Gear up for the 2024 Season

Rev your engines and brace yourselves, folks! The 2024 season is gearing up to be the ultimate showdown of top talent! Here is a breakdown of what has unfolded in the off-season.

Red Bull KTM: Chase Sexton, the Defender

CHASE SEXTON - RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING

The reigning 450SX Champion, Chase Sexton, is making a move that's sending shockwaves through the motocross motoverse. Sexton, now donning the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing colors, is set to defend his 2023 AMA Supercross Championship.

Sexton, with a bold career move, is eager to work with the KTM powerhouse. "I think we have a bright future together," he declared. The union of Sexton's talent and KTM's legacy is a concoction destined for glory.

 

Team Honda HRC: Hunter Lawrence's Grand Ascent to 450 Premier Class

220619 Hunter Lawrence Extends Contract with Honda (3)

Hunter Lawrence, the Australian prodigy who conquered the 250 scene last season, is moving up to the big leagues for 2024. The 24-year-old speed demon is saddling up on the CRF450RWE, ready to battle it out in the AMA Supercross, Pro Motocross, and SuperMotocross series.

Lawrence, after clinching 250 titles last season, expressed his excitement about the promotion. "I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in my 250 career, but it’s exciting to move up to the premier class for 2024," he shared. With off-season testing promising, and the Lawrence brothers reunited on the big bikes, Team Honda HRC is revving up for a show-stopping season.

 

Honda's Rising Sun: Jo Shimoda's Journey Continues

Shimoda Honda 10

Jo Shimoda, the Japanese sensation, is set to ride the CRF250R for Honda’s factory squad in 2024 and ’25. The 22-year-old, with a history of breaking barriers, aims to add another chapter to his impressive career. Shimoda's return to Honda is a reunion worth celebrating, and with teammates like Jett and Hunter Lawrence, this squad is a force to be reckoned with.

Shimoda, beaming with enthusiasm, said, "I’m super-stoked to join Honda’s factory team." His eyes are set on an AMA championship, and the chemistry with his teammates could turn this season into a Japanese motocross revolution.

 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna: Farres Joins the 250 Class

231016 Guillem Farres - Rockstar Energy Husqvarna (3)

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing is turning up the heat with the addition of Guillem Farres to their 250 Class program. The 20-year-old Spaniard is ready to make waves in 250SX.

Farres, after showcasing his potential in the latter part of the 2022 season, is thrilled to be part of the Husqvarna family. Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager, sees Farres as a rising star, and with the Baker’s Factory program in the mix, the Spaniard is geared up for a spectacular debut in 2024.

 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna: Casey Cochran's Pro Debut

Casey Cochran - Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing is also adding 17-year-old Casey Cochran in the 2024 season. After a stellar amateur career, Cochran is ready to step into the spotlight, making his mark in the SuperMotocross World Championship on the FC 250.

Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager, expressed his excitement, saying, "He’s a very hard worker and is full of potential for a great future." The anticipation for Cochran's pro debut is palpable, and the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna squad is ready to nurture this budding talent.

 

Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS: Ryder DiFrancesco's Rookie Quest

Ryder DiFrancesco - Troy Lee Designs_Red Bull_GASGAS Factory Racing

Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing has a new prodigy in town, and his name is Ryder DiFrancesco. The 18-year-old is set to embark on his rookie 250SX campaign, bringing his explosive talent to the tracks.

Max Lee, Team Manager, is thrilled about DiFrancesco joining the team, stating, "He has a lot of talent and a good work ethic." With DiFrancesco transitioning from a decorated amateur career to the professional ranks, the 2024 season promises to be a captivating chapter in his motocross journey.

 

Get ready, the 2024 Supercross season is on the horizon, and with these riders and teams, we're in for a wild ride. Stay tuned for the twists, turns, and high-flying action that will define this thrilling season. The countdown to Anaheim 1 has never felt this electrifying! Secure your A1 tickets now.

Jett Lawrence Wins SMX World Championship Playoff 2 at Chicagoland Speedway

Hunter Lawrence Takes 250 Class Win and Reclaims Points Lead

Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence was back on the top step of the podium with a strong overall win at the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff 2 inside Chicagoland Speedway. Lawrence’s victory came via 1-2 moto scores in the event’s two-race format.

SMX Chicagoland Speedway

The uniquely created track built inside Chicagoland Speedway was long, fast, and rough. The second-ever SuperMotocross World Championship track challenged the racers and teams in the sport’s first post season racing. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.  

Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen earned an emotional second place overall finish just days after the birth of his second child; the win moved Roczen into third place in points with a clear path to winning the championship next weekend. Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton earned third place overall on the high-speed, SuperMotocross track that stretched across the storied auto raceway. In the 250 Class, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence was back on top, winning both motos and recapturing the 250 Class points lead.

Jett Lawrence - SMX Playoff 2

Jett Lawrence looked at home on the track that favored motocross technique over Supercross finesse. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc. 

Jett Lawrence grabbed the holeshot in the first 450 Class moto with Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia, Sexton, Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti, and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis right behind. Sexton, the winner of both motos at Playoff 1, was quickly on the attack to take the lead, but Lawrence held his spot. Just before five minutes had ticked off the race clock Sexton made a tiny mistake exiting one of the sand turns; that was all it took for Lawrence to break free and sprint out of striking distance. The two Honda teammates put in similar lap times, each taking a different bike set-up approach to their race bikes. Sexton was running a stiff Supercross-style suspension set-up and Lawrence had on his more compliant motocross-style suspension. The difference demonstrated the challenge of all the teams to find an ideal bike set-up for the custom built SMX track. Just past five minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap moto, Ken Roczen took over third place from Barcia in a thrilling back-and forth that had the riders trade the lead multiple times through several sections. The lead group looked mostly settled at that point, but Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger was on the move after a bad start that had him outside the top ten at the beginning of the race. Plessinger reached sixth place with just over six minutes on the clock and charged after Ferrandis. On the final lap Plessinger made the move into fifth. At the checkered flag it was Lawrence, Sexton, Roczen, Barcia, then Plessinger.

The 450 Class moto two roared off the line and race veteran Nicoletti grabbed the holeshot and led Barcia, Lawrence, Sexton, and Roczen. Lawrence and Roczen were both on the move on the opening lap. Lawrence took the lead from Nicoletti before a minute and a half was off the race clock. Roczen was past Nicoletti forty seconds later and then right on Lawrence’s rear fender and pressing for the lead. Sexton eased into third place but the battle was just out of reach as Lawrence’s and Roczen’s pace pushed the front two into a race of their own. Behind Sexton, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Cooper Webb reached fourth place with Ferrandis right behind. Throughout the race Roczen would fall back two seconds, then make a push and get right back up to Lawrence. With just over eight minutes left on the race clock Plessinger moved into fourth and the front group looked settled. But in the closing laps Roczen closed the gap again and pressured Lawrence. With just over a minute left on the clock Lawrence waved Roczen past, relinquishing the lead but also eliminating the pressure. Fans suspected a mechanical issue, but Lawrence explained later it was an attempt to help Roczen finish ahead of Sexton in the overall results; it was a strategy to gain maximum points on series-leader Sexton. Roczen pulled a comfortable gap while Lawrence maintained his lead over Sexton. Lawrence did earn the overall win and Roczen did finish second overall with Chase taking third. However, Lawrence’s unconventional race strategy did not impact the overall finishing order. Going into the Final next weekend, which pays triple points, Sexton leads Lawrence by just two points and Roczen sits in third only ten points back from the top spot. This creates a ‘winner take all’ finale between Lawrence and Sexton, with Roczen positioned to take the championship if he wins the Final and Sexton fails to finish in second.

Hunter Lawrence - SMX Playoff 2

Hunter Lawrence took back the 250 Class points lead with strong 1-1 moto scores to win at Chicagoland Speedway. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

When the gate dropped for moto one of the 250 Class Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan rocketed into the lead ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle, Hunter Lawrence, and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda. Shimoda, Playoff 1 winner, looked aggressive going after third but Lawrence held him off. On the opening lap of the 20-minute plus one lap moto Lawrence made the move on Vialle to take over second at the same time Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire got around Shimoda to push him back to fourth. For the first half of the race all eyes were on the fluctuating gap between Deegan in the lead and Lawrence in close pursuit; it grew and tightened between 1.3 to 2.2 seconds. Seven minutes into the race Shimoda dialed up his aggression and took back fourth place. Thirteen minutes into the race Lawrence pulled up on Deegan’s wheel in a move for the lead. A minute later Deegan made a mistake in one of the track’s deep-rutted corners and wasn’t able to jump the finish line double. Lawrence flew past and soon after pulled a small gap on Deegan. With 2:15 remaining on the race clock Shimoda moved past Vialle and set his sights on Deegan. The racer from Japan put in blistering laps and used momentum from an outside line to jump past Deegan. Shimoda set his sights on Lawrence, who had a two second lead at the white flag. Shimoda quickly closed the gap and got right on Lawrence’s rear tire. Then Shimoda took a hard jolt on an outside rut with a sharp hook in it. Shimoda bit his tongue and cut his chin on his handlebar; and so he dialed back his last-lap attack. Lawrence took the moto one win, Shimoda cruised to second and Deegan held on for third.

The second 250 Class moto provided even more excitement. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper nabbed the holeshot with Shimoda, Lawrence, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryder DiFrancesco, and Hampshire in tow. In just the opening lap Lawrence bumped past Shimoda in a corner, only to get re-passed by Shimoda in an immediate counterattack. Shimoda set his sights on Cooper and four and a half minutes into the race Shimoda took over the lead while Lawrence sat third and Deegan had reached fourth. A minute later Lawrence overtook Cooper momentarily, but it took another lap of racing to secure the spot. Lawrence now sat just one second back; between he and Shimoda, the winner of the moto would take the event overall and the $50,000 race win bonus. Vialle put in a strong push and got up to third place with eight and a half minutes left on the race clock. But Vialle broke his shift lever and, with his bike stuck in second gear, was out of the hunt for the race win. With less than five minutes left on the clock the battle for the lead took a dramatic turn when Shimoda sensed something wrong with his bike. He later said that he backed down his pace to take the stress off his bike and ensure a finish. Lawrence rode smooth to the checkered flag, the moto win, and with that the overall victory as well. The win gave Lawrence back the points lead going into the SuperMotocross World Championship Final next weekend.

Carson Wood took the win in the dramatic 112cc Supermini World All-Stars race

Carson Wood took the win in the dramatic 112cc Supermini World All-Stars race.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc. 

At the event’s midpoint the Supermini World All-Stars Main Event dropped the gate for the top racers between the ages of 12-16 aboard 112cc-displacement race bikes. Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Carson Wood grabbed the holeshot with MTF Ogio Dunlop’s Benjamin Moya, B’s Moto Lab JM Racing’s Darren Pine, and Husqvarna Answer Racing’s Vincent Wey ahead of the screaming pack of two-stroke race bikes. Wey moved into third less than a minute into the eight-minute plus one lap race. The battling was fierce and the racer making the most progress was Fasthouse X Hot Wheel’s Max Shane. At the race’s midpoint Shane took over second place. Late in the race Wey shorted a large double and crashed on the landing, taking down KTM Orange Brigade’s Seth Dennis, who was right behind him. With under a minute left on the race clock Wood held control over the race with a comfortable lead. At the checkered flag the podium finishers were Woods, Shane, and Moya with Dennis recovering nicely from his crash to finish fourth.

The inaugural season of the SuperMotocross World Championship wraps up and crowns two champions next weekend on September 23rd inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The SuperMotocross World Championship Final will pay out triple-points for finishing positions to weigh the final event of the year as the most significant. The purses are the largest in the sport’s history, including a $1,000,000 bonus to the 450 Class champion and $500,000 to the 250 Class champion. Every position pays out more than any other series in two-wheeled off-road racing as part of the total 2023 purse of $10,000,000.

Coverage of the Final begins with the Race Day Live show that covers qualifying, team and rider news, a look at the track, and LCQ live coverage; it starts at 4:30PM Eastern Time on Peacock. Then the event kick-off and updates are covered live on the Pre-Race Show coverage at 9:30PM Eastern Time. Directly following that, the racing will air live on both Peacock and USA Network beginning at 10:00 PM Eastern Time. The race coverage will re-air on September 25th at 1:00 AM Eastern time on CNBC.

Tickets are on sale now to witness the final round of the sport’s first post season with the SuperMotocross World Championship Final at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the same stadium that kicked off the sport of Monster Energy Supercross back in 1972 with the Superbowl of Motocross. For ticket sales, race information, video highlights, updates, track maps, and more about the September 23rd event, please visit SuperMotocross.com.

