Unadilla MX, New Berlin, NY — August 12, 2023
Back from a three-week break, the ProMotocross Championship chase resumes at Unadilla MX Track from New Berlin, New York. Jett Lawrence comes to the Empire State looking to establish his own empire. He can clinch the 450 class title with two Moto wins today, regardless of what his competitors do.
Super-rookie Haiden Deegan closed the points gap in the 250 class to just three behind Hunter Lawrence after his first overall win on the ProMotocross circuit at Washougal MX Park. Jo Shimoda and Justin Cooper are also looking to move closer to the leader.
NBC Sports asked to move the running order of events to accommodate a live broadcast of Jett Lawrence’s run at the championship and extend his moto winning streak. So, the 450 CC riders hit the track first.
450 Moto #1
Jett Lawrence(18) did exactly what he wanted at the start of race number one. Earning the holeshot and putting two positions between himself and his primary competitor, Chase Sexton(23). Lawrence quickly built a two-second lead over Sexton. Dylan Ferrandis(14) lagged back in third, behind by six seconds.
Just before the halfway point of the moto, Sexton had run down Lawrence. That in itself has not happened all ProMotocross season. When Sexton continued his charge and got beside Lawrence in a corner, it looked as if a lead change was possible.
However, Lawrence pinched off the exit of the corner, and Sexton stalled his bike. Whether the close call injected some life into Lawrence’s ride. Or Sexton succumbed to the “what do I have to do to beat this guy thought process?” The close call spurred Lawrence to grow the interval back to the two-second interval.
Just as the timed portion of the race expired, Sexton laid his bike down in a deep corner rut. The crash eliminated any potential late-race drama and allowed Ferrandis to grab the second podium spot. Using lapped traffic to close the gap, Ferrandis did manage to pull within a second and a half of the leader. But, the finish was never in doubt.
Justin Barcia(51), returning to competition after his injury during the Supercross season, got caught up in a pile-up early on lap one. He was forced to withdraw and finished dead last. Barcia did walk away injury free.
450 Moto #1 Results
250 Moto #1
Levi Kitchen(43) earned the holeshot. He and Seth Hammaker(35) battled early. But they could not pull away from the field. Haiden Deegan(238) sat third but slowly dropped into the pack as he was not able to develop a smooth rhythm.
Hunter Lawrence(96) ran ninth in the opening laps. Everyone was looking to make a move in the point standings after some flaws in the armor of the points leader tightened the title race over the last few weeks.
Justin Cooper(32), Max Vohland(34), and Jo Shimoda(30) all factored into the battle during the first half of the moto.
Lawrence and Deegan began a charge at the halfway portion of the race. It culminated with Lawrence in second and Deegan in third. Unfortunately, Deegan had a mechanical issue with his bike and dropped out of the event. It will be a costly points day for the rookie competitor.
Kitchen held on for the moto win, with Lawrence in second and Shimoda taking the third podium position.
250 Moto #1 Results
450 Moto #2
After a little bit of drama in Moto #1, Jett Lawrence was having none of it in the second race of the day. Holeshot, to an early lead, complete dominance finishing off with a 09.209-second gap over Chase Sexton in second place. Locking up the 450MX season title with two events still remaining on the schedule.
Sexton(3-2) and Dylan Ferrandis(2-3) share second overall as Lawrence runs his winning streak to 18 with Bud’s Creek and Ironman yet to run.
450 Moto #2 Results
450 Class Points Standings
250 Moto #2
The second moto of the day for the 250MX riders was delayed 12 minutes due to weather in the area. Once it started, a surprise name led the pack across the holeshot line. Stilez Robertson(40) got a great jump and actually began to pull away. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
RJ Hampshire(24) took a wicked spill on the opening lap causing the AMA to throw a red flag, signaling a complete restart. Hampshire was assisted off the track by the Alpine Medical crew wearing a neck brace.
On the restart, Ryder DiFrancesco(75) replaced Robertson as the holeshot winner. Followed by Justin Cooper, Jo Shimoda, and Levi Kitchen.
Hunter Lawrence started eighth. Haiden Deegan, whose bike broke in Moto #1, had the 38th pick of starting gates and lined up on the far outside of the first corner. He came across the holeshot line in the 21st position.
Cooper moved to the lead and never relinquished it. The real battle was for the overall title. Kitchen(1), Lawrence(2), Shimoda(3), Maximus Vohland(4), and Cooper(5) were all in the mix.
Lawrence worked his way into second by the end of the race, giving him a (2-2) and the overall win. Leaving the door open for Kitchen and Shimoda.
Kitchen finished the second moto in fourth. His (1-4) total was good enough for second overall. Shimoda took third in both races. However, his (3-3) total was overshadowed by Cooper’s (5-1), knocking Shimoda off the overall podium based on Cooper’s better finish in Moto #2. Stilez Robertson? He finished 18th.
250 Moto #2 Results