Plessinger is moving to the lead.

Time remaining, 21:00, Lawrence passes Marchbanks. Trails the leader by four seconds.

Time remaining, 16:00, Lawrence passes Barcia for third place.

Time remaining, 15:00, Lawrence passes Cianciarulo for second. Trails Plessinger by one second.

Time remaining, 13:40, Lawrence passes Plessinger for the lead.

With ten minutes to go in the timed portion of the race, Lawrence led Plessinger by over four seconds. The interval continued to grow as Anderson replaced Plessinger for the second spot. And Ferrandis booted Plessinger off the podium. Sexton finished in ninth.

The unbeaten streak is now 19 motos, perfect for the outdoor season.

450 Moto #1 Results

Pos # Rider Interval
1 18 Jett Lawrence
2 21 Jason Anderson 4.377
3 14 Dylan Ferrandis 6.397
4 7 Aaron Plessinger 10.862
5 51 Justin Barcia 11.251
6 36 Garrett Marchbanks 14.035
7 9 Adam Cianciarulo 21.468
8 81 Ty Masterpool 39.763
9 23 Chase Sexton 46.833
10 69 Philip Nicoletti 61.971

 

250 Moto #2

Austin Forkner(55), Hunter Lawrence, and Justin Cooper establish themselves as the riders to beat right out of the gate in Moto #2. Lawrence quickly moved to the lead, and with one of his best starts of the year, he might erase the advantage Cooper earned in the first moto.

Jo Shimoda ran fourth, Ryder DiFrancesco fifth, and Tom Vialle sat in the sixth spot early. Haiden Deegan was seventh.

At the midway point of the moto, the running order remained the same. Except for Deegan chasing down and passing Vialle and DiFrancesco. Lawrence had built a four-second advantage on the field.

Cooper passed Forkner, and the current running order will return Lawrence’s 22-point lead in the year-long standings. It will also give Lawrence another overall event win as a Moto #2 win breaks the tie if both riders end up with identical overall totals (2-1 vs 1-2).

Shimoda worked his way past Forkner for the final moto podium spot. Deegan gave Forkner fits before dropping his bike twice and he settled into the fifth spot.

Jo Shimoda’s combined finishes of 7-3 earned him the overall third place. Joining Lawrence and Cooper on the podium.

250 Moto #2 Results

Pos # Rider Interval
1 96 Hunter Lawrence
2 32 Justin Cooper 1.518
3 30 Jo Shimoa 6.985
4 55 Austin Forkner 27.064
5 238 Haiden Deegan 35.985
6 128 TomVialle 38.907
7 75 Ryder DiFrancesco 61.895
8 52 Carsn Mumford 68.454
9 929 Julien Beaumer 70.208
10 43 Levi Kitchen 71.226

 

250 Points Standings

450 Moto #2

No repeat of Moto #1, Jett Lawrence easily outruns the pack to the holeshot line and quickly separates himself from Justin Barcia and Chase Sexton.

Sexton made a serious run at Lawrence last week at Unadilla, getting even with the leader late in the race before falling short at the finish. At the ten-minute mark, Sexton had passed Barcia and was closing on Lawrence.

However, as has happened so many times this year, Sexton laid his bike down, and Lawrence cruised out to an eight-second lead.

Sexton had enough of an interval on third place to remain in the second spot. He began a mad scramble to close on the Leader again. Maybe you could say that Lawrence put it on cruise control a little early. Sexton closed to less than a second at the finish. But the outcome was never really in doubt. Aaron Plessinger took the third spot.

Sexton’s ninth-place finish in Moto #1 took him out of contention for the overall podium. Aaron Plessinger(4-3) and Jason Anderson(2-5) joined Lawrence for the post-race celebration.

450 Moto #2 Results

Pos # Rider Interval
1 18 Jett Lawrence
2 23 Chase Sexton 0.771
3 7 Aaron Plessinger 28.006
4 51 Justin Barcia 30.494
5 21 Jason Anderson 39.349
6 9 Adam Cianciarulo 43.096
7 81 Ty Masterpool 45.664
8 36 Garrett Marchbanks 57.059
9 14 Dylan Ferrandis 69.306
10 47 Fredrik Noren 71.901

 

450 Points Standings