450SX Class podium - SMX Playoff 2

450 Class podium (racers left to right) Ken Roczen, Jett Lawrence, and Chase Sexton.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

450SMX Playoff 2 Results

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-2)
  2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (3-1)
  3. Chase Sexton, LaMoille, IL., Honda (2-3)
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (5-4)
  5. Dylan Ferrandis, Bedarrides, France, Yamaha (6-5)
  6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (4-10)
  7. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (8-7)
  8. Phillip Nicoletti, Bethal, N.Y., Yamaha (7-9)
  9. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (13-6)
  10. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, OK, Kawasaki (12-8)

450SMX Class Championship Standings

  1. Chase Sexton, LaMoille, IL., Honda (90)
  2. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (88)
  3. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla. Suzuki (80)
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (74)
  5. Dylan Ferrandis, Bedarrides, France, Yamaha (71)
  6. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (60)
  7. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (59)
  8. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (58)
  9. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (44)
  10. Adam Cianciarulo, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki (42)

250SX Class podium - SMX Playoff 2

250SX Class podium (racers left to right) Jo Shimoda, Hunter Lawrence, and Haiden Deegan.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

250 SMX Playoff 2 Results

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-1)
  2. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (2-2)
  3. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (3-3)
  4. RJ Hampshire, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Husqvarna (5-4)
  5. Maximus Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (8-5)
  6. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (10-8)
  7. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki (9-9)
  8. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (6-12)
  9. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (12-7)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (7-13)

250SMX Class Championship Standings

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (89)
  2. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (86)
  3. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (82)
  4. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (63)
  5. RJ Hampshire, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Husqvarna (62)
  6. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (62)
  7. Maximus Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (59)
  8. Tom Vialle, France, KTM (54)
  9. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (54)
  10. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki (49)

SMX Supermini World All Stars Results

  1. Carson Wood, Zephyrhills, Fla., Kawasaki
  2. Max Shane, Oceanside, Calif., KTM
  3. Benjamin Moya, Santiago, Chile, GASGAS
  4. Seth Dennis, Brooksville, Fla., KTM
  5. Logan Mortberg, Pierson, Fla., KTM
  6. Darren Pine, Montgomery, Tex., GASGAS
  7. Jayce Wolf, Franklin, Wis., KTM
  8. Wyatt Duff, Lexington, Ky., KTM
  9. Carson Millikan, Surprise, Ariz., KTM
  10. Kane Bollasina St. Louis, Mo., KTM

Perfect 2023 Pro Motocross Championship Season Continues for Jett Lawrence with Tenth Win at Budds Creek

Hunter Lawrence on the Cusp of 250 Class Title Following Seventh Victory

One week removed from becoming the eighth different rider in the history of the Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, to capture the 450 Class title his first year in the division, Team Honda HRC pilot Jett Lawrence’s quest for a perfect season moved one round closer to completion at the Yamaha Budds Creek National. The young Australian withstood his toughest challenge to date at Southern Maryland’s Budds Creek Motocross Park, but ultimately prevailed with his 10th consecutive 1-1 outing to move within two motos of the fourth unbeaten campaign in series history. In the 250 Class, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence once again complemented his younger brother’s victorious effort with his seventh victory of the season, to put the Gary Jones Cup within reach ahead of next weekend’s finale.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

The first 450 Class moto got underway with the Monster Energy Kawasaki of Adam Cianciarulo leading the way to the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed my Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jay Wilson and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger, who soon moved into second. Third was then occupied by Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia. A bit further back, Lawrence started sixth.

The top three settled in through the opening portion of the moto but Plessinger started to chip away at the deficit and was able to make the pass for the lead a little more than eight minutes into the moto. Cianciarulo and Barcia gave chase from second and third, respectively, while Lawrence closed in from fourth. The champ persistently pressured Barcia for a few laps and made the move for third just before the halfway point. He then made quick work of Cianciarulo to move into second.

Less than a second separated Plessinger and Lawrence, but the Australian quickly closed onto the rear fender of the KTM and relied on some savvy racecraft to slip into the lead and seize control of the moto with 13 minutes remaining. From there he quickly moved out to a multi-second advantage. As Lawrence pulled away, the battle for the remaining podium spots tightened up between Plessinger, Cianciarulo, Barcia, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson.

Anderson made the first move of the group with a pass on Barcia to drop the GASGAS rider to fifth. The Kawasaki rider’s forward momentum continued with a pass on his teammate for third and continued with a quick push to pass Plessinger for second. This late battle added a new rider in Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis, as the Frenchman was on a charge into podium contention. The former champ marched his way past multiple riders and moved within striking distance of Plessinger as time expired on the moto. Ferrandis went on the attack and completed the pass.

Lawrence easily controlled the second half of the race to bring home moto win 19 by 4.3 seconds over Anderson, followed by Ferrandis in third. Plessinger and Barcia battled all the way to the checkered flag for fourth, with the KTM coming out ahead of the GASGAS.

230820 Jett Lawrence - Budds Creek

Jett Lawrence withstood his toughest challenge to date to keep
his perfect season intact at Budds Creek.
Photo Courtesy MX Sports Pro Racing / Align Media

Moto 2

The final moto of the day began with Lawrence clear of the field to easily grab the MotoSport.com Holeshot over Cianciarulo and Barcia. Barcia quickly slotted into second, followed by Plessinger in third, while Cianciarulo settled into fourth. After a challenging first moto filled with adversity, Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton started fifth but made quick work to jump up to third behind Barcia and his teammate.

Sexton showed patience in his pursuit of Barcia for second but once he went on the attack he wasted no time making the pass and moved into second just a handful of minutes into the moto. From there Sexton inched closer to his teammate and as the moto surpassed the 10-minute mark less than 1.5 seconds separated the Honda duo. As they traded momentum, Sexton appeared to have slightly more speed and closed in to within less than a second. However, the battle ended when Sexton tipped over while navigating one of the track’s many downhills.

The lead duo was well ahead of the rest of the field, but a multi-ride affair for third headlined the halfway point of the moto as Barcia was forced to contend with Plessinger, Cianciarulo, and Anderson. As the moto wore on Barcia and Plessinger were able to inch away from the Kawasakis, but their battle persisted. No matter what Plessinger tried Barcia seemed to have an answer, but as the moto reached its final five minutes Plessinger finally got the upper hand and made the pass, while Barcia stayed close.

Back up front, Sexton’s never-give-up mentality saw him erase an eight-second deficit to close within striking distance of Lawrence. Mere bike lengths separated the teammates on the final lap, but Lawrence did enough to keep Sexton at bay and secure his 20th moto win to extend the perfect season.

230820 Aaron Plessinger - Budds Creek

Aaron Plessinger earned his best result of the season with a runner-up effort (4-3).
Photo Courtesy MX Sports Pro Racing / Align Media

Overall

The 10th overall victory of the season for Lawrence was arguably his toughest of the summer, as he was forced to dig deep to pull out the 1-1 sweep and keep his unblemished record intact. With his third-place finish in the final moto Plessinger was able to secure a season-best runner-up finish (4-3), while Anderson’s resilient charges through the field in both motos was rewarded with third overall (2-5).

Lawrence needs to win the final two motos of the summer to become the third different rider to amass a perfect season, in what has been a historic first season of premier class competition.

230820 Jason Anderson - Budds Creek

Jason Anderson put up a fight across both motos to secure third overall (2-5).
Photo Courtesy MX Sports Pro Racing / Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“I had a spot where I could see Chase [Sexton] each lap, but then [one lap] I just didn’t see him there. Then I knew he was closing in. I had a bit of bad luck with lappers, but we got away with it. It was a close one there, but that was good at the end.”

Aaron Plessinger, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
“I knew [Barcia] was going to be hard to pass and this track is a bit one lined. He’s such a great competitor and I really enjoyed racing with him in that second moto. I rode a bit tight in that first moto, but we came out and proved it in the second one. I’m just so grateful to be up here again [on the podium].”

Jason Anderson, Monster Energy Kawasaki
“I feel like I’m getting better. I had to work hard and come from behind a couple times today. It feels good to be back on the podium. We just need to keep piecing it together.”

230820 450 Podium - Budds Creek

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (4-3 // 38)
  3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (2-5 // 38)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (9-2, 34)
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (5-4 // 34)
  6. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (3-9 // 32)
  7. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (7-6 // 29)
  8. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (6-8 // 28)
  9. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (8-7 // 27)
  10. Phil Nicoletti, Cochecton, N.Y., Yamaha (10-11 // 21)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 10 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 500
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 379
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 350
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 298
  5. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 294
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki – 242
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 228
  8. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 208
  9. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki – 171
  10. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha – 162

450 Class Highlights – Yamaha Budds Creek National


250 class banner

Moto 1

The opening moto of the day began with the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki of Jo Shimoda leading the field out of the first turn to grab the MotoSport.com Holeshot just ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rookie Haiden Deegan. The lead pair engaged in a spirited battle on the opening lap, swapping lines throughout the track layout, from which Deegan was able to slip past and take control of the early stage of the moto. Shimoda then settled into second ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle in third and Hunter Lawrence in fifth.

With no pressure from behind, Deegan was able to open up a comfortable margin on the field through the opening 10 minutes of the moto, with more than five seconds between him and Shimoda. The top two asserted themselves at the head of the pack while the battle for third picked up as the moto reached its halfway point. However, the entire complexion of the race changed when the red flag flew for a downed rider and brought the moto to a halt.

With mere seconds before the moto reached the 15-minute mark, the formal halfway point, the red flag resulted in a restart out the starting gate for a 15-minute sprint to the finish.

As the field approached the first turn off the second gate drop Deegan made contact with Vialle, which hampered the Frenchman’s start and sent Deegan to the ground and to the rear of the field. Out front, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll emerged with the lead ahead of Lawrence, with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper in third. With invaluable championship points on the line, Cooper, who sits second in the standings, made an aggressive pass on Lawrence to move into second.

Cooper continued his push to the front and made his way past Swoll, only to have the Husqvarna rider counter to reclaim the position. Cooper looked to recompose himself, which brought Lawrence into the mix from third to initiate a three-rider battle for the lead. Cooper waited for his opportunity and then made a savvy pass with six minutes left in the moto. Not long after Lawrence made his way around Swoll for second. With five minutes to go the championship rivals were separated by 1.3 seconds.

Lawrence closed the gap to within a second of Cooper and started to look for potential lines to mount an attack, but Cooper didn’t flinch and was consistent through the closing stages to keep Lawrence at bay. The lead grew over the final two laps as Cooper brought home his third moto win of the season 2.1 seconds ahead of Lawrence. Swoll completed his best effort of the season in third, with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Daxton Bennick in fourth and Vialle in fifth. Further back, Deegan recovered from the first-turn incident to finish 16th.

230820 Hunter Lawrence - Budds Creek

Hunter Lawrence’s seventh win of the season moved him closer to the 250 Class title.
Photo Courtesy MX Sports Pro Racing / Align Media

Moto 2

As the field stormed into the first turn to start the second and deciding 250 Class moto it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner who led the field to the MotoSport.com Holeshot, just ahead of Lawrence and Cooper. Forkner looked to lead his first lap of the season, but he missed an obstacle, which helped Lawrence to take over the top spot. The clear track allowed Lawrence to sprint away from the field.

Each of the top three riders proceeded to settle into their respective positions on the track through the first 10 minutes of the moto until Cooper looked to apply some pressure on Forkner for second. The Kawasaki rider responded and kept Cooper at bay, while Shimoda bided his time from fourth. At the turn of the midway point of the moto Cooper finally made the move on Forkner to grab control of second. Shimoda then proceeded to challenge his teammate for third. A slingshot move on an outside line allowed Shimoda to surge past and give chase to Cooper with less than 10 minutes to go.

Shimoda was one of the fastest riders on the track and soon closed in on Cooper to mount an attack for second. As soon as Shimoda appeared to have the Yamaha in his sights, Cooper responded to stabilize the margin with an increase in his own pace to become the fastest rider on the track. With the drop in his lap times Cooper was able to inch back towards Lawrence but couldn’t gain enough ground to pressure for the lead.

Lawrence closed strong to take his seventh moto win of the season, just 1.5 seconds ahead of Cooper at the finish. Shimoda followed with a solid third-place effort.

230820 Justin Cooper - Budds Creek

Justin Cooper tied for the top spot (1-2) but settled for a runner-up effort.
Photo Courtesy MX Sports Pro Racing / Align Media

Overall

With identical moto finishes Lawrence (2-1) and Cooper (1-2) finished tied atop the overall standings, but the second-moto tiebreaker went to Lawrence for his seventh win of the season and forced Cooper to settle for his sixth runner-up effort of the summer. Shimoda rounded out the overall podium with his third top-three performance of the year (7-3).

Lawrence, Cooper, and Shimoda remain the only riders mathematically eligible for the 250 Class title entering the finale next weekend. With no points lost or gained on Cooper, Lawrence will carry a 22-point advantage into Indiana’s Ironman Raceway in search of his first national championship.

230820 Jo Shimoda - Budds Creek

Jo Shimoda kept his title hopes alive with a third-place finish (7-3).
Photo Courtesy MX Sports Pro Racing / Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“It’s awesome [to get another win]. It was a tough day, but a good day at the end. We went out and made it happen. Looking forward to next weekend to try and close this out.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I gave it everything I had today. I got into second, but Hunter [Lawrence] was riding really good. I tried to close the gap and got a bit sketchy out there but did everything I could. We’ll see what we can do next weekend.”

Jo Shimoda, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
“The track was tough. I chose a paddle tire to try and help with the start, but that made things sketchy out there at times. I’m happy to get another podium and looking forward to closing out the season next week.”

230820 250 Podium - Budds Creek

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (2-1 // 47)
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (1-2 // 47)
  3. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (7-3 // 34)
  4. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (8-4 // 31)
  5. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (5-6 // 31)
  6. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (3-12 // 29)
  7. Daxton Bennick, Morganton, N.C., Yamaha (4-11 // 28)
  8. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Kawasaki (12-8 // 22)
  9. Julien Beaumer, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., KTM (11-9 // 22)
  10. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki (6-14 // 22)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 10 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 391
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 369
  3. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 343
  4. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 329
  5. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 308
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 288
  7. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 269
  8. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 264
  9. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 195
  10. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 181

250 Class Highlights – Yamaha Budds Creek National


The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship will come to an exciting and dramatic conclusion next Saturday, August 26, with the landmark 10th running of the Tucker Freight Lines Ironman National from Crawfordsville, Indiana’s Ironman Raceway, located just outside the motorsports mecca of Indianapolis. The 11th and final round of the summer campaign will stream live in its entirety, with uninterrupted motos, on Peacock, kicking off with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET, followed by race coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

Jett Lawrence Clinches 2023 Pro Motocross Championship Two Rounds Early with Continuation of Perfect Season at Unadilla

Teammate and Brother Hunter Lawrence Emerges with 250 Class Victory to Cap Off Memorable Afternoon for Family and Team

The three-round stretch run of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, got underway on Saturday from the hallowed grounds of Central New York’s iconic Unadilla MX. A championship atmosphere was in the air at the Honda Unadilla National as Australian rising star Jett Lawrence entered with a chance to wrap up the 450 Class title in his first summer of premier class competition. When all was said and done, Lawrence extended his perfect season for his ninth straight 1-1 performance to clinch the Edison Dye Cup with two rounds remaining. In the 250 Class, the elder Lawrence, Hunter, made it the sixth sweep for the family and Team Honda HRC, which extended his championship point lead and moved him one step closer to a maiden title.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

With the 450 Class title within reach Jett Lawrence seized the moment to open the first moto of the afternoon with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, edging out Yamaha mounted veteran Estonian racer Harri Kullas, who was making his Pro Motocross debut. Behind them, Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks slotted into third, with Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton fourth. Both Marchbanks and Sexton were able to make their way around Kullas in the early portion of the opening lap.

