Overall winners Lawrence and Deegan recall fifth round.
A perfect scorecard once again for Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence at RedBud saw him continue his unbeaten streak in the 450MX class and claim his fifth-consecutive round win of the season, as Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s rookie Haiden Deegan scored his first-career 250MX overall victory at round five of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship. Both riders were available to the media after the races for this Debrief feature.
Jett, unbelievable start of your season, 10 for 10. You’re making it easier on yourself by getting good starts. When you’re riding out there, are you just trying to manage or are you just focusing forward?
I’m just focusing forward, just focusing on trying to hit my marks. That second one it took me a little bit to try to find my flow, I just had the worst time trying to find my flow because Dylan [Ferrandis] was right there. But, it’s been an awesome season so far. Obviously, Chase [Sexton] is going to get better. It’s his first race back since round one, so he obviously hasn’t raced in a little while, so he’s going to get better and better, and same with Dylan. Dylan was there at first. I saw the pit board and the gap and went, ‘we’ve got to step it up’. But yeah, it’s been an awesome season so far, I’m super pumped. Just need to make sure we try and keep those starts good because like you said, it just makes it a lot easier on myself, starting up there is a big key of making it a lot easier on yourself.
What did you think of this start versus the other one that you did last year?
Personally, I like the other one better. I think that’s why they went with the other one, cause it was better, [laughs]. But we’ll let it slide for one round. Since it’s the 50th year here, we’ll let it slide.
Do you feel the track was a little bit more one-lined which made it harder to get around the lapped riders? Watching the race, I think you made it through the lapped riders maybe a little bit easier than some others. I know Dylan got hung up a couple of times.
For me, obviously we’re going fast enough to get around them eventually, but when they see the blue flag, it’s like they start going, it’s like a sign to do hot laps all of a sudden. So, I don’t know if they need to start throwing the blue flags at them or something, [laughs]. A lot of the guys were good, every now and then you’ll have a lapper who will get out of the way and see it. So it’s not to all of them, but there are those few guys who just have no awareness around and they don’t know that there’s another race going on besides theirs. Almost like there should be a rule at some point in time if you’re how many seconds down and you get lapped, and almost getting lapped again, you almost get pulled off, because at that point it’s just dangerous that you’re going that slow. But yeah, it was just a pain because sometimes it creates good racing, but also it screws over the one guy because he’s doing really good and hitting his marks but then a lapper comes in and ends up messing him and get tangled up. It’s very easy to get tangled up with these guys cause they’re struggling, obviously. It’s just a bit of a struggle because obviously us three and the rest of the top five to ten guys are going a lot faster than those guys and it’s a lot of laps. So for us it gets dangerous.
One of the fans asked if you have a pre-race ritual or any sort of superstition?
No, not really. I just have the same thing every time. Before I do my start, I bang my head twice and then kind of yell. But besides that, no I don’t have any crazy things.
Ten moto wins… You now have the sole record for the best start going into a new class. Do records mean anything to you at all?
No. I think for me if I’m doing my job right, I guess the records will come. For me each weekend, I’m just coming in trying to do the best I can and focus on what I get paid to do and focus on what I need to get done.
You’ve been so dominant in a lot of these races. Is it just that natural moving on to this bike?
I think my riding style definitely gels pretty decent with this bike, but we’re still learning the bike. It’s still today wasn’t the best with a few things on settings, but the bike looks after us so well with a lot of things. I think that obviously helps, but the second one I think I had to push a little bit more at the start just because Dylan was there and I didn’t have that flow. I think once I found my flow, you go back to just trying to time things and stuff like that. It’s not always just smooth sailing through the motos. When Dylan was close at the start there, I still had to push a bit.
Haiden, your first overall win and it’s here at RedBud. What was going through your mind on the last lap of that race knowing that you had the overall if you stayed on two wheels?
