Perfect Day for Hunter Lawrence at Denver 250SX West Supercross
- Australian tops qualifying, heat and main event
- Sexton recovers from fall for fourth in 450SX
Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence was flawless at the penultimate round of the 2022 AMA Supercross season in the Mile High City, topping both sessions of 250SX West qualifying and leading start-to-finish in his heat race and the main event. The performance stretched his win streak to three races and keeps his title hopes alive heading into the finale. Lawrence’s teammate Chase Sexton nearly did likewise in the premier class, also topping his qualifying sessions and winning his heat race before a crash out of the main-event lead limited him to fourth place.
The 250SX West main saw Lawrence grab the holeshot and hold off the advances of his title rival Christian Craig until the latter rider went down on lap 6. The remaining 14 laps were relatively drama-free for the Australian, with his eventual winning margin being over four seconds. In the premier-class main event, Sexton started from the same spot as his teammate and exited turn 1 with the lead, then fought off Eli Tomac before the dry, hardpack conditions got the better of him early on. Undaunted, the 22-year-old remounted back in the pack and began a charge that carried him to the top five just after the midway point. He moved into fourth with four laps remaining, and that’s where he would stay to the finish, just over six seconds short of extending his podium streak.
- Much of the Team Honda HRC crew spent the week between the Foxborough and Denver testing in Florida, ahead of the upcoming AMA Pro Motocross series.
- Friday’s track activity was called off due to high winds, prompting Team Honda HRC to elect to not put the awnings on its trucks. Saturday’s weather was much nicer, with 55º Fahrenheit temperatures when the main program kicked off.
- During the broadcast, an NBC Sports feature was aired on Chase Sexton, covering his home life with his family. An extended version of the segment can be viewed here.
- Team Honda HRC was perfect in qualifying, with Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence each topping both of their respective sessions. Sexton was five-hundredths better than his closest 450SX competitor, with SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Justin Brayton sixth-best and his teammate Mitchell Oldenburg 13th. Other notable Red Riders included SGB Unlimited’s Cade Clason in 17th and HRT Racing’s Austin Politelli in 20th. In 250SX West, Lawrence was .153 seconds better than the next rider, with MotoConcepts’ Vince Friese sixth and Concrete Plants’ Maxwell Sanford 18th.
- In the second 250SX West heat race, Lawrence picked up where he had left off in qualifying, taking the holeshot and leading start to finish to win by just under a second. Qualifying straight to the main from the first heat were Friese and Team BWR’s Mcclellan Hile (third and ninth, respectively).
- Similar to Lawrence, Sexton led from the gate drop to the finish line in the second 450SX heat race, holding off pressure from Jason Anderson to win by .371 seconds. Advancing from the same heat was Oldenburg (seventh), whereas Brayton and Jones Powersports’ John Short finished third and sixth, respectively, in heat 1. Politelli finished second in the LCQ.
- Lawrence’s win was his fourth of the year, his third in a row, his fourth in five races and the fifth of his career. In addition, it was the eighth this year by a Lawrence brother (half of the 250SX races run), with Jett having topped four thus far in the East Region.
- Lawrence took part in the post-race press conference Saturday afternoon.
- Honda congratulates Eli Tomac and his entire team on his second 450SX championship.
- One round remains of the 2022 AMA Supercross series, and Team Honda HRC will have Chase Sexton in 450SX, plus Hunter and Jett Lawrence in 250SX (the finale is the year’s second East-West Showdown). Although Hunter’s 18-point West Region deficit to Christian Craig means the West Region title is a longshot, he has the advantages of momentum and the fact that East riders could mix things up.
Ken Roczen 94
Did Not Attend Race - Recovery Break
Chase Sexton 23
“I qualified first again and won my heat race, which was good. I had a really good day going and pulled the holeshot in the main event but just made a dumb mistake – hit the little curb they had by the mechanics’ area and fell over. After that, I feel like I rode pretty good and made some good passes to get all the way back to fourth – not ideal, but it’s something I can build off of because I feel like I rode well after my little incident. I’m looking forward to having a good week and doing the final round in Salt Lake City.”
Jett Lawrence 18
Did Not Attend Race - East Coast Series
Hunter Lawrence 96
“[Christian] was pulling in on me in some spots, and then I’d get out a little bit. It was shaping up to be good, but he ended up going down. I got a bit of a breather, and there was nothing more I could do for my championship hopes at that point; I just had to focus on winning the thing. The crowd was unreal; you could hear them every time something would happen. For Salt Lake, I’ve just got to try and make it five wins for the season, and that’s the best I can do, really.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager
“It was almost a perfect day. It was the first race of the year where we qualified first in every single session with both guys and won both heat races, and we holeshot every single race. Hunter just did what he needed to do, which was beat Christian [Craig], and he rode patient when the track was really slippery and super hardpack. He had Christian all over him and didn’t make a mistake under the pressure until Christian did. He rode awesome to get the win. Chase was enroute to do the same thing until he made a small mistake; he took a different line, and it didn’t work out the way he thought it would. He was able to come from pretty far back to fourth, which was a commendable ride. Overall, it was a good day, and next week we’ll see what happens with Jett and Hunter and Christian in the same race.”