The clear track allowed Lawrence to establish an early lead and manage his advantage over Sexton, who made the move on Marchbanks to take control of second. Just over two seconds separated the teammates through the first 10 minutes of the moto. While the Hondas stepped away from the field Marchbanks was forced to fend off Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis, who was on a hard charge from a start just outside the top five. The Yamaha’s engaged in a brief battle before Ferrandis made the pass.

Back up front, Sexton closed to within a second of Lawrence to initiate a battle for the lead. Eager to make a move, Sexton dove to the inside of Lawrence in a corner, which initiated some contact between the two and allowed Lawrence to slip away after Sexton was forced to collect his balance. The lead briefly ballooned to more than 1.5 seconds, but Sexton started to chip away at the deficit once more.

As they entered the final 10 minutes of the moto the HRC duo ran similar lap times, which stabilized the lead. Lapped riders added another layer to the battle and worked into Lawrence’s favor as he moved out to a near three-second lead. Sexton bided his time and made a final push in the closing minutes of the moto. He dropped the hammer and was able to close the gap to within two seconds but as he looked to make quick work of lappers Sexton lost traction and crashed. Ferrandis assumed second as Sexton remounted in third.

Ferrandis was on a charge of his own and closed within less than two seconds of Lawrence on the final lap. Lawrence managed the margin and wrapped up his 17th moto win by 1.6 seconds over Ferrandis, who enjoyed arguably his best moto of the season in second. Sexton followed in a distant third, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo fourth and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger in fifth.

Jett Lawrence is the 2023 Pro Motocross 450 Class Champion

Jett Lawrence is the 2023 Pro Motocross 450 Class Champion following the extension of his perfect season with moto wins 17 & 18 and his ninth overall victory.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The final moto began the same way as Moto 1, with Lawrence at the head of the pack for the MotoSport.com Holeshot ahead of Sexton and Cianciarulo. As has been the case throughout the season the clear track allowed Lawrence to set the tone out front which forced Sexton to settle into second, about two seconds behind.

As the Honda teammates once again established themselves up front a battle for third unfolded between the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson. Cianciarulo held onto the position for the opening 10 minutes until Anderson made the pass. Not long after Cianciarulo lost fourth to Ferrandis, who was battling his way forward from a start deep in the top 10. The Frenchman wasn’t done as he charged onto the rear fender of Anderson. The two riders made contact, which took Anderson to the ground and allowed Ferrandis to continue on in third.

At the turn of the midway point of the moto Lawrence had added significantly to his advantage, which grew to more than five seconds and continued to increase incrementally heading towards the final 10 minutes of the race. The lead approached nearly eight seconds and stabilized for several laps until Sexton appeared to make a final push with just under five minutes to go and got within less than five seconds. However, Lawrence responded and, combined with one of Sexton’s slowest laps, pushed the lead to its largest margin at nearly 10 seconds.

Lawrence went wire-to-wire once more for moto win 18 to complete a perfect afternoon, taking the championship-winning checkered flag 9.2 seconds ahead of Sexton. Ferrandis finished in a distant third.

Chase Sexton helped give Honda another 1-2 finish

Chase Sexton helped give Honda another 1-2 finish
with his fourth straight runner-up effort (3-2).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s 17th and 18th moto wins of the season, and ninth straight overall victory, move him one step closer to a potential perfect season, with two rounds and four motos remaining. His 18-moto win streak is now only bettered by Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart, the only two riders to amass a perfect season in Pro Motocross history. Lawrence is the fifth different rider to capture the 450 Class crown in his first season in the division and becomes just the second Australian to hoist the Edison Dye Cup, joining Chad Reed.

With identical moto scores Sexton (3-2) and Ferrandis (2-3) finished tied for the runner-up spot, with the second-moto tiebreaker going to Sexton to give Honda HRC its fifth 1-2 finish of the season. It’s the fourth consecutive second-place result for Sexton while Ferrandis’ third-place finish marked his sixth appearance on the overall podium this season.

Lawrence needed a 100-point margin to wrap up the title and now holds a 103-point advantage over Ferrandis, who took another step towards securing the runner-up spot in the final standings. Ferrandis is 35 points ahead of Plessinger in third, following the KTM rider’s fifth-place finish (5-5).

Dylan Ferrandis earned his sixth overall podium

Dylan Ferrandis earned his sixth overall podium result of the season in third (2-3).
Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“This is unreal. I never even dreamed of this because we never thought it was possible to be in this position and be where we are today. Even with the undefeated season, it’s unbelievable with all the hard times we’ve faced [as a family]. I’ve done my best to keep it together and stay focused on the task at hand, but when I crossed the finish line, I was finally able to let it all out. Honda took a risk on us [with brother Hunter] after 2020 and I’m grateful for that, and I’m glad I was able to return the favor.”

Chase Sexton, Team Honda HRC
“I feel like in the first moto my bike was handling really well. I didn’t get the result I wanted with the crash, but I was riding well. Overall, I felt more comfortable today and we’re in a better spot than we were before, which is great.”

Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“In some races when I’m not really feeling great, I’ll get the holeshot and then today when I’m feeling great, I don’t get the starts. I guess it’s just a lack of luck. It is what it is, and I have to come from behind. Still a good day for me. It was the first race of the season where I felt like myself.”

Team Honda HRC

Jett Lawrence Clinches 2023 Pro Motocross Championship Two Rounds Early with Continuation of Perfect Season at Unadilla

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (3-2, 42)
  3. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (2-3 // 42)
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (4-6 // 33)
  5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (5-5 // 32)
  6. Harri Kullas, Estonia, Yamaha (7-7 // 28)
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (6-10 // 26)
  8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (14-4 // 25)
  9. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (9-8 // 25)
  10. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki (13-9 // 20)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 9 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 450
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 347
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 312
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 269
  5. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 260
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki – 215
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 200
  8. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 189
  9. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 147
  10. Jose Butron, Cadiz, Spain, GASGAS – 138

450 Class Highlights – Honda Unadilla National


250 class banner

Moto 1

The opening 250 Class moto got underway with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing machine of Levi Kitchen leading the way for the MotoSport.com Holeshot ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker, followed by the Star Racing duo of Justin Cooper and Haiden Deegan.

A spirited battle on the opening lap saw Kitchen and Hammaker trade the lead, from which Kitchen asserted himself out front. Behind the leaders a multi-rider battle unfolded in pursuit of third as Deegan lost multiple spots to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Max Vohland, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda, and championship leader Hunter Lawrance aboard his Honda. This trio continued their push forward as Vohland led the group around Cooper, putting the KTM rider into third, just ahead of the point leader.

Back up front the battle for the lead renewed between Kitchen and Hammaker approaching the halfway point of the moto, as just over a second separated the pair. Vohland continued to lurk in third but came under fire from Lawrence. The top four then stabilized as the moto entered its final 10 minutes.

A quick surge by Vohland carried the KTM onto the rear fender of Hammaker where he made a quick pass for the position. Lawrence then went on the attack and made an aggressive move for third, which allowed Deegan to close in from fifth and make the pass on Hammaker for fourth. As that unfolded Lawrence made the pass on Vohland for second and set his sights on the lead. Deegan then followed with a pass by Vohland for third. With just a handful of minutes remaining the championship rivals looked to close in on the 3.5 second deficit to Kitchen.

Kitchen’s lead dwindled quickly as Lawrence was on a determined march to the front. Soon the fight for the lead was on as Kitchen and Lawrence battled both each other and lappers. Kitchen withstood the attack and opened up the advantage once more. While running third, Deegan’s motorcycle appeared to expire, which brought the rookie’s moto to an abrupt and heartbreaking conclusion. Kitchen parlayed his holeshot into the third moto win of his career, 3.2 seconds ahead of Lawrence in second, while Shimoda inherited third following Deegan’s misfortune. Vohland was fourth, while Cooper rounded out the top five.

Hunter Lawrence

Hunter Lawrence is back in control of the 250 Class title fight
after his sixth win of the season (2-2).
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

A red flag for a downed rider initiated a restart for the final race of the afternoon as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire needed to be attended to. When the field returned to the starting gate and took off for the second time it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryder DiFrancesco with the MotoSport.comHoleshot, followed closely by Cooper, Shimoda and Kitchen. Lawrence started just outside the top five while Deegan’s late gate pick left him outside the top 20 initially.

Just after the completion of the opening lap Cooper went on the attack and made the pass on DiFrancesco to take the lead, which left the Kawasaki teammates to battle it out for second as Kitchen rode patiently in fourth. Shimoda was persistent and made the pass happen to drop his rookie teammate down to third. As Kitchen looked to apply pressure on DiFrancesco he bobbled slightly, which allowed an opportunistic Lawrence to make the pass for fourth and then make his way around DiFrancesco for third.

A shot at the overall win was on the line as Shimoda and Lawrence engaged in a battle for second, with the Honda rider able to get the better of his rival to move into second. Behind them, Kitchen kept his winning hopes alive with a pass on DiFrancesco for fourth.

Cooper and Lawrence were separated by 5.4 seconds with just under 20 minutes remaining in the moto, but the distance between them continued to grow through the middle of the race as Cooper pushed his advantage to nearly 10 seconds. Lawrence settled into second, a few seconds ahead of Shimoda in third.

Cooper was consistent through to the finish and secured his third moto win of the season, two seconds ahead of Lawrence, who did what he needed to do in bringing home the runner-up result. Shimoda followed closely in third, with Kitchen a distant fourth.

Levi Kitchen (#43) took advantage of a pair of strong starts

Levi Kitchen (#43) took advantage of a pair of strong starts
to earn his third podium finish of the season (1-4).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s consistent 2-2 finishes were the defining element of his ability to finish atop the overall standings as he edged out Kitchen (1-4) by a single point. Cooper’s win in the second moto vaulted him up to the third and final spot on the overall podium (5-1).

Lawrence’s lead in the championship standings grew to 22 points with two rounds and four motos remaining. Cooper’s podium result moved him into second while Shimoda moved into third, 35 points out of the lead. Deegan’s adversity-filled afternoon saw him drop from second, three points behind Lawrence, to fourth, 36 points out of the lead, after a 17th-place finish (38-10).

Justin Cooper

Justin Cooper’s Moto 2 win helped land him on the overall podium in third (5-1).
Photo: Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“Today was good, but it’s more about my brother [winning the championship]. I’m so proud of him. We were never meant to be here, but we trusted the process and it’s amazing to be in the position we’re in.”

Levi Kitchen Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I’m glad I finally did [well] in the first moto today. I’ve usually done well in the second moto, so today it was nice to get it done in Moto 1. We got two good starts and made the most of the day, so I’m really happy with that.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“Sometimes you have to take some chances. We need to put ourselves in the best position each moto and do the best we can. We put ourselves out front to start the second moto and then managed the gap from there. I’m stoked on that.”

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (2-2 // 44)
  2. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (1-4 // 43)
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (5-1 // 41)
  4. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (3-3 // 40)
  5. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (4-6 // 33)
  6. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (8-7 // 27)
  7. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (6-14 // 22)
  8. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (9-12 // 21)
  9. Daxton Bennick, Morganton, N.C., Yamaha (14-9 // 19)
  10. Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (12-11 // 19)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 9 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 344
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 322
  3. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 309
  4. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 308
  5. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 290
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 288
  7. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 252
  8. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 237
  9. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 167
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 166

250 Class Highlights – Honda Unadilla National


The Pro Motocross Championship will host its penultimate round of the 2023 season next Saturday, August 19, with its annual visit to the greater Washington D.C. area and Southern Maryland’s famed Budds Creek Motocross Park. The ninth round of the summer at the Yamaha Budds Creek National will stream live in its entirety, with uninterrupted motos on Peacock, kicking off with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET, followed by race coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

Another 1-1 at Washougal Extends Jett Lawrence’s Perfect Season Through Eight Rounds in 2023 Pro Motocross Championship

Rookie Haiden Deegan Captures First Career Moto Sweep in 250 Class to Tighten Championship Battle

The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its final appearance on the West Coast on Saturday with its annual visit to the Pacific Northwest and the scenic landscape of Washougal MX Park. Abundant sunshine and temperatures in the mid-80’s provided ideal conditions for the MotoSport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT, as the perfect season by Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence in his first 450 Class campaign continued with another assertive performance from the young Australian for his eighth straight overall win and 15th and 16th moto victories. In the 250 Class, rookie Haiden Deegan enjoyed the best outing of his young career with an impressive effort that saw the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider go 1-1 for the first time to tighten up the championship battle with his second win of the season.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

The opening moto of the premier class began with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing machine of Dylan Ferrandis out front just ahead of Lawrence while his Team Honda HRC teammate Chase Sexton battled his way into third. Ferrandis kept Lawrence at bay to lead the opening lap, which made him just the third different rider to do so this season and ended a 105 laps-led streak by Lawrence.

The Frenchman maintained his hold of the lead for another lap but Lawrence was able to make the pass and grab control of the moto. Ferrandis gave pursuit from second as Sexton looked to close in from third. As the moto continued the lead trio settled into their respective positions on the track while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson kept them honest in fourth.

At the 15-minute mark Sexton mounted his attack on Ferrandis and seized the moment to grab second. At that point, Sexton sat 6.5 seconds behind his teammate and looked to log his fastest laps of the moto to try and close the gap. However, Lawrence didn’t let up and extended the lead to 7.5 seconds.

