- Sexton finishes second overall in 450 class, second in championship
- Honda takes Manufacturers’ title and other season-end awards
Team Honda HRC finished an incredible 2022 AMA Pro Motocross season on a sweltering day at Southern California’s Fox Raceway, where Jett Lawrence earned the 250 overall win and successfully defended his national championship, while Chase Sexton ended up second overall in the 450 class, falling just short of taking the premier-class crown. With a fourth-place overall finish, Hunter Lawrence took third in the final 250 points for the second year in a row, while crashes held Ken Roczen to ninth overall in the 450 division, although the German was still a commendable fourth on the year. The final round also served as the pro debut for Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas, who was 15th overall in the 250 class.
The first 250 moto saw Jett snare the holeshot and lead every lap, though he slowed in the middle part of the race in an attempt to assist Hunter, who was running third. Contact by Hunter caused Jo Shimoda to go down, and Hunter finished second in the moto. Meanwhile, Hymas had gone down off the start, and he remounted in last place but was able to climb to 20th. Jett completed the first lap of moto 2 in fourth place, and although he was up to second before the midway point, Shimoda was too far ahead for him to catch. Hunter was playing catchup after a poor start, and he climbed to fifth by the finish. Hymas advanced from 14th on lap 1 to 11th at the checkered flag.
Sexton took the holeshot in the first 450 moto and led until being overtaken by Tomac five laps from the end. Although Sexton challenged to retake the lead, he ultimately had to settle for second, while a start crash contributed to Roczen finishing eighth. Moto 2 had Sexton running in third on lap 1, but due to three unfortunate falls, he slipped back to eighth in the early going. He regrouped and charged forward again, turning impressive lap times on his way to a second-place finish. Another start crash contributed to a 13th-place finish for Roczen.
- A Chase Sexton replica CRF450RWE was included in a pre-race segment on San Diego TV station KUSI.
- Jett Lawrence turned the fastest lap time during 250 qualifying, over half-a-second quicker than the next best rider. Hunter Lawrence was fifth best, and Chance Hymas was 11th. In the 450 class, Chase Sexton posted the third-fastest time, while Ken Roczen was fifth best.
- The final race of the season was also the hottest, with temperatures in the three-digit range for the motos. For the safety of the riders, organizers shortened the motos by five minutes each, to 25 minutes plus two laps.
- Sexton posted the fastest lap times in both 450 motos. His best time in moto 2 was 1.7 seconds better than that of the next-best rider. Jett Lawrence had the fastest time in the first 250 moto.
- Jett’s Fox Raceway 2 overall victory was his ninth in the 12 races, resulting in a final advantage of 45 points over the next-best rider. His career overall-win record in AMA Pro Motocross now stands at 14, and his moto 1 victory raised his moto-win tally to 20.
- Jett also extended his undefeated streak at Fox Raceway, with four overall wins at the venue. The Australian earned the overall victories during both visits to Fox Raceway this year, as well as the single visits in 2020 and 2021.
- Following the race, Jett Lawrence was presented with the Gary Jones Cup on the podium. The traveling trophy goes to the AMA Pro Motocross 250 champion every year. At Fox Raceway, the presentation was done in person by Jones, who in 1973 delivered Honda its first motocross championship.
- The 2022 season was impressive for Honda and Team Honda HRC, in ways beyond winning the AMA Supercross 250 East Region Championship and the AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship. In both series, Honda also won the Manufacturers’ competition (based on points from each brand’s top-finishing rider in both classes at every round). In addition, Team Honda HRC topped the AMA Pro Motocross Team competition, Lars Lindstrom won the Team Manager of the Year award, and Jett Lawrence’s mechanic Christien Ducharme won the Mechanic of the Year award.
- The 2022 season was something of a tribute to the now-defunct Factory Connection team. The top two 450 riders and the top three 250 riders all came up through what was a highly respected Honda satellite squad, which closed its doors after the 2020 season.
