- Hunter Lawrence wraps up 250 National Championship at Ironman National
- Newly crowned 450 champ Jett Lawrence completes perfect season
- Second overall for Chase Sexton—fourth in points despite missing three rounds
At the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Indiana, another two chapters were added to Team Honda HRC’s incredible 2023 season. Hunter Lawrence wrapped up the Gary Jones Motocross Cup that goes to the AMA Pro Motocross 250 National Champion, while brother and teammate Jett Lawrence—who had clinched the 450 crown two weeks earlier—completed a perfect series in which he won all 22 motos. Meanwhile, Chase Sexton finished second overall after pressuring Jett hard in both 450 motos.
A poor start to 250 moto 1 made things a bit tense for Hunter Lawrence, who was blocked by a pileup after turn 1 and completed lap 1 in 17th place. However, Justin Cooper (his main title rival) was even further back, so Lawrence set about calmly and carefully advancing through the pack. It took him seven laps to move into the top 10, and he took over fifth place on the last lap and stayed there to the finish to clinch the title. With the championship in the bag, Hunter started just outside the top 10 in moto 2 and cruised to a ninth-place finish that was good for fifth overall.
Jett Lawrence nailed a perfect holeshot to start 450 moto 1 aboard his CRF450RWE. Sexton was about six positions back out of turn 1 but moved up to second on lap 2. Jett already had an advantage, which he grew throughout the moto to win with a margin of just under 6 seconds. In moto 2, Jett flinched on the gate but still somehow secured the lead in just a couple of turns. Sexton kept him honest from second throughout the race, but Jett was able to take the win by 1.7 seconds.
- Hunter and Jett Lawrence took part in a pre-race press conference on Friday at Stone Creek Lodge, just down the road from the Ironman facility. Afterward, they and Chase Sexton participated in individual media interviews and then got some time on the track.
- A moto combine was held in conjunction with the Ironman National, with young racers getting the opportunity to receive counsel and instruction from respected individuals in the racing community. Among the participants was CRF250R-mounted Ryder Thompson, a Georgia resident sponsored by Park Ridge Pickups.
- Team Honda HRC rider Chance Hymas, who has missed much of the season while he recovers from ACL surgery, was on hand at the Ironman National to celebrate the squad’s success with his teammates.
- For the Ironman National, a pop-up activation booth was set up in the Team Honda HRC pits by Owen Motor Sports, an Illinois dealership with stores in Charleston and Effingham. Dealership staff showed off Honda powersports models and chatted with fans and customers.
- In 450 qualifying, Jett Lawrence put in an impressive late lap to post the fastest time, with Chase Sexton going second quickest. Hunter Lawrence was sixth-best in 250 qualifying.
- Jett turned the fastest lap time in both 450 motos, with Sexton second quickest both times out.
- The Ironman National is a comparatively new event on the AMA Pro Motocross calendar, and Jett Lawrence joined Chase Sexton as Honda riders who have earned the 450 class overall win.
- All three active Team Honda HRC riders participated in the post-race press conference.
- In addition to winning both the 450 and 250 Championships, Honda earned a number of other laurels in AMA Pro Motocross: Team Honda HRC won the Team of the Year Award, Honda won the Manufacturer of the Year Award, Lars Lindstrom won the Team Manager of the Year Award, and Cameron Camera and Christien Ducharme (mechanics for Hunter and Jett Lawrence, respectively) won the Mechanic of the Year Awards in the 250 and 450 classes.
- Team Honda HRC gets a weekend off before tackling the SuperMotocross Finals (a new, three-round series for 2023). Riders had to qualify through the now-completed AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross series, in which Chase Sexton was the top qualifier in the 450 class and Hunter Lawrence qualified best in the 250 division; both riders will have 3-point leads heading to the first SMX race, in Charlotte. Jett Lawrence qualified third in the 450 class despite racing a 250 indoors.
Jett Lawrence 18“I say this all the time, but we shouldn’t be here. For the way we were living in Australia and how much struggling we did there, there was no pathway to where we are now. To do what we’ve done, make history and be put alongside names such as Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart, it means the world. It was awesome to race Chase all summer, and I feel like we pushed each other to elevate. All summer, I knew I couldn’t back it down or make mistakes. I stayed focused all season long, and it’s unbelievable to leave here with a perfect season.”
Chase Sexton 23“I came here a lot as an amateur, and I’ve always felt that I jell with this track. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the changes they made this year, but I still felt like I was right there all day. I rode pretty solid, and I gave it my all. I’d say the theme to my outdoor season was ‘never quit.’ It was a trying outdoor season, but I gave it my all and put it all out on the track. That’s all we could do every week, and I know I did everything I could.”
Hunter Lawrence 96“Coming around the first turn in moto 1, I knew this was going to be a tough one. Once I saw Justin Cooper on the ground, I knew it would be a whole lot easier. I knew coming in, he was the only guy I had to focus on beating. I knew where he was all moto, and I knew where I had to finish to win the war. It was ours to lose, and I’m pumped we brought it home.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“This year really has been a dream season. I’m not sure it’s going to really set in how special it was until later, but it’s just been a whirlwind of success this year. For me personally, I don’t see how any other season will ever compare, sort of like Jett’s perfect season—it can only be tied, never beaten! We still have some more opportunities to win with the SMX Playoffs here in a few weeks, and then the Motocross of Nations with the brothers, but for me that can only be a bonus for what we’ve done so far this year.”