Lawrence maintained his lead the rest of the way and extended his undefeated streak to 15 motos, crossing the finish line 7.9 seconds ahead of Sexton, who was never challenged in second. Ferrandis fended off a pair of challenges by Anderson to secure third, while Anderson settled for fourth and his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Adam Cianciarulo in fifth.

Jett Lawrence - Washougal National

Jett Lawrence captured moto wins 15 and 16 to continue his perfect
season with his eight straight overall victory.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The second and final moto of the afternoon got underway with a gate malfunction, which necessitated a red flag and restart for the 40-rider field. On the restart it was Plesssinger out front for the MotoSport.com Holeshot as Lawrence and Sexton duked it out for second, from which Lawrence grabbed control of the position. Anderson slotted into fourth with Ferrandis in fifth.

The clear track paid dividends for Plessinger as he was able to maintain his hold of the lead through the opening five minutes as Lawrence appeared to settle in and bide his time, maintaining his advantage over Sexton in third. With about 10 minutes down in the moto Lawrence closed in, looked for a way by and made a quick and decisive pass on Plessinger to take control of the moto. Plessinger then waged battle with Sexton for second, with the Honda rider able to make a quick pass to try and keep his teammate within reach.

About 2.5 seconds separated the Honda riders as the moto approached the halfway point, with both riders trading momentum. Sexton appeared to be the slightly faster rider and was able to cut the gap to under two seconds. The distance between the duo continued to tighten as the moto surpassed the 15-minute mark.

The lead stabilized between 1.3 to 1.5 seconds through the heart of the moto as both riders continued to play the on-track chess match. As they approached lapped riders the battle shifted into Lawrence’s favor as the lead grew to two seconds. With three minutes to go the teammates were closer than they’d been all moto, separated by just over a second. Both riders waited for the moment to pick up the pace for one final push, but the potential battle ended when Sexton briefly tipped over.

The lead grew to nearly 10 seconds by the time Sexton resumed, which allowed Lawrence to keep the unbeaten streak intact. Lawrence wrapped up moto win 16 by three seconds over Sexton, while Plessinger parlayed his holeshot into a third-place effort, just ahead of Anderson.

Chase Sexton - Washougal National

Chase Sexton settled for his fourth straight runner-up finish (2-2).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s latest 1-1 performance signified his first ever moto wins at Washougal as his quest for a perfect season has surpassed eight rounds, with three remaining. His eighth career win breaks the Aussie into the top 20 on the all-time wins list. Sexton settled for his fourth straight runner-up effort (2-2), while Anderson became the newest rider this season to finish on the overall podium in third (4-4).

Lawrence’s massive lead in the 450 Class standings has grown to 95 points over Ferrandis, who finished fourth overall (3-5), while Plessinger’s fifth-place finish (7-3) allowed him to maintain his hold of third, 120 points behind Lawrence.

Jason Anderson - Washougal National

Jason Anderson earned his first podium finish of the season (4-4)
in his fourth start since returning from injury.

Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“There’s a first time for everything [winning at Washougal]. I was pumped to make my way around Chase [Sexton] on the start. I was a little down on myself [in the final moto] and I was hoping [Sexton] was feeling as [tired] as I was. Then he went down, so that’s a bummer. This has been a surreal season so far.”

Chase Sexton, Team Honda HRC
“I was starting to get closer [to Lawrence] in the later stages of that [last] race. I came into a corner and stalled it. I felt like I had good speed and could put in a charge to catch him, but I didn’t know where I’d pass him. Another solid weekend, not what I wanted, but we’ll keep trying to get better.”

Jason Anderson, Monster Energy Kawasaki
“It’s been a long year, getting hurt and coming back. These outdoors don’t get any easier as I get older, but I’m enjoying it. I want to be battling those guys up front, but I’m so happy to be up here.”

450 Podium - Washougal National

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-2, 44)
  3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (4-4 // 36)
  4. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (3-5 // 36)
  5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (7-3 // 34)
  6. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (5-7 // 30)
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (8-6 // 28)
  8. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (6-8 // 28)
  9. Phil Nicoletti, Cochecton, N.Y., Yamaha (11-9 // 22)
  10. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Kawasaki (10-10 // 22)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 8 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 400
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 305
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 280
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 236
  5. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 218
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki – 190
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 174
  8. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 169
  9. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 147
  10. Jose Butron, Cadiz, Spain, GASGAS – 132

450 Class Highlights – MotoSport.com Washougal National


250 class banner

Moto 1

The first 250 Class moto began with Deegan leading the field through the first turns and to the MotoSport.com Holeshot aboard his Yamaha, followed closely by Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Justin Cooper and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Max Vohland. Further back, championship leader and Team Honda HRC rider Hunter Lawrence looked to move forward from a start deep inside the top 10.

A clear track serves as a major advantage at Washougal, and it allowed Deegan to quickly establish a multi-second lead over Cooper, who soon settled into second. As the moto surpassed its first 10 minutes Deegan extended his lead even further, to more than five seconds on the field. Cooper continued to maintain control of second, while Vohland gave chase from third. Not far behind Lawrence was on a march to the front, picking off riders to break into the top five.

Just past the halfway point of the moto Lawrence made the pass on Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker for fourth and quickly closed in on Vohland to apply pressure on third. Lawrence was patient and made the pass to take control of third and then looked to close in on Cooper. As they entered the final five minutes of the moto Lawrence’s pursuit of Cooper allowed both riders to erase some of the deficit to Deegan.

A determined Lawrence made a savvy pass on Cooper to move into second and had just over two minutes and two laps to try and catch Deegan as the leaders started to navigate heavy lapped traffic. Deegan’s lead stabilized at around four seconds during the final two laps, and he carried on to capture his second career moto win. He crossed the finish line 2.7 seconds ahead of Lawrence, with Cooper in third. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire followed in fourth, while Vohland held on for fifth.

Haiden Deegan - Washougal National

Haiden Deegan enjoyed the best outing of his young career,
going 1-1 to capture the second victory of his rookie season.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The second and deciding moto kicked off with a trio of Monster Energy Yamahas at the head of the pack as Cooper secured the MotoSport.com Holeshot just ahead of Washougal native Levi Kitchen and Deegan, who gave up third to Hammaker. Lawrence started just outside the top five in sixth behind Hampshire.

After Deegan made the pass on Hammaker for third the field settled in through the opening five minutes of the moto until Hampshire tucked his front end and tipped over, which allowed Lawrence to assume fifth. The battle back up front intensified as Kitchen looked to put pressure on Cooper, which allowed Deegan to close in from third. Behind the leaders Lawrence made the pass on Hammaker for fourth and quickly closed in on Deegan’s rear fender to establish a four-rider battle out front, separated by less than four seconds.

In his pursuit of Deegan as miscue by Deegan put Lawrence on the ground. He remounted quickly but dropped to fifth as Hammaker re-assumed fourth. Back up front, Deegan refocused his attention on his teammates and looked to mount an attack on Kitchen for second. The rookie showed patience and took advantage of an alternate line to cut under Kitchen and take over the runner-up spot for a pass that was significant in the overall classification.

Just past the halfway point of the moto 4.9 seconds separated Cooper and Deegan. A few positions behind Lawrence was able to track down Hammaker and reclaim fourth. As Kitchen and Lawrence engaged in a battle for third, Deegan started to chip away at his deficit to Cooper.

As the moto clock entered its final three minutes Deegan had closed in to within just over two seconds of Cooper. He continued to inch closer as his late charge got the rookie within a second of Cooper. Once there Deegan posted the single-fastest lap of the entire event to storm past Cooper and seize the lead with less than a minute remaining.

Deegan closed out the moto emphatically, with lap times multiple seconds faster than anyone else on the track. His lead surged to nearly double digits as he took the white flag. Deegan cruised home to wrap up his first career moto sweep, taking the checkered flag 7.9 seconds ahead of Cooper, while Kitchen completed the Yamaha sweep of the moto podium in third, just ahead of Lawrence.

Justin Cooper - Washougal National

Justin Cooper captured his fourth straight runner-up finish (3-2).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

The first ever 1-1 effort by Deegan was also the first in the division for the 2023 season. The rookie’s second career victory came on a day in which Yamaha kicked off the global 50th anniversary celebration of its YZ motocross model, Deegan’s YZ250F adorned in white, purple, and pink plastics that harkened back to the vibrant aesthetic of the 90’s era of the sport. Cooper earned his fifth runner-up finish of the season (3-2), while Lawrence held on for third (2-4).

Deegan’s dominant afternoon allowed him to gain 10 points on Lawrence in the 250 Class standings, as now just three points sit between the two most successful riders in the division this summer with three rounds and six motos remaining. Cooper’s second-place finish vaulted him up to third, 19 points out of the lead.

Hunter Lawrence - Washougal National

Hunter Lawrence settled for third overall (2-4) to retain the points lead.
Photo: Align Media

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“Those last few laps I put my heart into this thing. It’s nerve wracking [for me] and I’m sure it is for Hunter [Lawrence] as well [as we battle for the championship]. I’m glad to put America back on top of the podium.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I felt good all day during the motos. All the way up until 25 minutes in the second moto. I was pushing and trying to pull a gap, but I could tell I was fading to Haiden [Deegan]. I did all I could, but he was flying, so I just settled in from there.”

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“Tough day at the office. I’ve just got to be better. This is a very tough track. I didn’t get a great start, so we got to go back, get back to 100-percent health, and come out swinging for the final three rounds.”

250 Podium - Washougal National

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (1-1 // 50)
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (3-2 // 42)
  3. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (2-4 // 40)
  4. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (4-5 // 34)
  5. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (8-3 // 33)
  6. Seth Hammaker, Bainbridge, Pa., Kawasaki (7-6 // 29)
  7. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (6-7 // 29)
  8. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (5-8 // 29)
  9. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Kawasaki (9-9 // 24)
  10. Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (12-11 // 19)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 8 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 300
  2. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 297
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 281
  4. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 274
  5. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 269
  6. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 247
  7. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 219
  8. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 210
  9. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 146
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 144

250 Class Highlights – MotoSport.com Washougal National


The Pro Motocross Championship will observe its final break in action for the 2023 season before returning for its three-round stretch run, which will begin on Saturday, August 12, from one of American motocross’ most storied venues. The iconic rolling plains of Central New York’s Unadilla MX, in New Berlin, will welcome the world’s fastest racers at the Honda Unadilla National for Round 9 of the summer campaign, which will stream live in its entirety, with uninterrupted motos on Peacock, kicking off with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET, followed by race coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. A live network showcase of the final 250 Class and 450 Class motos will air on NBC, beginning at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET.

Win Number Seven for Jett Lawrence as Aussie’s Perfection Continues in 2023 Pro Motocross Championship at Spring Creek

Brother Hunter Lawrence Regains Control of 250 Class with Fifth Victory

The second half of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, got underway on Saturday with the series’ annual visit to the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Minnesota’s famed Spring Creek MX Park. The FXR Spring Creek National, presented by Frescados Tortillas, featured partly cloudy skies and balmy temperatures, which set the tone for a highly competitive afternoon of racing at one of the sport’s most dynamic venues. After four captivating motos Team Honda HRC’s Lawrence brothers prevailed with a sweep of the overall victories for the fifth time this season, as Jett extended his perfect season to 14 moto wins and a seventh overall victory in the 450 Class while Hunter returned to the top step of the podium in the 250 Class with his fifth win.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

The premier class stormed out the gate for the first time with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo leading the field through the first turn and to the MotoSport.com Holeshot, with Lawrence on his rear fender. Lawrence applied pressure immediately and was able to take control of the moto before the completion of the opening lap. Lawrence’s Team Honda HRC teammate Chase Sexton started up front as well but went down and lost several positions. He remounted quickly and started to claw his way back into contention. He passed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger for third and then tracked down Cianciarulo for second, making the pass with ease. Nearly five seconds separated the teammates as the moto completed its opening 10 minutes.

It didn’t take long for the Honda’s to gap the field and pull away by double digits, which left the battle for third to be decided between Cianciarulo and Plessinger, while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson looked to close in from fifth. As the moto reached its halfway point the battle for third became a three-rider affair as Anderson passed both Plessinger and Cianciarulo.

Back up front, Sexton slowly inched closer and closer to his teammate and soon less than two seconds separated Lawrence from Sexton. For the first time all season Lawrence faced a threat from behind as Sexton moved to within striking distance of the lead. As they approached lapped riders Sexton started to look for an opportunity to make a pass. Lawrence responded and picked up his pace to put the lead back over a second.

Sexton kept Lawrence honest for several laps as the teammates traded momentum, but Lawrence capitalized on a slower rider that held up Sexton and opened the lead to more than 2.5 seconds. The lead briefly grew to more than three seconds, but Sexton gained a second and looked to make one last push in the closing minutes. On the final lap Sexton got within two seconds of Lawrence, but he slid out on a downhill and ended the threat.

Lawrence took his 13th moto win by 11.9 seconds over Sexton, while the battle for third stayed intense all the way to the finish. Anderson fended off heavy pressure from both Plessinger and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis to secure third, while Plessinger settled four fourth and Ferrandis fifth.

Jett Lawrence - Spring Creek National

Jett Lawrence’s perfect season extended to 14 moto wins and seven overall victories.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The final moto of the afternoon got underway with the Hondas of Sexton and Lawrence leading the way, running side-by-side all the way to the MotoSport.com Holeshot, which went to Sexton. After pinching off his teammate Sexton had control of the position but applied too much throttle exiting a corner and lost traction with his rear tire, which allowed Lawrence to assume the lead as Sexton resumed in second. Cianciarulo grabbed another strong start in third, just ahead of Ferrandis. After a third in Moto 1, Anderson was collected in a crash off the start and retired from the moto.

Much like the first moto the Honda teammates easily gapped the rest of the field to set the stage for a head-to-head showdown. Lawrence established a lead of just over a second on Sexton, who bided his time and settled into the moto with no threat from behind. As he gave pursuit Sexton made a costly error that took him to the ground and allowed Cianciarulo to move into second as Sexton remounted in third.