- Everyone at Team Honda HRC congratulates Eli Tomac and the entire Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha on an incredible season, and the 450 championship.
- Although the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross series is now complete, most of the Team Honda HRC crew will be on hand for the September 25 Motocross of Nations at Michigan’s RedBud MX. Sexton will ride for Team USA, and the Lawrence brothers will race for Team Australia. The day before the Fox Raceway 2 finale, Sexton participated in a photo shoot with his Team USA colleagues: Tomac and Justin Cooper.
- The day after the race, Team USA held a golf tournament to raise funds for the Motocross of Nations effort. Honda sponsored a hole, and Sexton and Lindstrom both participated. Those who would like can still support Team USA by donating at raiseit4usa.com.
450 Overall Results
- Eli Tomac (Yam)
- Chase Sexton (Hon)
- Jason Anderson (Kaw)
- Christian Craig (Yam)
- Justin Barcia
- Aaron Plessinger (KTM)
- Benny Bloss (KTM)
- Ryan Dungey (KTM)
- Ken Roczen (Hon)
- Dean Wilson (Hus)
250 Overall Results
- Jett Lawrence (Hon)
- Jo Shimoda (Kaw)
- Justin Cooper (Yam)
- Hunter Lawrence (Hon)
- RJ Hampshire (Hus)
- Seth Hammaker (Kaw)
- Marvin Musquin (KTM)
- Maximus Vohland (KTM)
- Nathanael Thrasher (Yam)
- Carson Mumford (Suz)
Ken Roczen 94“This weekend, everything was very unique; the weather was obviously super-hot, and I had really bad luck. I went down in the first turn in both motos. The second one took me a while and really knocked the wind out of my sales; I’m kind of banged and bruised up everywhere. I was really far behind the whole field, so I just rode the best I could; I didn’t want to miss the second moto like in the last round last year. I’m kind of glad this one’s over. I’ll regroup, reset and try and charge forward in the off-season.”
Chase Sexton 23“It was a tough day for me. I led the first moto and felt like I rode really well, and even if Eli [Tomac] got the better of me, I left it all out there. I got a bad start in the second moto and made my way up; I had a few falls but never gave up. It was a good building year for me; I made a lot of progress, and it’s definitely the best I’ve ever ridden. We can build off this and go into next year. Not winning definitely stings today, but we’ll use it for motivation, have a good off-season and come back swinging next year.”
Jett Lawrence 18It was a good day. I’m just glad it wasn’t like last year’s last round, as I didn’t hit the ground much. I qualified in P1, and in the first moto I ended up going with the Dunlop paddle tire to get that drive in the deep stuff. I got a really good jump and got the holeshot, which made my life easier. I tried to play around with Jo [Shimoda] a little bit, hoping that Hunter would catch up; I could see him in the background. In the second one I had the paddle again, and it helped me a lot. I was banging bars with Seth Hammaker coming out of the gate, but I still really pulled. I tried to get into second as quick as I could, but Jo just put on the boost and was out of there; he rode good. It’s awesome to get it done back-to-back, and I’m definitely grateful. The team has been awesome this year.”
Hunter Lawrence 96“This is not how we wanted to finish it. Obviously, we had a few unfortunate races along the way that put us in this position, but it’s better than last year. I’m bummed with how it ended, but Jett and Jo rode great. I’ve got to be better.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“We’ve had a lot of bittersweet days this season, and this was the most bittersweet of all. We were so close with Chase, but at the same time, I don’t want to complain with Jett repeating his 250 championship. We’ve won so many more races than we’ve won in seasons the last 15 years, and we’ve brought the team back to where we’re a threat to win every weekend. Our incredible riders had a lot to do with that; every one of our guys won races this year and was in contention for a championship. I want to focus on the positive and bring that into next season. I’m also really excited about the Motocross of Nations. We’ve got Chase on Team USA and the Lawrence's on Team Australia, so we’ll have a big support group there with HRC Europe. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”