- Third sweep of the year for the defending champ
- Second overall in 450 class for Chase Sexton
Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence continued his dominance of the 250 class this weekend in AMA Pro Motocross, notching his second 1-1 performance in a row, this time at Millville, Minnesota’s Spring Creek National. The young Australian was the class of the field, although brother and teammate Hunter Lawrence nearly bested him in moto 1 before finishing third overall with 2-5 results. In the 450 ranks, Chase Sexton took second overall with 2-2 scores after mounting impressive attacks on winner Eli Tomac in both motos. Ken Roczen showed notable speed, but falls held him to 14th overall.
Jett took the first 250 holeshot, then was overtaken by Justin Cooper on lap 1. Cooper fell, delaying Jett long enough for Hunter to take over at the front. From there, a brotherly battle ensued for the remainder of the moto, the Lawrences establishing a big margin over third place. Hunter led the majority of the distance, but Jett took advantage of lapped riders to move by his brother two laps from the end and take the win. His advantage was just over half a second, and third place was 35 seconds back! Following a moto 2 red flag, Jett got a third-place start and was to the front by the second lap. While Hunter recovered from a poor start, Jett rode to the win with an advantage of just under 8 seconds on second place. Hunter climbed to fifth by the finish, for third overall.
Sexton started third in the first 450 moto and was up to second after lap 2. The Illinois native made an inspiring push and passed Tomac just before the halfway point. A crash three laps later dropped him to second, which is where he finished. Meanwhile, Roczen ran 13th following a poor start but was up to seventh at the end of lap 1. Unfortunately, a lap-2 crash put him to the back of the pack, and 16th was all he could manage by the finish. Both CRF450R riders started well in moto 2 and were running in the first two positions by the end of lap 1. Sexton relinquished the lead to Tomac on lap 4 but challenged him to the finish, the duo posting impressive lap times the entire way. Roczen rode near the front for much of the race, but a crash with four laps remaining resulted in a 14th-place result.
- Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen posted the best two laps in 450 qualifying, their times less than two-tenths apart but nearly two seconds faster than third place. In the 250 class, Jett and Hunter Lawrence were second- and third best.
- Once again, weather conditions were warm but relatively mild for the Spring Creek National, with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s for the motos.
- Hunter posted the fastest lap time in 250 moto 1, with Jett second quickest, over two seconds better than third. Times were tighter in moto 2, but Jett had the fastest lap. Sexton notched the fastest lap time in the first 450 moto, 1.3 seconds quicker than second-best.
- Jett’s overall win was his sixth in seven tries this season, the 11th of his career, and it marked his third sweep of the year. Jett also grew his moto-win total to 16 (nine out of 14 this season). Meanwhile, Hunter and Sexton notched their 18th and 19th moto podium results (in the 250 and 450 classes, respectively).
- Earning the Team Honda HRC Award of Excellence at Spring Creek was 250 Crew Chief Grant Hutcheson, who has enjoyed a dream season thus far.
- For the first time this season, Team Honda HRC leaves an AMA Pro Motocross round without both red plates in its possession, as Eli Tomac took over the lead in the 450 points chase. Still, Sexton is just five points back, in second, and Jett Lawrence has a comfortable 27-point lead over Hunter in the 250 ranks, with third place another 18 back.
- Next weekend will find the AMA Pro Motocross series hitting the three-quarter mark, with the Washougal National in Washington state.
Ken Roczen 94“Millville was once again a really rough one. I was really good in qualifying practice, but I haven’t done many changes to the bike. I’ve had my struggles, but the biggest problem was me going down in both motos—pretty big ones, too. I got lucky and rolled out of both crashes really well, but the crash in the first moto was a little bit heavier; it took me a long time to get going again because I was basically against traffic. I was dead last, and after that I couldn’t really get going much; I wasn’t feeling too good on the track. It was a really rough weekend with terrible results, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. I’m looking forward to having another go at it next weekend and then we have two off-weekends when I hope we can make a bunch of gains and then do a strong push for the last rounds. First up is Washougal though, and I look forward to the nice scenery and getting back to the races.”
Chase Sexton 23“The first and second moto kind of flip-flopped. The first moto, I felt like I had really good pace; I got to the back of Eli, made a pass and tried to break away. Then I made this really small mistake; I missed a rut by a little bit, washed the front end, and my bike flipped over and tagged me in the back and ripped my jersey. Luckily I’m tall because that was not a good spot to go down, in the middle of that downhill. It was kind of a tricky situation to get out of there, and then I just sort of rode it in. In the second moto I got a good start, but Eli had better lines than I did and got around me. Then it was just who could go faster the rest of the moto. We were dropping lap times, and one of my best was two laps to go. It’s going to be a battle. I’m obviously bummed to lose the red plate, but we’ve still got a lot of racing left. I’ve got to get better—that’s the bottom line.”
Jett Lawrence 18“It was good—another 1-1. The first one I got the holeshot but really had to work for; I had Hunter in front, and I made a couple mistakes, which made me drop two positions. I was able to get him at the end, with some lappers. The second one was a lot easier; I got a good start, and Hunter was a bit back. I got that gap and was able to maintain. I had a lot better flow, so it was a lot smoother.”
Hunter Lawrence 96“Moto 1 was tough. I was leading for the majority of the race, and then just an unfortunate deal when the lappers let Jett get through. Then he was trying to win, and I was giving it everything to try and get close enough to have that window of opportunity, to make a pass. Those ones are interesting—just like Eli and Chase in the 450s, sending it the last three laps; we pretty much emptied the tank. The second moto was looking pretty good before the restart, I must say. We were in first, ticking the boxes toward an overall, and unfortunately the accident happened. I used up all my good starts and sucked on the third one. [laughs] It was a rough one, coming through the pack, expending a lot of energy trying to bridge up. I was just hanging on until the end of the moto.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“When you have four really awesome riders, it makes it difficult to know how to feel when you have two guys that absolutely crush it and two guys who have a little bit of an off day. Hunter’s first moto was amazing—one of the best battles of the year, just like at High Point. His second moto didn’t go to plan, especially after that restart, when he didn’t get a good start. And with Kenny not feeling like himself, it made it difficult. But Chase showed today that he’s going to make it interesting for the entire series; for him to catch and pass Eli is a statement. Obviously, he had his little tip-over, but I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series has to offer for him. Jett, going 1-1, is just on another level. We say that all the time, but it’s true, and that first moto with the two brothers was so much fun to watch.”