Lawrence enjoyed a double-digit margin following Sexton’s misfortune as Sexton looked to battle back. The Honda rider closed in on Cianciarulo and made quick work of the Kawasaki to reclaim second. A battle for third then started to take shape between Cianciarulo and Ferrandis. As the moto reached its halfway point Ferrandis mounted an attack on Cianciarulo and wasted little time in making the pass for third. Plessinger was able to close in from fifth and also made a quick pass on Cianciarulo for fourth.

It was another uneventful moto for Lawrence out front as he wrapped up his 14th win to extend his perfect season, 16.7 seconds ahead of Sexton. The battle for third came down to the wire between Ferrandis and Plessinger, with the Frenchman able to fend off the pressure for the final spot on the moto podium.

Chase Sexton - Spring Creek National

Chase Sexton’s misfortune in both motos resulted in another runner-up effort (2-2).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

For the sixth time this summer Lawrence led every lap of competition en route to his seventh straight 1-1 performance. His seven 450 Class wins have allowed him to break into the top 20 on the all-time wins list, where he now sits in a tie with three other riders for 20th. Sexton’s runner-up effort (2-2) will lead him to wonder what could have been with crashes in each moto, while Ferrandis earned his fifth podium result of the season in third (5-3).

Lawrence’s lead in the championship standings has grown to 81 points over Ferrandis, while Plessinger further strengthened his hold of third with a fourth-place result (4-4), 104 points out of the lead.

Dylan Ferrandis - Spring Creek National

Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the overall podium in third (5-3).
Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“It’s a bummer for Chase in that one [Moto 2]. He got the start on me and I know he can run my speed, so it’s unfortunate for him to have that bad luck. It was another good weekend [for me] and now we’re on to Washougal, where I know Chase will be fast again.”

Chase Sexton, Team Honda HRC
“We’re close, but I’m sick and tired of getting second place. I’m disappointed going down in both motos. I kind of blew it. That’s not acceptable and I’m going to throw everything I have at it for the final four rounds. I’m going to get one of these [a win] before the season’s over.”

Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“Tough day for me, but I’m glad to be on the box. It’s tough to accept, but it is what it is. I gave it everything I had and third was the best for me today.”

450 Podium - Spring Creek National

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-2, 44)
  3. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (5-3 // 36)
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (4-4 // 36)
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (7-5 // 30)
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (8-6 // 28)
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (6-8 // 28)
  8. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha (9-7 // 26)
  9. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki (10-9 // 23)
  10. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (3-38 // 20)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 7 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 350
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 269
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 246
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 206
  5. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 174
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki – 162
  7. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 147
  8. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 147
  9. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 146
  10. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha – 116

450 Class Highlights – FXR Spring Creek National


250 class banner

Moto 1

The opening 250 Class moto of the afternoon began with the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki of Jo Shimoda at the head of the pack for the MotoSport.com Holeshot ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing trio of Haiden Deegan, Justin Cooper and Levi Kitchen. Shimoda looked to sprint away and solidify his hold of the lead while Deegan, the new points leader, tried to do the same in second. Kitchen was able to pass Cooper and move into third, while behind the leaders Lawrence, the class’ winningest rider and previous points leader, started to fight his way towards the top five after a start deep inside the top 10.

Shimoda opened up an advantage of 4.5 seconds through the opening 10 minutes of the moto, while the rest of his rivals continued to wage battle with multiple riders jockeying for a spot inside the top three. Cooper amped up his aggression to reclaim third from Kitchen while Lawrence looked to follow through after passing Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire for fifth. Lawrence was persistent and made his way around Kitchen for fourth. The Aussie’s charge forward wasn’t finished. He bided his time and set up an impressive pass on Cooper to move into third and set his sights on his championship rival in second.

A miscue by Deegan navigating infamous Mt. Martin took the Yamaha rider off track briefly, which handed second to Lawrence and also allowed Cooper to make the pass for third. Lawrence faced a six-second deficit to Shimoda when he assumed the position, with a little more than half of the moto to go. Behind him, Deegan lost another position to Hampshire, which dropped the rookie to fifth.

With no one to contend with, Lawrence was able to log the fastest laps on the track and started to take chunks out of his deficit to Shimoda. The battle for third also heated up as Hampshire mounted an attack on Cooper and took control of the position with a little more than 10 minutes remaining. Back up front, mere bike lengths separated Shimoda and Lawrence as they both navigated lapped riders.

With a handful of minutes left in the moto the battle for the lead was on between Shimoda and Lawrence. The Honda rider had more pace, but Shimoda’s ability to control the preferred lines kept the Kawasaki out front. After some minor miscues Lawrence dropped back and prepared for another push in the waning minutes of the moto. The battle raged on as the gap between the duo was like a yo-yo, with lappers impacting portions of their duel. As time ran out, Shimoda and Lawrence were closer than they had been all moto. Lawrence’s aggression amped up as he hounded Shimoda in every corner with alternate lines.

With two laps to go Lawrence was able to position himself alongside Shimoda and out-accelerated the Kawasaki to seize control of the moto. The Honda rider’s lead grew quickly to about 1.5 seconds and he closed it out with his sixth moto win of the season. He took the checkered flag 2.2 seconds ahead of Shimoda while Hampshire followed in third. Cooper finished in fourth, with Deegan completing the top five.

Hunter Lawrence - Spring Creek National

Hunter Lawrence returned to the top step of the podium with his fifth victory (1-2).
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The second and deciding moto got underway with Lawrence edging out Kitchen and Shimoda for the MotoSport.com Holeshot to grab control of the moto as Kitchen slotted into second and Cooper in third, just ahead of Shimoda, who was then passed by his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie teammate Ryder DiFrancesco. Point leader Deegan started outside the top 10.

The clear track allowed Lawrence to sprint through the opening minutes of the moto and build a lead of nearly four seconds over Kitchen and the rest of the field. The Honda rider continued to add to his advantage as Kitchen lost ground to Cooper and eventually lost the hold of second to his teammate. Behind them, Shimoda made the pass on DiFrancesco to take over fourth. The Japanese rider continued his forward push and was able to close in on Kitchen to initiate a battle for third. The pair engaged in a spirited fight for the final spot on the moto podium before Shimoda used an off-camber outside line to slip around Kitchen and take over the position.

Back out front, Lawrence was in a class of his own out front and was able to pull out a double-digit margin on Cooper, who easily controlled the runner-up spot from the moment he made the pass for the position. Shimoda enjoyed a firm hold of third, but Kitchen continued to lurk in fourth.

Lawrence was in full control of the moto until the final lap when he crashed out of the lead and lost the top spot to Cooper after an apparent incident with a lapped rider. Lawrence remounted in second, just ahead of Shimoda. Cooper carried on to a surprise moto win, his second of the season, four seconds ahead of Lawrence, who crossed the line just ahead of Shimoda in third.

Justin Cooper - Spring Creek National

A Moto 2 win vaulted Justin Cooper into the runner-up spot (4-1).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Despite the misfortune late in Moto 2, Lawrence still secured his fifth overall win of the season (1-2) to rebound from back-to-back races in which he recorded a DNF. Cooper’s triumph in the final moto vaulted him into the runner-up spot (4-1) for his fifth podium finish in a row, while Shimoda secured back-to-back third-place finishes (2-3).

The victory allowed Lawrence to return to the top of the championship standings, where he now enjoys a 13-point lead over Deegan, who finished seventh (5-8). Shimoda and Hampshire, who finished fourth (3-6), are now tied for third, 20 points behind Lawrence

Jo Shimoda - Spring Creek National

Jo Shimoda finished third overall (2-3) for the second straight weekend.
Photo: Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“We came here with a job to do [win the race] and we did it today. We were so close to being perfect [going 1-1] but I’ve got to be more careful around those lappers. I’m stoked. We’ve got four rounds to go with a little break.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I wouldn’t say I settled [in Moto 2], but I wanted to maintain the gap in case something happened. That worked out in our favor. We’ll take it. Still have some work to do but we’re making progress and looking forward to next weekend.”

Jo Shimoda, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
“I feel happy with my starts more than my riding. The riding is getting better too. I feel like the bike is getting pretty dialed in so I’m focusing on volume [practice riding] during the week and I think that will help me for the races coming up.”

250 Podium - Spring Creek National

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-2 // 47)
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (4-1 // 43)
  3. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (2-3 // 42)
  4. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (3-6 // 35)
  5. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (7-4 // 32)
  6. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (6-5 // 31)
  7. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (5-8 // 29)
  8. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (10-7 // 25)
  9. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (11-9 // 22)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (8-14 // 20)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 7 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 260
  2. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 247
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 240
  4. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 240
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 239
  6. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 214
  7. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 210
  8. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 190
  9. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 137
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 130

250 Class Highlights – FXR Spring Creek National


The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship continues next weekend with its final visit to the West Coast, where the Pacific Northwest’s scenic Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Washington, awaits. The MotoSport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT, will take place on Saturday, July 22, for the eighth round of the summer season. A total of 4.5 hours of uninterrupted moto coverage from Washougal will be streamed live on Peacock and will kick off with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, followed by race coverage beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. An encore presentation of the final motos will air on USA Network on Sunday, July 23, at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET.

Jett Lawrence Remains Undefeated in 2023 Pro Motocross Championship with Fourth Consecutive Win at High Point

Hunter Lawrence’s Moto 2 Prowess Continues for Fourth Straight 250 Class Win

Famed High Point Raceway hosted the East Coast debut of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, on Saturday, which featured the sport’s own unique Father’s Day celebration at the GEICO Motorcycles High Point National. The 46th running of the legendary event welcomed its largest crowd ever as rain on Friday coupled with dense morning cloud cover resulted in wet conditions that continued to evolve as sunshine emerged and started to dry out the racing surface. The most competitive afternoon of racing of the young season ended with the same result, as Australia’s Lawrence brothers both stood atop the overall podium for the fourth time to remain unbeaten and continue the dominance by Team Honda HRC, as Jett Lawrence remained perfect  in the 450 Class and Hunter Lawrence continued his unbeaten streak in the 250 Class.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

The first moto of the day began with Jett Lawrence out front for his sixth MotoSport.comHoleshot ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb and Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks. Behind them, Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen, making his first start of the season, slotted into fourth but made several quick moves on the opening lap to claw his way up to second.

Lawrence’s lead was three seconds at the completion of the opening lap, but Roczen went to work on chipping away at the deficit. While the German veteran was able to keep the Aussie upstart honest, Lawrence comfortably maintained the advantage until the halfway point of the moto. Roczen closed to within 1.5 seconds and as Lawrence looked to respond he tucked his front end on a downhill and went down. That allowed Roczen to take control of the moto and Marchbanks to move up into second as Lawrence remounted in third. With Roczen out front, it marked the first time this season that a rider other than Lawrence led a lap.

Lawrence went into rebound mode and was able to wrangle second from Marchbanks. At that point, with about a dozen minutes left in the moto, Roczen and Lawrence were separated by 5.1 seconds. Lawrence rode consistent, clean laps to close back in on the Suzuki and with six minutes to go the lead pair was separated by less than a second. Lawrence was patient and was able to reclaim the lead, but Roczen countered to put himself up front again. The Honda rider mounted another attack about a half lap later and secured the top spot for a third time. The battle was poised to continue with two laps to go, but Roczen tucked his front end and went down. He got back up quickly, but needed an extended period of time to get his Suzuki restarted, which cost him multiple positions on the track. He eventually resumed in seventh.

With the pressure gone, Lawrence cruised home to his seventh moto win in a row, which established a new record to open a 450 Class career. He took the checkered flag 26.2 seconds ahead of Marchbanks, who earned a career-best finish in second, while Webb rounded out the moto podium in third. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo was fourth, followed by Sport Clips/Beachview Treatment/Airline Vacuum Kawasaki’s Ty Masterpool in fifth.

Jett Lawrence - High Point National

Jett Lawrence is off to a historic start in his 450 Class career
with eight moto wins and four straight overall victories.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The deciding moto saw Roczen storm out to the early lead with the MotoSport.comHoleshot, followed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger and Cianciarulo, while Lawrence experienced his worst start of the season in fourth. Known for his first lap speed, Roczen put the hammer down to open the moto and build a gap on the field. Cianciarulo was able to pass Plessinger for second, while Lawrence felt the pressure from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis from fifth.

A three-rider battle soon started to unfold between Cianciarulo, Plessinger and Lawrence. As Plessinger looked to make a move on Cianciarulo he slid out, which caused Lawrence to stop to avoid hitting him. That moved Ferrandis into third, briefly, before Lawrence reclaimed the position.

As the first 10 minutes of the moto passed, the top three had distanced themselves from the rest of the field and were separated by 10 seconds. As the race carried on through the middle portion and approached the final 10 minutes Lawrence closed in on Cianciarulo for second and made the pass with relative ease. The lead duo were separated by 3.5 seconds as Lawrence sought to track down the top spot. Lawrence continued to ride the fastest laps on the track and it allowed him to make big gains on Roczen, which was further aided by lapped riders.

With six minutes to go Lawrence was within striking distance of Roczen and went on the attack as soon as the opportunity presented itself. An outside line on an uphill off-camber gave Lawrence the momentum he needed to surge past Roczen and put another moto win within reach. Roczen kept him honest for a while, but Lawrence closed out the moto strong to keep his undefeated record intact by 2.4 seconds over Roczen, with Ferrandis in third.

Ken Roczen - High Point National [2]

In his first race of the Pro Motocross season
Ken Roczen finished in the runner-up spot (7-2)
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s fourth straight 1-1 sweep equals the single-most-successful class start in the history of the sport as his eight consecutive moto wins to open his 450 Class career is shared with Hall of Famer David Bailey, who accomplished the same feat to start his 500cc career during the 1984 season. In his first start of the summer Roczen finished in the runner-up spot (7-2), while Cianciarulo finished in third (4-4) for his first podium result since the 2021 High Point National.

