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Career-First Overall Win for Hunter Lawrence at Southwick National

For the first time in his career, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence dominated the 250MX class with an overall victory this weekend. The Australian swept both motos for a breakthrough performance aboard his CRF250R during round 5 of AMA Pro Motocross–Massachusetts’ popular Southwick National. Hunter’s younger brother and teammate Jett Lawrence experienced a more challenging day, finishing sixth overall in the same class, via 9-3 moto scores, though he maintains possession of the red plate that indicates leadership in the title chase. Meanwhile, 450MX teammate Ken Roczen posted second overall via a 4-2 tally, and Chase Sexton was seventh overall with 7-8 finishes.

Hunter enjoyed a decent start in the first moto, completing lap 1 in fifth place, and he secured the lead two-thirds of the way through the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race, going on to win by nearly eight seconds, while Jett overcame a poor start and pair of crashes to salvage a ninth-place finish. In moto 2, the Australian brothers rode strong and found themselves fourth and fifth at the end of lap 2. Hunter took over the lead on lap 10 of 15 and held it to the finish, with Jett finishing two spots back.

In the first 450MX moto, Roczen sat just outside of the top five at the end of lap 1, and he made a couple of passes to finish fourth, while Sexton finished seventh. Moto 2 saw Roczen lead the first half of the race before finishing second in the moto and overall. Unfortunately, Sexton suffered a hard crash in lap 4, forcing the Illinois native to charge through the field for an eighth-place moto result to earn seventh overall.

NOTES

  • The fifth round of the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross season returned to “America’s Sandbox” at The Wick 338, a facility it skipped last year due to the pandemic. Known as one of the most physically demanding events of the season–and the series’ only true sand track–the Southwick National experienced overnight rain that resulted in challenging conditions for the racers and an action-packed afternoon for the large crowd.
  • Hunter Lawrence was third-fastest rider in 250MX qualifying at 2’17.108”, and Jett Lawrence had an eighth-best time of 2’18.894”. FXR/Chaparral Honda rider Carson Mumford posted the 14th-best time.
  • Roczen was second-fastest in qualifying for the 450MX class, posting a 2’13.212” in the final session, with Sexton right behind in third at 2’13.593”. FXR/Chaparral Honda’s Coty Schock was 11th-best.
  • While Hunter Lawrence’s 1-1 sweep this weekend was his career-first AMA Pro Motocross overall victory, he had enjoyed previous success. The Australian topped two motos during the 2019 season–one at High Point and one at Spring Creek.
  • Roczen remains second in the 450MX title chase, with a 19 point deficit, while Sexton sits sixth. Jett Lawrence maintains the 250MX lead by three points, while Hunter gained valuable ground and now sits only 26 points out of the lead, in third.
  • All four Team Honda HRC riders were present for the post-race media-corral interviews. The top finishers in each class also participated in the virtual post-race press conference Saturday evening, via Zoom.
  • Next up, Team Honda HRC will travel to the Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota, where the fifth round will take place this weekend.
Team Honda HRC 2021 Ken Roczen 94

Ken Roczen 94

"Honestly, I struggle with this track every year. It just has such a hard base and a loose top. I'm almost always blown away with how slick it is. Having said that, today was a combination of struggling with the track and I didn't really feel like I had the bike dialed like I wanted to here. It was a tough first moto, being stuck behind riders the whole time, and I managed to get a fourth place. Then I led a lot of laps during the second moto and just managed to get a second place for second overall, which I was totally okay with today. We made the most out of it. I’m glad to leave here healthy and on the podium again after a couple of weekends of not being on the podium. It was a good comeback, and we're satisfied as a team."

Team Honda HRC 2021 Chase Sexton 23

Chase Sexton 23

"Round 5 at Southwick was a pretty rough day for me; I just didn't really feel good on the track all day. I qualified third, which is okay, but I just didn't really ride that great. Going into the first moto I actually felt pretty good, but I made some dumb mistakes and went backwards and then couldn't climb back up, so that was a bummer. In the second moto I went down pretty hard twice and that's pretty much all; I got eighth. I'm trying to figure out what I can do better and trying to get back to where I should be. I'm looking forward to Millville. From here on out the tracks are pretty good, so I'm looking forward to building and getting back to where I belong."

Team Honda HRC 2021 Hunter Lawrence 41

Hunter Lawrence 41

“Today started pretty good; I had an awesome breakfast, ‘G’ [sports therapist Dr. H. Rey Gubernick] gave me a little service before we started, and qualifying was pretty good--I went top-three in both sessions. In the first moto I had an average start, made some good passes and got into the lead, which was really cool. I wasn't trying to get too stoked for that moto win because I knew I had to finish the job in the second moto, and we did. I'm really happy with how the day went. It doesn't get much better than 1-1, so it was a pretty awesome day."

Team Honda HRC 2021 Jett Lawrence 18

Jett Lawrence 18

“Southwick wasn't my best weekend. Today I missed the podium, which isn’t good. I've been on the podium most of the time, so I’m definitely disappointed and I'm bummed with that. We made some good improvements with the bike this weekend, as we're always trying to make the bike and myself better. We ended up going 9-3 which isn’t too bad. In the first moto I had some bad luck and made some stupid mistakes at the same time. Both motos I had terrible starts, which wasn't making my life easy at all. I made a really good charge in the second moto and caught the guy who holeshot, which gives me a bit of confidence. In our sport we have to put things behind us pretty quick and look on to the next race. We have Millville next weekend, so we're going to do some testing during this week and make sure we come out swinging and start getting some more wins again. I have no more points cushioning, but I know the Millville track, so I'm going to just come out swinging and hopefully get a 1-1. My brother Hunter beat me to the 1-1 first, so screw him! [laughs] He didn't give me any warning about this, so now he’s competition! All in all, not my greatest weekend, but it is what it is. Now we'll focus on next weekend."

Team Honda HRC 2021 Eric Kehoe Team Manager

Erik Kehoe - Team Manager

“Heavy rain prior to this weekend at Southwick made for perfect conditions on the sandy track. Hunter looked comfortable and confident from the start of qualifying, and it proved to be his day to shine as he finished with perfect 1-1 moto scores for an amazing victory! Jett had a bad start and a crash in moto 1 but fortunately salvaged a ninth-place finish for valuable points. He rode more consistently in moto 2, earning a podium spot and holding on to the red plate heading to the next round. Ken rode very consistently today; after finishing fourth in moto 1, he nailed the holeshot in moto 2 and led for 8 laps before finishing in second and taking second for the day. Chase started off the day showing good speed as he qualified third. He struggled to find his rhythm in the motos after midpack starts and a crash on lap 4 in moto 2, but he was able to finish seventh overall for the day.”

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