Overall winners Jett and Hunter Lawrence recall fourth round.
Round four of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship at High Point saw Team Honda HRC pair Jett and Hunter Lawrence claim 450MX and 250MX victories for the fourth-consecutive time this season. Although, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, with the brothers tested throughout the day’s two-moto format in tough conditions. Both riders were available to the media after the races for this Debrief feature.
Jett, tell us about your day. It was super muddy, you had some ups and downs, we saw a little mistake in the first moto and it made it a little exciting for the fans getting to see you ride the second moto with no visor…
Yeah, I was kind of a little uncomfortable all day, really. To have a mudder here and have it all rutted out, it was a tough track to try and race on, let alone just try and ride on it. So, that first moto I just got cross-rutted, it happened a few times. My balance was a little off in that first one, but I got lucky a few times wheelie-ing out of getting cross-rutted. But, that one just ended up biting me and I ended up going down. It was good just to have that bit of humbling and make me focus again. Then, the second one I put my head down because I was about to get roosted over that turning step-down thing, and I ended up getting just filled in with roost and it knocked my visor down, so I went and whacked it and kind of finished off the job of having no visor. But, with not feeling the greatest today with the track, and being a bit off with suspension and that stuff, it was definitely still a good day. Now we get a nice little break to reset before we come back into RedBud. I like RedBud, so that should be a fun one.
You ran the scoop tyre in the first moto, but you took it off for the second moto. The results were the same, but what was your deciding factor in that?
I remember Tony [Cairoli] here last year. I think he ran the paddle and it wasn’t even muddy, so that’s just kind of Euro-spec, running the paddle just for the start. But, it worked well for the first one, I got the start. But, for the second one, I went with the half paddle where it’s like a knobby but cut on the front. It didn’t work out as well off the start, but everywhere else it worked fairly decent. I’m pretty sure with some of the sections, how blue groove they were, if you had a paddle you would’ve been spinning. It was a difficult track, some spots were really deep and you needed the paddle, then in other spots, you almost needed a road racing tyre out there [laughs].
Your path to victory was a little different this week. You had to work forward. Even though you said you felt a little uncomfortable, did you feel like you learned a little more towards sustaining this throughout the rest of the season?
I think it’s kind of about learning. Like, if the bike’s not really working, trying to push through that and trying to make stuff happen. I wasn’t feeling too comfortable, but I can’t come in after a bad result and just say I didn’t feel well. I always try and give as much as I can, and even if as much as I could give today was a second or a third, that’s all I had. But, thankfully I was able to get back to first in both motos. It was good, it kind of broke up the routine. I got kind of used to holeshotting and leading laps. I felt like the crash was almost needed for me, where it banged me up a bit to like, stay focused and not think it’s going to be easy like that where I get holeshots and just lead. So, it was humbling and a good whack to get back to focusing again. It was fun battling with [Garrett] Marchbanks in the first one, then obviously Kenny [Roczen], fighting with him and Adam [Cianciarulo]. It’s been the first kind of actual battle and passing I’ve had to do so far. So, it was fun.
What have you got planned for your dad for father’s day? Do you have anything lined up? And also, what’s your off weekend going to look like?
Well, Dazzy is pretty simple. I think he just doesn’t want to get bothered. We get to take some time off, which is pretty sick. I’ve got some new cars that I finally just got back, so I’ll get to drive them a bit. I’ve been in Cali the last few weeks, so it’ll be good to get back and see the family again. But, other than that, I’ll just try and get some golf in. It’s been a bit hot lately, so it kind of sucks, so we might make a purchase and get a simulator maybe. It’s not much of a break, we just get a race weekend off, so still training and I want to try and improve on the mistakes I made today and hopefully come back even stronger.
Hunter, you’re the overall winner today. But, docked points due to the penalty you’ve been given. Are you aware of that?
Yeah, I was. I think it sucks.
So, seven points were removed, three positions worth of points. But, you still have a 28-point lead in the championship over Haiden Deegan. Tell us about your day other than that. How’d you feel about the track and getting another overall win?
Yeah, apart from that it was great. We got the overall, so that was really cool. The track was, man there were so many soft spots you couldn’t see, and just sinkholes, it was really wild. But yeah, all good.
It seemed like they ripped the track really deep considering the weather forecast. This morning was really sloppy in qualifying, so what was your approach to try and get your fast qualifying time?
Dude, don’t crash for one [laughs], because then you’d have muddy grips and gloves. So yeah, just try and get the best lines, and obviously, a clear track was key. I don’t think anyone expected it to be that wet, or maybe it was just me that was caught off guard. Then the second qualifying I bettered my time, which was a surprise. Because, I thought the prior groups were going a lot slower and yeah, it was just tricky.
It was kind of a gamble going with the scoop tyre on your bike. But, we’ve spoken about this and how important it is to get a good start in the 250 class because the field is so deep. How do you manage that? It looked really slippery in some of those hard-packed sections out there.
Absolutely. Everyone’s down there and they’re all thinking of the main key factor, and that’s the start with how deep the start straight is. The track prep was kind of tough, cause for what the conditions were, it didn’t help the track, it helped the tyre decision cause they kind of just filled the slop and mud back in and just dragged it back in everywhere. So, it was soft to start with. I think it definitely helped with the scoop tyre. But, you just had to use finesse and control on the hard slippery spots with that scoop tyre.
How are your ribs feeling? We know you’ve been battling that and it’s not an easy thing to come back from. It takes a while. So, having the week off has to be something you’re looking forward to, right?
Yeah, for sure. They’re a lot better this weekend. This was the best weekend so far. It’s just a pain in the butt, they take forever. But, they’re getting better. So, hopefully for RedBud we’ll be dialled and back to 100 percent.
Do you guys have anything special planned for your dad for father’s day?
I only just found out it’s father’s day tomorrow, so we’re going to have to pull something out and make sure he has a good one. I think today was a pretty good day, like last year, he was stoked, we went 1-2. So yeah, I don’t know. Maybe we’ll bring some beers over for him or something, we’ll figure something out.