- Jett Lawrence takes the team’s sixth professional AMA crown of the year
At the final race of the long 2023 season, Jett Lawrence authored yet another inspired chapter in what has been an incredible year for Team Honda HRC. The young Australian put together a 1-1 moto performance at the SuperMotocross Finals, earning the series’ first-ever 450 Championship and the $1 million prize that goes along with it. It was the third title of the year for Jett (who also took the 250SX West Region and 450MX championships), and the sixth for his team (counting Chase Sexton’s 450SX crown and Hunter Lawrence’s 250SX East and 250MX titles). The weekend didn’t end as well for those two, who saw their title hopes dashed by inopportune crashes. Hunter was banged up in a Friday 250 free-practice fall, then aggravated his back when he landed wrong from a jump during Saturday qualifying, causing him to withdraw from the motos; Chase rode to a third-place finish in 450 moto 1 and led much of the way in moto 2, but a hard fall ended his evening early. That didn’t change the facts that both riders had stellar seasons and contributed greatly to the team’s historic success.
Neither Chase nor Jett had a stellar start to the first 450 moto, but they were up to third and fourth when the red flag came out on lap 5. Following the single-file restart, Lawrence moved by his teammate for third, then they both dispatched Jason Anderson to sit second and third behind title-rival Ken Roczen. On lap 8, Lawrence made an incredible pass through the rhythm section for the lead before fending off a counterattack and then riding to a 1.5-second winning margin.
Sexton grabbed the moto 2 holeshot, with Lawrence about fifth and immediately up to third, then second while still on the first lap. As it stood, Lawrence would take the overall win and championship, but Sexton nonetheless rode hard, establishing a 4.3-second advantage. Unfortunately, a violent crash in the sand section took him out of the race at about the midway point, moving Lawrence into the lead, with Roczen close behind. Lawrence held off the German’s advances throughout the second half of the race, finally getting a small cushion near the end when he was able to better navigate lapped traffic. At the finish, the 20-year-old Lawrence won by 1.6 seconds, putting an exclamation mark on one of the most incredible seasons in history.
- On Friday morning, ESPN published a feature story on Jett Lawrence, covering the young Aussie’s upbringing, family life and racing success.
- Los Angeles TV station Fox 11 interviewed Team Honda HRC manager Lars Lindstrom live from the pits for the “Good Day L.A.” show.
- Also on Friday, Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence and Hunter Lawrence all participated in a pre-race press conference held next to the Coliseum’s famous peristyles. Afterward, the three riders got some time on the track during free practice. Chase was fastest in the first 450 session, and Jett was best in the second session. Despite his hard get-off, Hunter was third- and fifth-quickest in the two 250 sessions.
- Race day was Chase Sexton’s birthday, and the team was happy to be with the 2023 AMA Supercross Champion as he ushered in his 24th
- Southern California dealership Huntington Beach Honda set up a pop-up activation booth in the Team Honda HRC pits, where they displayed a Talon side-by-side and engaged with customers and fans.
- Chase Sexton set the fastest times in both of Saturday’s 450 qualifying sessions, and Jett Lawrence ended up fourth in combined times. Hunter Lawrence notched the 14th best 250 time before pulling out early due to his painful back.
- Jett’s Los Angeles victory marked the 40th AMA win of his professional career, making him one of just 17 riders to have reached this mark—a remarkable feat for a rider who is just 20 years old.
- Jett’s win also puts Honda in a tie with Kawasaki for most premier-class wins at the Coliseum, with eight. Other Red Riders to have won at the venue include Marty Tripes, David Bailey, Rick Johnson (twice), Jeff Stanton (twice) and Jean-Michel Bayle.
- Jett Lawrence and Chase Sexton notched the first- and second-fastest lap times, respectively, in both 450 motos.
- Jett Lawrence participated in the post-race press conference.
- With the 2023 season now complete, Team Honda HRC can enjoy a bit of long-delayed rest time, although there’s still work to be done before Jett and Hunter Lawrence race for Team Australia in the Motocross of Nations in Ernée, France, October 7-8.
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“This has been a very long season for everyone on the team, and with the incredible success that we’ve had, we haven’t had a chance to just sit back and reflect on it. Hopefully now we can. It was very cool to have the final race be in the Coliseum, but it was another bittersweet night for the team. First there was Hunter having a pinched nerve (most likely), that had him absolutely on his knees in pain, and then there was Chase’s crash while leading in the second main. The 450 races were super intense, and I had a bit of a stomachache watching them! I was really gutted to see Chase crash out of the lead, as he was riding so awesome and it looked the perfect ending to our season. Jett really rose to the occasion and had a legendary race with Kenny [Roczen], and we couldn’t be prouder of him. Hopefully next year we can continue to have success, but it will be nearly impossible to match what we did this year—it was a true “dream season”!