Lawrence added even more to advantage in the championship standings, which now sits at 49 points after four races over Ferrandis, while Webb sits third, 53 points out of the lead.

Adam Cianciarulo - High Point National

Adam Cianciarulo’s consistent 4-4 effort landed him
on the overall podium for the first time since the 2021 season.

Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“It was tricky. You had to wait and be patient [with the track conditions]. It was sick being able to race with Kenny [Roczen]. I used to look up to him and now I got to race him, so I checked that off the list. It was a tough day. I didn’t feel too comfortable on the track with the ruts and everything, but I held on to go 1-1. It was a struggle of a day, but I’m pumped.”

Ken Roczen, Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki
“I am beyond stoked. I appreciate all the support from the fans today. This was a tough one to come back to with the track conditions. I can’t believe I got second [overall] after that first moto with the crash. I felt good at the beginning [of Moto 2], but I struggled with lines and Jett was riding great. I think I’m going to have to do some more of these.”

Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy Kawasaki
“That’s back-to-back weeks where the track was really difficult. You had to be 100% focused the whole time out there. It really was a mental battle as much as it was a physical battle. I had good pace early in the moto and that almost means more to me than the result. I still have a long way to go but I’m so excited to be up here.”

450 Class podium - High Point National

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Ken Roczen, Mattstedt, Germany, Suzuki (7-2, 36)
  3. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (4-4 // 36)
  4. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (6-3 // 35)
  5. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (3-6 // 35)
  6. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (2-8 // 35)
  7. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (5-7 // 30)
  8. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (8-5 // 29)
  9. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha (11-9 // 22)
  10. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., Suzuki (9-12 // 21)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 4 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 200
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 151
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 147
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 138
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 134
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki – 92
  7. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS – 85
  8. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 81
  9. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., Suzuki – 79
  10. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha – 78

450 Class Highlights – GEICO Motorcycle High Point National


250 class banner

Moto 1

The opening moto began with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire out front with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, just ahead of his teammate Jalek Swoll and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda. However, Shimoda tipped over in the second turn and caused a log jam for the rest of the field, including Hunter Lawrence, the championship point leader. Both riders resumed with starts outside the top 10.

The clear track proved to be a major advantage for Hampshire who sprinted out to an early multi-second lead over Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Haiden Deegan, who passed Swoll for second. Behind the leaders, Lawrence and Shimoda began a climb through the field, with Lawrence able to carve his way up the running order.

Despite the tricky conditions Lawrence made it look easy as he picked off riders, one by one, and broke into the top five nearly halfway into the moto. Back out front, in full control of the moto, Hampshire crashed out of the lead, which allowed Deegan to assume the top spot as Hampshire quickly remounted in second, more than three seconds behind his Yamaha rival.

The  final minute of the moto saw Hampshire erase his deficit and mount a late attack for the lead. The rookie rider responded as Deegan looked to run clean, defined lines and force Hampshire to venture elsewhere. As a result, some minor bobbles by Hampshire allowed Deegan to extend his advantage. Hampshire closed in once more as they took the white flag. The Husqvarna rider bided his time and pulled the trigger on a pass with about a quarter lap to go. Their lines came together and resulted in some contact, which briefly halted Deegan’s momentum and allowed Hampshire to continue on.

Hampshire rebounded from his early misfortune to nab his second moto win of the season, 2.6 seconds ahead of Deegan, while Lawrence battled his way into podium position in third. Swoll followed in fourth, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryder DiFrancesco rounded out the top five.

Hunter Lawrence - High Point National

Hunter Lawrence’s fourth Moto 2 win of the season
vaulted him to a fourth overall victory with 3-1 finishes.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The final moto got underway with several of the sport’s newest faces out front, as Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Levi Kitchen grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot, but was quickly overcome by Team Honda HRC rookie Chance Hymas, which dropped Kitchen to second ahead of DiFrancesco. Behind them, many of the lead riders from the first moto found themselves on the ground, which included Hampshire, Deegan, and Swoll. Lawrence was also deep inside the top 20 off the start, but it didn’t take long for the point leader to move forward and slot into the top 10.

The clear track allowed Hymas to sprint out to a multi-second lead over the field, as Kitchen and DiFrancesco settled into second and third, respectively. As this unfolded, Lawrence put in a charge to break into the top five. He continued his push and eventually worked his way around DiFrancesco into third within the first 10 minutes.

Hymas continued to control the moto as it surpassed the halfway point, but Lawrence was on a tear forward, catching and passing Kitchen for second. Once there, it didn’t take long for the Australian to make big gains on the deficit to his teammate. Once he got within striking distance Lawrence wasted little time in making the move. He took advantage of some lapped riders to make an easy pass and seize control of the moto.

As Lawrence pulled away Hymas was forced to deal with pressure from behind from two-time world champion and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Tom Vialle. The Frenchman looked comfortable in the conditions and was able to make a quick, clean pass on Hymas to move into second. The Honda rookie continued to lose ground to his competitors and eventually lost hold of third to Kitchen late in the moto.

Out front, Lawrence continued to build on his lead in the closing stages of the moto and soon found himself more than 10 seconds clear of the field. He took his fourth straight Moto 2 victory by 18.6 seconds over Vialle, while a last-lap battle for third unfolded between Kitchen and Shimoda, from which the Japanese rider prevailed.

RJ Hampshire - High Point National

Another resilient outing for RJ Hampshire earned
him a runner-up finish following 1-7 moto scores.
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s impeccable Moto 2 efforts once again landed him atop the overall podium to remain unbeaten. It marked the third time this season that 3-1 finishes proved to be the winning formula for the Australian, who now has five career wins. After a resilient ride to recover from his first-lap crash, Hampshire secured the runner-up spot [1-7], while Deegan earned his third podium finish in four races this season in third [2-6].

At the conclusion of the race, officials reviewed footage to confirm that Lawrence had violated Section 2.10, Item b.iii., 9.c.** of the AMA Pro Racing Pro Motocross Rulebook pertaining to the adherence of signal flags. As a result, Lawrence was penalized seven championship points. Event results were not affected.

The impressive winning streak to open the season has put Lawrence 28 points ahead of Deegan, who moved into second, and 42 points ahead of Hampshire, who now sits third. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper, who entered the day second in points, was forced to miss the afternoon motos following a crash in practice and dropped to fifth in the championship standings.

Haiden Deegan - High Point National

Rookie Haiden Deegan captured his third podium finish in four rounds with 2-6 results.
Photo: Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“It’s a good habit I guess [winning Moto 2]. I’m stoked. This track was wild. This is the country club of motocross so we’re going to watch Jett [Lawrence in Moto 2] and then we’ll go cheer on our buddy [golfer] Rickie Fowler at the U.S. Open. He loves moto and we should all support him.”

RJ Hampshire, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
“That’s all me [in the Moto 2 crash]. I got a decent start but I guess I came in too hot into the second corner. It’s a bummer I took out my teammate too. I’ll take it though. Second moto win of the season and another podium.”

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“That was some crazy racing. I crashed on the start and got ran over. Kind of the whole nine yards. My thought after that was either crash or get on the podium today. I gave it my all and it paid off.”

250 Class podium - High Point National

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (3-1 // 45)
  2. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (1-7 // 39)
  3. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (2-6 // 37)
  4. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (7-3 // 34)
  5. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (11-2 // 32)
  6. Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (8-5 // 29)
  7. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (5-8 // 29)
  8. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (4-11 // 28)
  9. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (12-4 // 27)
  10. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (6-12 // 24)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 4 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda – 175
  2. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 147
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 133
  4. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 129
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 121
  6. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 115
  7. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 107
  8. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 100
  9. Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda – 92
  10. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 92

**Rule: 2.10. Signal Flags, b. Warning Flags and Signal Lights: iii. White Flag with Red Cross or Red/White Flashing Lights: 9. If Race Direction determines that there was a blatant violation of this rule, the penalty for non-compliance will be: During a Moto Race, if any positions are gained, the loss of the number of positions gained, plus the points and purse equal to two additional positions in the final results for that race, plus two additional points.

250 Class Highlights – GEICO Motorcycle High Point National


The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship will observe its first off weekend of the season before a return to action during the Independence Day holiday weekend. The annual FMF RedBud National  from Buchanan, Michigan’s RedBud MX will celebrate 50 years of racing at one of American motocross’ most iconic venues on Saturday, July 1, for the fifth round of the summer. Coverage from RedBud will be streamed live, exclusively on Peacock, beginning with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET, and followed by 4.5 consecutive hours of uninterrupted race coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

Jett Lawrence’s Perfect Start in 2023 Pro Motocross Championship Continues with Third Straight Moto Sweep at Thunder Valley

Hunter Lawrence Brings Home Third 250 Class Win to Maintain Sibling Dominance

The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, traveled more than a mile high for its third round of the summer with an annual visit to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and scenic Thunder Valley Motocross Park, just outside Denver. The Toyota Thunder Valley National always provides an early test for the world’s fastest racers thanks to its elevation, but the end result on the track was more of the same from the Team Honda HRC siblings of Jett and Hunter Lawrence. The Australian duo continued their dominant starts to the season, with each capturing their third victory to remain unbeaten in the overall classification. Jett’s perfect start to his rookie 450 Class campaign continued, while Hunter closed out the 250 Class in emphatic fashion.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

The opening moto once again saw the Honda of Jett Lawrence at the front of the field as the championship leader secured another MotoSport.com Holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb. A hard-charing Webb was aggressive early and made the pass on Cianciarulo to move into second. Behind them, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger were both pushing to get into the mix and came together, which sent both riders to the ground and deep into the field.

Back up front, Lawrence moved out to a lead of more than four seconds over Webb just five minutes into the moto, while Cianciarulo was forced to contend with Toyota of Redlands/BarX/Suzuki’s Derek Drake in a battle for third.

Lawrence’s lead grew to double digits at the halfway point of the moto and he never looked back. He went wire to wire for the fourth time this season and extended his unbeaten moto streak to five by 31.6 seconds over Webb, with Cianciarulo following in a season-best third. Plessinger rebounded from his early misfortune to finish fourth, while Sport Clips/Beachview Treatment/Airline Vacuum Kawasaki’s Ty Masterpool finished fifth after starting in the rear of the field following a tip over in the first turn.

2306011 Jett Lawrence - Thunder Valley

Jett Lawrence remained perfect en route to a third straight 1-1 effort.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

Light rain greeted riders to start the final moto, as Lawrence stormed to his fifth MotoSport.com Holeshot in six tries this season, ahead of Manluk Rock River Yamaha’s Grant Harlan, Cianciarulo, and Ferrandis. A lot of jockeying for position unfolded on the opening lap, but eventually Cianciarulo positioned himself in second with Ferrandis third, followed by the KTMs of Webb and Plessinger.

As everyone behind him engaged in battle, Lawrence jumped out to a lead of more than 2.5 seconds and easily controlled the race at the head of the pack. Cianciarulo continued to give chase from second while Webb made his way around Ferrandis for third. The battles didn’t end there as Plessinger clawed his way from fifth to second during the first 10 minutes, with Webb following through into third. Also garnering attention was Masterpool, who surprised his factory counterparts with a charge up to fourth.

At the halfway point of the moto Lawrence enjoyed a comfortable lead of eight seconds over Plessinger, who firmly held on to the second spot. Webb ran third but was forced to fend off a hard-charging Masterpool, who soon took control of the position. Ferrandis then followed through into fourth.

It was smooth sailing for Lawrence out front, as he compiled his fifth wire-to-wire performance of the season and kept his undefeated record intact with a winning margin of 11.9 seconds over Plessinger. The battle for third came down to the final corners as Ferrandis made a late, last lap pass on Masterpool to steal the position.

2306011 Aaron Plessinger - Thunder Valley

Aaron Plessinger finished in the runner-up spot following 4-2 finishes.
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s third 1-1 sweep to open his rookie campaign in the premier division has been further highlighted by the fact he’s led every single lap of competition. He’s also rewriting the history books with the single-most-impressive start to a 450 Class career in history. Plessinger’s stellar second moto vaulted him into the runner-up spot overall (4-2), while Webb helped put a pair of KTMs on the podium in third (2-5).

Lawrence’s maximum point total after three rounds has allowed him to open a 34-point lead in the championship standings over Ferrandis, who finished fifth overall (7-3). Webb remains third, 38 points out of the lead.

230611 Cooper Webb - Thunder Valley

Cooper Webb made it two KTMs on the podium in third (2-5).
Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“An awesome day here. I got an even better start in the second moto. I couldn’t really push as hard as I wanted to because the rain made it a bit greasy, so I focused on maintaining. It was a fun day. The Lawrence boys did it again.”

Aaron Plessinger, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
“I hate to have [the crash] happen in that first moto. Dylan [Ferrandis] and my lines came together and we hit. It was a racing incident. That one hurt though, he hit me pretty hard. Then we just came out and ripped that second moto. It was a good day. I didn’t keep it off the ground, but we still ended up on the podium.”

Cooper Webb, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
“It was a struggle in the second moto, but we did the best we could and fought hard. I’m happy to be on the podium again, it’s great. It’s not easy to get up here, a lot has to happen, but it feels good when you are.”

230611 450 podium - Thunder Valley

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (4-2 // 40)
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (2-5 // 38)
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (3-6 // 35)
  5. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (7-3 // 34)
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (5-4 // 34)
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (6-8 // 28)
  8. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha (8-7 // 27)
  9. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki (10-10 // 22)
  10. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS (12-9 // 21)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 3 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 150
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 116
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 112
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 109
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 98
  6. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS – 67
  7. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 63
  8. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki – 62
  9. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., Suzuki – 58
  10. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha – 56

450 Class Highlights – Toyota Thunder Valley National


250 class banner

Moto 1

The first moto of the afternoon got underway with a multi-rider incident that collected some of the class’ top competitors, including Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawaskai’s Jo Shimoda, and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle, and also impacted Hunter Lawrence, who stayed on two wheels.

