News 17 Jun 2023
Lawrence captures fourth 250MX overall win of 2023 at High Point
First moto victory of the weekend claimed by Hampshire.
An unideal first moto to start the Pro Motocross Championship’s 2023 visit to Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania’s High Point Raceway saw 250MX points leader Hunter Lawrence recover to finish third, which he paired with a win in moto 2 to extend his streak to four overall victories through four rounds in the season thus far.
Multiple significant mistakes for RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) hindered his charge toward race leader Haiden Deegan in the opening moto, but time after time he reeled the young Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider back in, setting up a final-lap charge.
Hampshire was successful and defeated Deegan by a margin of 2.669s. Including the all-important final lap, Hampshire led eight laps to Deegan’s seven, having controlled the opening half of the race before hitting the ground and watching Deegan go by.
Points leader Lawrence, representing Team Honda HRC, may have factored into the battle for the win if not for his involvment in a large pileup in the second turn. Instead, Lawrence stormed from about the middle of the pack to third at the end and took the day’s first checkered flag 22.449s in arrears of Hampshire.
Jalek Swoll ran a strong third aboard his own Rockstar Energy Husqvarna before the charging older Lawrence brother swiped the final podium spot in the closing minutes. Ryder DiFrancesco (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) was more than a minute back from the leaders but completed the top five aboard his Kawasaki KX250.
The day’s concluding 250MX moto took a turn right from the start when first-moto leaders Hampshire and Deegan faced early trouble. Hampshire came together with his teammate Swoll on the opening lap following the strong opening moto for both Husqvarna riders.
At the same time, Deegan was scored in 18th while Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), DiFrancesco, and Chance Hymas (Team Honda HRC) engaged in a battle for the lead as the race began to unfold.
Lawrence worked the first lap near the bottom of the top 10, but soon got by DiFrancesco for third, securing the day’s overall victory as they ran. Kitchen and Hymas were next for Lawrence in his bid to extend his streak of winning every second moto thus far in 2023.
The Honda rider was successful in passing both riders, taking control of the race, and winning by a large margin: 18.64s.
At the end, Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) and Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) got the best of Kitchen and Hymas, slotting into the moto’s final two podium positions and strengthening their overall results.
After Kitchen and Hymas in fourth and fifth, Deegan was sixth, having charged toward the front throughout the race along with Hampshire, who finished seventh.
A post-race penalty for jumping under red-cross flag conditions subtracted seven championship points from Lawrence’s total, but he maintained the day’s overall victory with 3-1 moto scores.
Hampshire was second overall at 1-7, while Deegan’s 2-6 outings earned him the final step of the overall podium. Shimoda and Vialle were fourth and fifth overall thanks to their charges at the end of the day, ahead of Hymas, DiFrancesco, Swoll, Kitchen, and Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) filled the remainder of the overall top 10.
Even with his penalty, Lawrence holds a 28-point lead over Deegan in the 250MX championship standings. Hampshire is third, a further 14 points back.
Following a weekend off, the Pro Motocross Championship heads toward the Michigan-Indiana border for the FMF Redbud National on Saturday, July 1.