Team Honda HRC kicked off the second half of the AMA Pro Motocross series at the Pacific Northwest’s scenic Washougal MX Park, where Chase Sexton had an impressive outing to take his first 450MX overall victory of the season, earned via a solid 1-3 moto tally. Meanwhile, 6-10 finishes put his teammate Ken Roczen ninth overall in the same class. Racing action in the 250MX division saw Jett Lawrence take fourth overall with 7-2 finishes, and brother Hunter was seventh overall via 5-10 moto results.
Sexton launched his CRF450R to a career-first 450MX holeshot in moto 1, with Roczen right behind. Sexton stretched his advantage and eventually earned his first moto win of the season with a margin of well over three seconds. Unfortunately, Roczen struggled to maintain momentum and slipped to a sixth-place finish. Moto 2 saw both Red Riders running inside the top five in the early going. Sexton was second for most of the race but lost one position with 10 minutes remaining, putting him on top of the overall podium for the second time in his young 450MX career, while Roczen was 10th for seventh overall.
In the 250MX class, both Lawrence brothers suffered poor moto 2 starts, but they pushed forward to the finish, with Hunter finishing fifth, two spots in front of Jett. Hunter lost rear traction and went down at the halfway point of moto 2 but remounted and climbed back to 10th for seventh overall. As time expired on the 30-minutes-plus-two-lap moto, Jett pushed hard and posted the fastest lap on lap 11, eventually moving up to finish second for fourth overall.
- AMA Pro Motocross’s return to Washougal MX Park (after the venue was skipped last year due to the pandemic) was marked by ample sunshine and warm temperatures, with the mercury reaching 90º F by late afternoon.
- In the days since the previous round, Ken Roczen spent time in Southern California testing and preparing with the Team Honda HRC crew, while Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence and Jett Lawrence prepared for the Washougal National in Florida.
- The event ran at 100% capacity, but the pro pits remained closed to the public with the exception of VIP ticket holders. Pro pit access for the general public will be reviewed as the series progresses.
- This year’s Washougal National–the largest sporting event in Clark County–was the first since the passing of track owner and patriarch Ralph Huffman, a fixture in the Pacific Northwest motocross community. Huffman was honored with the dedication of “Ralph’s Rock” near the announcer’s tower, right in the heart of the spectator area. The tribute features the track logo and a bulldozer, representing two of Huffman’s favorite things. The event trophies also featured Huffman’s likeness.
- The series’ seventh round served as a milestone moment in the sport’s broadcast history, as all four motos were showcased live on one network (MAVTV), for the first time.
- This was the first time at Washougal MX Park for both Lawrence brothers. Hunter was active in AMA Pro Motocross in 2019 but injured his collarbone in a practice crash prior to the Washougal National.
- Jett posted the sixth-fastest time in 250MX qualifying, with a 2’15.235” in the final session, while Hunter was seventh-best at 2’15.464”. FXR/Chaparral Honda rider Carson Mumford posted the 19th-best time.
- Roczen was third-fastest in qualifying for the 450MX class, posting a 2’11.825” in the final session, and Sexton was fourth-fastest at 2’11.949”. FXR/Chaparral Honda’s Coty Schock was 13th-best and privateer Honda rider Jeremy Hand was 19th-best.
- This was the second 450MX overall win of Sexton’s career, the first having come at last year’s Fox Raceway season finale, where he went 3-1 on the day. It was also Team Honda HRC’s second overall win of the season, with Roczen having topped round 2.
- The top three overall finishers from each class, including Sexton, participated in a virtual post-race press conference via Zoom on Saturday evening. Sexton also participated in the post-race media-corral interviews, for which the top 15 finishers from each class are invited.
- Roczen remains second in the 450MX title chase, 47 points behind leader Dylan Ferrandis, while Sexton sits fifth. In the 250MX title chase, Jett sits second, with an 8-point deficit, while Hunter Lawrence remains third, 44 points out of the lead.
- The AMA Pro Motocross series now takes its final break of the year, with two weekends off before the season enters its home stretch on August 14 in New Berlin, New York, for the legendary Unadilla National.
Ken Roczen 94"Our weekend in Washougal was super hard; I've been sick all week. I only rode one day a little bit to keep a good feeling, but I didn't feel good coming into this weekend. I still felt super-weak still in my bones and muscles, and I just didn't have it. I fought my way through as well as I could, but it was just a weekend to forget. I’m looking forward to a couple off weekends now, to get myself back on track. I’m looking forward to trying to recover and then rebuild and get back to when I felt good and fight back."
Chase Sexton 23"Today was an awesome day for me. I got the first holeshot of my Pro Motocross career. Starts were a lot better today, which was key. I led moto 1 start to finish, and it was really a dream race for me because I finally got to ride like I do in practice. It was fun having Kenny ride right behind me, and then I kind of got away a little bit and cruised in. It was really good and I managed the race well. In the second moto I got a fourth-place start. I had a really good battle with Dylan [Ferrandis] and Eli [Tomac], and I put up a good fight and came out with the overall [win]. I couldn't be happier going into this break and finally getting that monkey off my back, and I want more. I'm excited for these last five races."
Hunter Lawrence 41“Washougal was a rough weekend. I struggled being sick all week, so it wasn’t an ideal prep week. We gave it our best shot. We had an unfortunate second moto, but in the first moto was fifth. We’re looking to give my body the rest it needs in this little break."
Jett Lawrence 18“Washougal wasn’t a great day, but it was alright. In the first moto I was just sleeping on the gate and didn’t get a really good start and was outside the top 10 I think. It was a very tight track, so it was a pain to pass. I only got up to seventh, but I didn’t have much pop in my riding. After that, “Dazzy” [Darren Lawrence, Jett’s father] and Johnny [O’Mara] gave me a little kick in the butt, so I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to try and prove you guys wrong.’ In the second moto my jump wasn’t the greatest but I was able to hold on; I ended up being third on the start and was pumped, but then I pulled a young-kid mistake with a pissing contest with J-Mart [Jeremy Martin] going into that turn, but I paid for it and went back a few positions. I was riding a lot better and was able to come through to second, so I only lost two points on the day. We’re going to use this break very wisely, and I can’t wait for Unadilla, which was kind of my pro debut during outdoors in 2019; I like tha track, and I’m excited to go there.”
Erik Kehoe - Team Manager“It was an amazing win for Chase and the team here at Washougal! Chase has been showing great speed all season long, but this weekend he put two great starts together, including a perfect holeshot in moto 1 and leading the entire race! A great battle up front and consistent third-place finish in moto 2 was just what he needed to secure the overall win on the day! This was a great way to head into the break, and we’ll use this confidence to build some momentum for the next five rounds. Ken suffered the effects of being sick the week leading up to this race, and it showed. He raced up front early in both motos but just didn’t have the energy to maintain the pace and earned ninth overall. It took Hunter and Jett some time to learn the Washougal hardpack/low-traction conditions, as it was their first time racing at this track. I think Jett finally became comfortable in moto 2 as he posted the fastest lap on lap 11 while he moved all the way up to finish second. Hunter was right behind Jett when he made a mistake and crashed in moto 2, dropping him back to 10th. Consistent good starts are going to be crucial in this championship, and we need to work on that during the break to be prepared for the last five races.”