Out front, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan emerged with the MotoSport.com Holeshot ahead of his teammates Justin Cooper and Levi Kitchen. A brief tip over caused Deegan to lose the lead a drop a couple positions, but he remounted quickly in third behind new leader Cooper and Kitchen. Deegan then went back on the attack and passed Kitchen for second. Behind the leaders, Lawrence fought through the early adversity to position himself in sixth.

As the field settled in through the first 10 minutes of the moto the Star Yamaha contingent occupied the top four spots in the running order, with Lawrence pressuring from fifth. The Honda rider continued to push the pace and passed the Yamaha of Jordon Smith for fourth. He then set his sights on Kitchen in third. As the halfway point of the moto approached, a three-rider battle for second took shape with Deegan, Kitchen, and Lawrence. Lawrence moved into podium position with a pass on Kitchen and was then all over the rear fender of Deegan. After a couple laps of patience Lawrence made an assertive move to take control of the runner-up spot. He faced a 10-second deficit to Cooper with 13 minutes left.

As Cooper and Lawrence strengthened their hold on the top two positions the attention shifted to an incredible rise through the field by Shimoda. The Kawasaki rider methodically worked his way forward after the crash off the start and was able to climb all the way into the top three in the closing minutes of the moto.

Cooper took his first moto win of the season by 2.7 seconds over Lawrence, who made an impressive push late to close the deficit, with Shimoda in a hard-fought third. Deegan settled for fourth, while Kitchen rounded out the top five.

230611 Hunter Lawrence - Thunder Valley

Hunter Lawrence wrapped up his third overall win with another Moto 2 victory.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The second moto started cleanly with Cooper at the front of the field for the MotoSport.com Holeshot, pursued by Kitchen and Lawrence. A swap for second occurred briefly between Lawrence and Kitchen, but the Yamaha rider fought back. A short while later Lawrence reclaimed the position and became the benefactor of a tip over by Cooper, who went down and gave up the lead. He remounted just outside the top 10.

With the lead in hand, Lawrence was able to inch away from Kitchen, while Smith slotted into third. As the moto reached the 10-minute mark a battle for third emerged between Smith and Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas, from which the rookie prevailed with the position.

Lawrence continued to strengthen his hold on the lead as the moto wore on, which left the battle for second to come down to Kitchen and Hymas. The Honda rider closed in briefly, but Kitchen responded to keep him at bay.

A drama free moto for Lawrence saw the Australian capture a third consecutive Moto 2 win, 4.7 seconds ahead of Kitchen who kept Lawrence honest the whole race. Hymas recorded a career-best result in third. Cooper recovered from his first-lap crash to finish fourth.

230611 Justin Cooper - Thunder Valley

Justin Cooper was the best he’s been this season with a runner-up finish (1-4).
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Season-best 2-1 moto finishes landed Lawrence atop the overall podium once again for his third straight win to open the season and the fourth victory of his career. Cooper’s resiliency in the final moto was enough to give him the runner-up spot (1-4). One year removed from his podium debut at this event, Kitchen landed on the overall podium for the second time in his career in third (5-2).

Lawrence extended his lead in the championship standings to 16 points and is now chased by Cooper, who moved into second place. Deegan dropped to third, 27 points out of the lead.

230611 Levi Kitchen - Thunder Valley

Levi Kitchen earned his second career podium finish in third (5-2).
Photo: Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“I didn’t want to run [Cooper] over [after the crash], so I tried to go around him. After that I just rode my own race. Definitely made life a lot easier getting a good start. I’m stoked.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was a great day. I rode really good all day and I’m happy with the bike. I bent my levers a bit [in the crash] and couldn’t use my front brake for a couple laps. After a few laps I got my controls back and started finding my flow again and made a push to the front. I did what I could. I gave it all I had.”

Levi Kitchen, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“In that first moto I feel like I left a little on the table. I didn’t ride my greatest. In the second [moto] I tried to get another good start and lock in with [Cooper] and Hunter [Lawrence]. I got into some lappers and lost a lot of time, then my buddy Chance [Hymas] was keeping me honest. That was a fun race. I’m really stoked on how the day went.”

230611 250 podium - Thunder Valley

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (2-1 // 47)
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (1-4 // 43)
  3. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (5-2 // 38)
  4. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (3-8 // 33)
  5. Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (11-3 // 30)
  6. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (7-5 // 30)
  7. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (6-6 // 30)
  8. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (4-9 // 30)
  9. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (8-7 // 22)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (10-10 // 22)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 3 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda – 137
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 121
  3. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 110
  4. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 95
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 94
  6. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 88
  7. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 83
  8. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 68
  9. Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda – 63
  10. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 63

250 Class Highlights – Toyota Thunder Valley National


The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship will make its east coast debut next Saturday, June 17, with the Father’s Day tradition at famed High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. The GEICO Motorcycle High Point National will conclude the first month of action for the summer as the fourth round will be streamed live, exclusively on Peacock, beginning with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 7 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. ET, and followed by 4.5 consecutive hours of uninterrupted race coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

Jett Lawrence Remains Perfect at Hangtown for Second Win of 2023 Pro Motocross Championship

Hunter Lawrence Wins Again in 250 Class for Another Sibling Sweep

The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, continued with its second California round, this time in the northern half of the state in the shadow of the capital of Sacramento. The history of the iconic Carson City Motorsports Hangtown Motocross Classic is one of the richest and deepest in the sport and always provides one of the toughest tests of the summer. Temperatures that hovered around 90 degrees made for challenging conditions at this early juncture of the championship, but the end result on the track was the same as the previous week as the Australian siblings from Team Honda HRC, Jett and Hunter Lawrence, prevailed once again in the 450 Class and 250 Class, respectively.


Moto 1

One week removed from a win in his 450 Class debut, Jett Lawrence carried the red plate as points leader for the first time and positioned himself at the head of the pack to open the first moto following an impressive move around Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis, who grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot. As Lawrence looked to sprint away from the field Ferrandis engaged in an intense battle with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo of Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb, as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo lurked in fifth.

Due to the pace of the fight for second between Ferrandis and Plessinger, the pair closed in on Lawrence, but it didn’t take long for the young Aussie to pull back out and stabilize his advantage. Behind him, the relentless fight between the Yamaha and KTM riders continued, as Ferrandis continued to withstand the pressure.

The action quieted down through the mid portion of the moto as the lead trio settled in, but another wave of intensity loomed. As time wound down on the race clock, Lawrence grew his lead to nearly eight seconds while Plessinger dropped the hammer to close the gap late on Ferrandis. Lawrence once again led every lap and cruised to his third straight moto win, while Ferrandis and Plessinger’s battle carried on through the final corner, with the Frenchman narrowly earning second, 4.1 seconds behind Lawrence and less than a half-second ahead of Plessinger. Webb finished in a distant fourth, while Cianciarulo rounded out the top five.

Jett Lawrence - Hangtown National

Jett Lawrence once again led every lap of competition
en route to a second consecutive 1-1 sweep.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The final moto of the afternoon looked like it’d once again be Ferrandis with the MotoSport.comHoleshot, but he was overcome by Lawrence, who then stormed into the lead. Ferrandis continued to lose spots, as Webb and Plessinger moved into second and third, respectively. The Frenchman eventually settled into fourth, ahead of Cianciarulo.

Webb looked to keep Lawrence honest through the opening five minutes of the moto but the point leader started to build on his advantage with every lap and was soon more than four seconds clear of his rivals. That left the KTM teammates to engage in a tense battle for second.

Halfway through the moto the running order remained unchanged, but the pursuit of Webb, Plessinger, and Ferrandis allowed them to maintain the deficit to Lawrence and keep him in sight. They paced one another for several more minutes before Plessinger started to increase the pressure and searched for alternate lines. With 11 minutes to go Plessinger pulled the trigger and made the pass stick on Webb to take control of second. Webb then came under fire from Ferrandis in a battle for third.

Following the pass Plessinger took a second off Lawrence’s lead and was the fastest rider on the track. However, Lawrence responded with his fastest lap of the moto to push the lead back out. The Honda rider backed that up with another one of his fastest laps to open up a margin of 5.5 seconds with five minutes remaining.

The moto took a turn with three minutes to go as Plessinger went down and struggled to get his KTM restarted due to a broken clutch lever. That allowed both Webb and Ferrandis to assume the remaining spots on the moto podium as their battle for second continued. Plessinger eventually resumed in fifth but was unable to run the same pace.

Lawrence maintained his undefeated start to the season with ease, as he wrapped up his second 1-1 sweep by five seconds over Webb, while Ferrandis settled for third. Plessinger soldiered home in sixth.

Dylan Ferrandis - Hangtown National

Dylan Ferrandis finished in the runner-up spot following 2-3 moto scores.
Photo: Align Media

Overall

For the second week in a row Lawrence led every lap of competition to cap off another dominant 1-1 effort. Plessinger’s misfortune allowed Ferrandis to finish in the runner-up spot (2-3) and also moved Webb onto the overall podium in third (4-2) for the first time since the final round of the 2021 season.

Lawrence now joins elite company with Jeff Ward as the only two riders in Pro Motocross history to go 1-1 in the first two races of their 450 Class career. His lead in the championship standings now sits at 18 points over Ferrandis, while Webb moved into third, 26 points out of the lead.

Cooper Webb - Hangtown National

Cooper Webb made his anticipated return to the podium in third (4-2).
Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“The track was so brutal [in the second moto]. You had to be patient and couldn’t take too much. I didn’t eat enough between motos and lost energy halfway through and just relied on technique to keep it going. On this track you really had to manage everything because if you took too much it could bite you. It almost got me a couple times so I really had to focus and keep it on two wheels.”

Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I’m very happy because we made a big change from the first moto and the bike was much better, but I struggled with arm pump all day. The track was very hard and it was difficult to pass. I had to follow the whole [second] moto. I’m a little bit frustrated by this, but I’m still happy to be on the podium and to get the bike more comfortable.”

Cooper Webb, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
“It was a sufferfest [in Moto 2]. I’m so pumped. It’s incredible what seven days can do. Last week I thought I was going to get lapped in the second moto and this week I could see the leader. I definitely learned how to suffer again and that was nice. I’m just stoked.”

450 Podium - Hangtown National

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (2-3 // 42)
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (4-2 // 40)
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (3-6 // 35)
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (5-4 // 34)
  6. Ty Masterpool, Fallon, Nev., Kawasaki (7-7 // 28)
  7. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., Suzuki (8-8 // 26)
  8. Jerry Robin, Hamel, Minn., Yamaha (10-9 // 23)
  9. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS (9-11 // 22)
  10. Jose Butron, Cadiz, Spain, GASGAS (16-5 // 21)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 2 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda – 100
  2. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 82
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 74
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 69
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 63
  6. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS – 46
  7. Jose Butron, Cadiz, Spain, GASGAS – 45
  8. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 44
  9. Jerry Robin, Hamel, Minn., Yamaha – 43
  10. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 41

450 Class Highlights – Carson City Motorsports Hangtown Motocross Classic


250 class banner

Moto 1

One of the championship’s freshest faces opened the first moto with the MotoSport.comHoleshot and early lead as Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rookie Haiden Deegan stormed out to a multi-second advantage on the opening lap over his teammate Justin Cooper, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie Jett Reynolds, and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle. Hunter Lawrence started the moto deep inside the top 10.

As the Yamahas asserted their hold up front, Reynolds and Vialle started to battle for third, which saw the Kawasaki rider go off track and down to the ground to hand the position to Vialle.

Deegan built on his advantage over Cooper through the opening 10 minutes of the moto, as both Vialle and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Guillem Farres settled into third and fourth, respectively. Behind them Lawrence was on a march forward in fifth.

As the moto reached its halfway point an international three-rider battle unfolded between France’s Vialle, Spain’s Farres, and Australia’s Lawrence. Vialle got the worst of this brief fight, dropping from third to fifth, while Lawrence battled his way into third and pulled away.

With 10 minutes remaining the battle for the lead started to heat up as Cooper continued to chip away at his deficit to Deegan and closed to within two seconds. The momentum shift was short lived as Deegan responded by picking up the pace and stabilizing the lead once more. As the race entered its final minute Cooper made a final push to get the closest he’d been all moto. About 1.5 seconds separated the duo as they took the 2 Lap board, from which Deegan dug deep again to pull back out.

The second-generation racer captured the first moto win of his career by 2.1 seconds over Cooper for a Star Yamaha 1-2, with Lawrence not too far behind in third. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda overcame a start outside the top 10 to finish fourth, with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire fifth.

Hunter Lawrence - Hangtown National

Another Moto 2 win put Hunter Lawrence atop the overall podium.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The deciding moto began with Cooper out front for the MotoSport.com Holeshot, which he used to grab control of the early lead ahead of Lawrence, with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll third. As Cooper and Lawrence asserted themselves at the head of the pack, Swoll was forced to fend off pressure from Vialle. Deegan started the moto deep in the top 10 and quickly went to work in climbing up the running order.

Back out front, Lawrence went on the attack and successfully made the pass around Cooper within the first 10 minutes. The clear track allowed Lawrence to establish a quick lead, as he wasted little time moving ahead by nearly four seconds. Cooper settled into second as did Swoll in third. However, a brief off-track excursion caused Swoll to lose third to Vialle and another position to Team Honda HRC rookie Chance Hymas.

As the moto surpassed the halfway point the top three in the running order strengthened their grasp on the podium spots, with Lawrence managing a lead of more than six seconds over Cooper, while Vialle followed another six seconds back in third.

The lead group went unchanged through the end of the moto, as Lawrence wrapped up another Moto 2 victory with ease, 3.1 seconds ahead of Cooper, with Vialle third. Deegan earned a hard-fought fourth-place finish that paid big dividends in the overall classification.

Justin Cooper - Hangtown National

A consist 2-2 outing earned Justin Cooper his first podium finish of the season.
Photo: Align Media

Overall

With another 3-1 effort to open the season Lawrence parlayed his second moto win into back-to-back overall victories. Cooper’s consistent afternoon (2-2) put him on the overall podium for the first time this summer in the runner-up spot, while Deegan brought home a second straight top-three result in third (1-4).