Yeah, definitely sweet to get my first overall at RedBud. Man, it needed to happen, we needed to put an American back on top and we were able to do it at RedBud in front of the fans. Actually, three Americans. Levi [Kitchen] and Justin [Cooper]. Podium sweep with the Star guys, so that’s sick. Last lap I was just thinking that I have to hit LaRocco’s Leap and do a fist pump for the crowd, so I did it, [laughs].
How soon did you know that Hunter [Lawrence] was heading to the mobile medical unit? Did you know that he went down in the first corner and that he was completely out of the moto?
No. I feel like that would be like a team thing, they wouldn’t want to tell you that during the race because it might go through your head or something. But yeah, I did the whole race, and I knew from the tabletop I could see who was behind me and there wasn’t a Husky or a Honda, and those were the guys that were on the podium the first moto. So I was like, dang, this is my overall to win, I just got to fight through it. So, we did that, and then they told me after. It’s a brutal sport, you’ve got to be consistent, and you’ve got to have that dog in you.
You’re down to 11 points behind now. That’s got to be refreshing. Do you feel like now you have a little bit better chance of possibly bringing home a championship if Hunter is not 100 percent at the next race in Southwick? Have you ever raced Southwick?
Yeah, I have raced Southwick, we did last year for the tour that I did to race all the national tracks so I could get used to them. There was a few I wasn’t able to do, but Southwick was one that I loved, that was a good track. You hang it out there… it’s a sick track.
You started hunting down to the overall win as soon as you got that first moto win. You knew you were going to get it, but in your wildest dreams did you think it’d come this fast?
No, definitely as a rookie in my first full outdoor season it’s been a little challenging just trying to adapt quickly, because these guys have a lot of experience and I’m just trying to learn quickly and adapt to these riders, and running up front helps with that a lot, seeing their line choice and seeing how they change throughout the moto. But yeah, basically, it was good.
Do you train any differently off of the motorcycle for outdoors versus indoors?
No. You obviously don’t want to give too much of the training away over the internet, but yerah, it’s basically the same, you don’t really change it up much. Obviously, you’re on an outdoor track though and doing outdoor motos is a little more work on the body, so there’s obviously little things you have to change up, but it’s fairly the same.
Talk about the Moto Combine. You did that last year, and since then you’ve become a full-time pro racing supercross and motocross. Talk about that experience last year and how it benefitted you.
The Moto Combine was a big step last year. I was able to see some of these tracks and we were doing 30 minute motos. So, you’re getting used to what an outdoor national would be and you’re racing some fast guys. It’s definitely a good stepping stone to the pro class.
To be an American and get up here and get this win, how special is that? This win is huge for your career but just talk about it being here on the Fourth of July weekend.
Yeah, definitely getting an American up front for RedBud. These Star boys had to shut down the train eventually and we were able to this weekend and get the American flag up there, so it was sick. I was waving that thing for the RedBud fans. Dude, they love it.
Obviously, you’re now closer to this championship and just thinking big picture for Supermotocross. Just talk about how the goals change and how your approach changes because you’re improving every weekend.
Yeah, definitely. There’s a lot of goals coming into seasons as a rookie where you want to be safe and smart and consistent. So I definitely, in my head, obviously training, you know where you’re at and you want to go perform, you want to get on the podium. But in supercross it was like, ‘let’s go get top ten the first round,’ and I got fourth. So, then the goals change a little bit and you know where you’re able to ride at. Now it’s time to win motos and get on the podium every round. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be if I be smart and consistent. So, now that’s what I’m fighting for if I want to win a championship.
This is maybe a little bit far ahead, but we’re at RedBud, where Motocross of Nations was last year. Hypothetically speaking, what would that mean to you if you were selected to be on the team?
Yeah, right now the focus is on the Pro Motocross season and trying to win the championship as a rookie. That’s my goal right now. Motocross of Nations is a huge thing and I’ve got to earn that spot, but right now it’s just focusing on the Pro Motocross Championship.