The win is the third of Lawrence’s career and establishes his first ever winning streak in Pro Motocross competition. He extended his points lead to 10 over Deegan, while Cooper moved into third, 12 points out of the lead.

Haiden Deegan - Hangtown National

Haiden Deegan earned his first career moto win en route to his second podium finish.
Photo: Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“The start was crucial [in Moto 2]. They put a lot of water down and I didn’t want to be behind anyone for long with that. It was the first hot one of the year, a bit of a wake up call, but happy to get out of here safe and healthy.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“[Lawrence] probably was following me a bit, checking out my lines, and seeing where he was better. He was riding good. It’s disappointing to give up the lead like that, but it’s a way better weekend than last and I’ll definitely take two seconds. I feel like I get close but don’t get one of these wins and that’s building up the fire. I want to win, so it’s time to start digging.”

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I didn’t get a great start and I had to work through the pack. I charged hard and rode my heart out. It’s crazy to think I was riding superminis a year and a half ago and now we’re getting podiums in Pro Motocross. It’s still so crazy. I’m hyped.”

250 Podium - Hangtown National

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (3-1 // 45)
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (2-2 // 44)
  3. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (1-4 // 43)
  4. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (7-3 // 34)
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (5-5 // 32)
  6. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (4-10 // 29)
  7. Guillem Farres, Balsareny, Spain, Yamaha (6-8 // 28)
  8. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (10-7 // 25)
  9. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (9-11 // 22)
  10. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki (8-13 // 21)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 2 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda – 90
  2. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 80
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 78
  4. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 68
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 67
  6. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 62
  7. Guillem Farres, Balsareny, Spain, Yamaha – 57
  8. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 53
  9. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 50
  10. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Kawasaki – 41
  11. Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki – 41

250 Class Highlights – Carson City Motorsports Hangtown Motocross Classic


The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship will begin its journey east next Saturday, June 10, with the annual trek above 6,000 feet and the high altitude of Thunder Valley Motocross Park, located just outside Denver in Lakewood, Colorado. The Toyota Thunder Valley National will provide its own unique challenge for the third round of the season, which will be streamed live, exclusively on Peacock, beginning with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET, and followed by 4.5 consecutive hours of uninterrupted race coverage beginning at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET.

Australia’s Lawrence Brothers Make American Motocross History at Opening Round of 2023 Pro Motocross Championship

Jett Lawrence Captures Victory in 450 Class Debut While Hunter Lawrence Prevails with Second Career 250 Class Win

The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, got its 11-round summer season underway on Saturday at Fox Raceway under sunny Southern California skies for the KTM Fox Raceway National, presented by Fox Racing. The centerpiece of the new SuperMotocross World Championship began with heavy fanfare to see which riders would make the first statement in the grueling battles that lay ahead for the Edison Dye Cup (450 Class) and Gary Jones Cup (250 Class). After a memorable winter in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, the Australian siblings of Jett and Hunter Lawrence kept the momentum rolling to open the outdoor season with a landmark outing that saw them make American motocross history as the first siblings in more than a half century of the championship to win on the same day. Jett enjoyed an flawless afternoon in his 450 Class debut with a 1-1 sweep, while Hunter’s experience and consistency allowed him to emerge triumphant in the 250 Class with 3-1 finishes.


450 class banner bl

Moto 1

The opening 450 Class moto of the 2023 season saw the division’s newest face put himself out front off the start as Lawrence easily grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot and stormed out to an early lead ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis, the 2021 titleholder, and Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton, the newly crowned Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion.

Lawrence’s lead continued to grow as the moto wore on, as the young Australian looked comfortable and in full control in his first premier class race. As a result, the focus shifted to the battle for second between Ferrandis and Sexton. The Frenchman held control of second for nearly half of the moto, but Sexton showed patience and persistence and eventually made his move into the runner-up spot.

Out front, Lawrence enjoyed a carefree wire-to-wire performance and cruised to the moto win by 10 seconds over his teammate for a Honda 1-2, while Ferrandis finished with a firm hold of third. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb followed in a distant fourth, with teammate Aaron Plessinger fifth.

Jett Lawrence

Jett Lawrence amassed a flawless afternoon in his 450 Class debut,
leading every minute of both motos.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The second and deciding moto once again saw Lawrence leading the field through the first turn to sweep the MotoSport.com Holeshots for the afternoon, but he immediately came under fire from Ferrandis. A couple of bobbles by the Yamaha rider saw him lose some momentum, which allowed Sexton to make the pass and give chase to his rookie teammate. Behind the lead trio, the KTMs of Webb and Plessinger added themselves into the mix.

It didn’t take long for the Hondas to inch away from Ferrandis and the KTMs, and the race soon turned into a one-on-one battle between Lawrence and Sexton. About two seconds separated the pair, with Sexton keeping Lawrence honest and settling in through the middle portion of the moto. As they entered the final 10 minutes Sexton picked up the pace and was able to decrease the deficit to about a second. They traded momentum at various points on the track and both navigated their way through lapped riders efficiently. As time ran out on the moto the teammates were closer than they had been all race.

A mere seven tenths of a second separated Lawrence and Sexton as they took the white flag, but Lawrence dug deep to open up just enough distance to manage the final push. Lawrence took the checkered flag a second ahead of Sexton, while Ferrandis, who never factored into the battle, finished a distant third, nearly 44 seconds off the lead.

Chase Sexton

Chase Sexton followed his teammate across the line each time,
going 2-2 for a runner-up finish.
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence led every lap and every minute of his first 450 Class race, which was complemented by the top time in both qualifying sessions, to complete perhaps the most impressive premier class debut in the history of Pro Motocross. Sexton was with Lawrence every step of the way en route to a runner-up effort (2-2) to cap off the second consecutive 1-2 sweep by Team Honda HRC at the Fox Raceway opener. Ferrandis’ 3-3 results rounded out the overall podium in third.

An unprecedented undefeated streak for Lawrence at Fox Raceway now extends to six races, across two classes, having won the previous five 250 Class events in Pala dating back to his first career win in 2020. He becomes the 75th different winner in 450 Class history and the first Australian since Brett Metcalfe won at Round 10 of the 2011 season.

Lawrence and Sexton are separated by six points after the first two motos of the summer, while Ferrandis sits 10 points out of the lead in third.

Dylan Ferrandis

Dylan Ferrandis made a successful return to action with a solid 3-3 effort for third overall.
Photo: Align Media

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“It’s awesome. I can finally smile. I’ve been trying to stay serious all day, but I’m too excited and can finally let loose. That one [Moto 2] was a little harder than the first one. I could keep hearing [Sexton]. It was a bit of a chess match. It’s great for Honda to have such a great day and hopefully that can continue. It’s going to be a war this summer. I can’t wait.”

Chase Sexton, Team Honda HRC
“I had some decent lines to where if I got close enough I could maybe make a move. I did try at one point with about 10 minutes to go, but I messed up. Jett was riding good and he had a good pace. It’s a great start and we’ve got a lot to build on from here.”

Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I think it’s good to be in podium position. It was a long second moto, AP [Plessinger] was pushing me. I had to dig deep, so it was good for me and the team to have that experience.”

450 class podium - 2023 Pro Motocross Championship

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (2-2 // 44)
  3. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha (3-3 // 40)
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (5-4 // 34)
  5. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (4-5 // 34)
  6. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (6-7 // 29)
  7. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha (9-6 // 27)
  8. Jose Butron, Cadiz, Spain, GASGAS (10-8 // 24)
  9. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS (7-11 // 24)
  10. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki (13-9 // 20)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 1 of 11)

  1. Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda – 50
  2. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 44
  3. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 40
  4. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM – 34
  5. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 34
  6. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 29
  7. Grant Harlan, Justin, Texas, Yamaha – 27
  8. Jose Butron, Cadiz, Spain, GASGAS – 24
  9. Lorenzo Locurcio, Valencia, Venezuela, GASGAS – 24
  10. Fredrik Noren, Lidköping, Sweden, Suzuki – 20

250 class banner

Moto 1

The first 250 Class moto of the summer began with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll at the head of the pack with the MotoSport.com Holeshot ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire, who both quickly passed Swoll to grab early control of the moto. Shimoda led briefly, but then gave way to a hard-charging Hampshire as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle slotted into third.

Hampshire controlled the first 10 minutes of the moto then tipped over in a rut, which subsequently forced Shimoda to come to a stop with no way around. Both riders resumed quickly with no positions changed, but the incident allowed Vohland to close in from third. Not long after, Shimoda went on the attack and made the pass for the lead briefly, but Hampshire responded to regain control. As he looked to remount another attack Shimoda went down and lost multiple positions, which allowed Vohland and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Tom Vialle, the 2022 MX2 World Champion, to move into second and third, respectively.

With no pressure from behind Hampshire opened a lead of nearly 10 seconds entering the final phase of the moto, which allowed Vohland to settle firmly into second. Behind them, the battle for the final spot on the podium continued as Shimoda clawed his way back into contention and brought Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence with him. Both riders were able to make their way around Vialle to drop the Frenchman to fifth and set their sights on Vohland in the closing minutes.

It was smooth sailing for Hamshire the rest of the way as the Husqvarna rider captured the third moto win of his career by 6.1 seconds. A torrid battle for second unfolded on the final lap as Shimoda and Lawrence closed in on Vohland. A lapped rider allowed Lawrence to get by Shimoda, from which the Australian rider continued his charge onto Vohland’s rear fender. However, the KTM rider withstood the challenge to secure the best moto result of his career in second, with Lawrence third, Shimoda fourth, and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper rounding out the top five.

Hunter Lawrence

Hunter Lawrence overcame soreness from a hard practice crash
to prevail with his second career win.
Photo: Align Media

Moto 2

The final moto saw Lawrence put his Honda out front with the MotoSport.com Holeshot as Vialle gave chase in second. Behind them, both Hampshire and Vohland were involved in incidents that dropped each of the top-two finishers deep in the 40-rider field. Shimoda didn’t fare well either and started outside the top 15 in the running order.

With a clear track ahead Lawrence easily built a multi-second lead over Vialle, who started to receive pressure from Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rookie Haiden Deegan. As the top three settled in, the attention shifted to the recovery efforts of the riders that ran at the front of the field with Lawrence in Moto 1. Both Vohland and Shimoda soon found themselves racing one another in a climb up to the top 10, while Hampshire valiantly looked to overcome a pair of tip-overs on the opening lap. Vohland and Shimoda continued their march up the standings, which put both back into contention for the overall podium. The KTM rider was able to reestablish his spot in the overall classification, only to make contact with a rider and go down, which dropped Vohland outside the top 10.

Vohland’s misfortune shifted the momentum to Vialle and Cooper, who engaged in a late battle for third in the moto that would ultimately decide which rider would also secure that position in the overall standings. That was until Hampshire’s slow and methodical recovery saw him break into contention by approaching the top 10 in the running order. Hampshire was able to move himself onto the overall podium, only to watch it slip away with a third incident. The Husqvarna rider lost a couple positions but remounted and made one final push. He needed to pass a pair of riders on the final lap and was successful in doing so.

Back out front, Lawrence enjoyed a wire-to-wire performance that saw him cap off the afternoon with a convincing win, 8.4 seconds ahead of Deegan, with Vialle not too far behind in third.

Haiden Deegan

Haiden Deegan landed on the overall podium for the first time
in just his third start, securing 6-2 finishes.
Photo: Align Media

Overall

Lawrence’s consistent 3-1 moto finishes not only gave the Australian the second victory of his career, but allowed him to establish a solid point lead after just one round. Deegan earned the first overall podium finish of his career in the runner-up spot (6-2), while Hampshire’s valiant late-race effort and impressively resilient moto as a whole allowed him to steal the final spot in third (1-11).

The opening round win established an eight-point lead for Lawrence atop the 250 Class point standings over Deegan, while Hampshire sits 10 points behind in third.

RJ Hampshire

RJ Hampshire showed grit and determination on an up and down day
for hard-fought podium finish in third after 1-11 moto finishes..

Photo: Align Media

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC
“The start was crucial. I had a massive crash Monday and could barely ride press day. I was in so much pain. This one goes out to Dr. G [H. Rey Gubernick]. He’s got magic hands and has taken care of me. I can’t thank [him] enough. He is an asset to our team.”

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I’m actually kind of surprised. Some people said I wouldn’t have been close to this. I guess we’re kind of proving people wrong and that’s what I’ve got to do. Second place in my first season of outdoors, I’m hyped.”

RJ Hampshire, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
“Didn’t have a great start and it kind of got mayhem and in that second corner I went down. I picked up in last and made some really good passes and then going up the hill someone took my front wheel out and then I was dead last again. I didn’t know if I had a shot at the podium. I just started digging deep and making passes, then I threw it away again and had to get those back [once more]. Hey, I’ll take the podium.”

250 class podium - 2023 Pro Motocross Championship

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda (3-1 // 45)
  2. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (6-2 // 37)
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (1-11 // 35)
  4. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (7-3 // 34)
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4 // 34)
  6. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (2-9 // 34)
  7. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki (4-6 // 33)
  8. Guillem Farres, Balsareny, Spain, Yamaha (8-5 // 29)
  9. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (10-7 // 25)
  10. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Kawasaki (11-8 // 23)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 1 of 11)

  1. Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld.,Australia, Honda – 45
  2. Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 37
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 35
  4. Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM – 34
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 34
  6. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 34
  7. Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki – 33
  8. Guillem Farres, Balsareny, Spain, Yamaha – 29
  9. Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha – 25
  10. Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Kawasaki – 23

The 2023 Pro Motocross Championship will continue next Saturday, June 3, from Prairie City SVRA in Sacramento, California, for the Carson City Powersports Hangtown Motocross Classic. The oldest race in American motocross will be streamed live, exclusively on Peacock, beginning with Race Day Live, presented by MotoSport.com, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. PT, and followed by 4.5 consecutive hours of uninterrupted race coverage beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET.