Following the first break in the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross series, round 3 took place this weekend at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, where Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence scored his third straight top-two overall finish in the 250MX class, with a 3-2 moto tally giving him second overall and extending his lead in the title chase. Meanwhile, 8-11 finishes put his teammate and older brother, Hunter Lawrence, eighth overall in the same class. The fierce competition in the 450MX division saw a tiebreaker place Ken Roczen fourth overall with 3-3 finishes, and Chase Sexton was fifth overall via a 4-5 moto tally.
After showing good speed in qualifying first and third, Roczen and Sexton carried that momentum into the first 450MX moto, with great starts putting Sexton in second, with Roczen close behind. The top three initially built a considerable gap on the rest of the pack, only for falls to cost both Honda riders positions. In the end, Roczen finished third, with Sexton just a second back in fourth. Moto 2 saw Roczen quickly make aggressive moves after a poor start, climbing to fourth by lap 4. By the 20-minute mark, the German was third, where he remained at the finish for fourth overall. Sexton ran in the top five for the majority of the race and finished fifth for fifth overall.
Hunter grabbed the first 250MX moto 1 holeshot but went off-track while negotiating a tricky downhill section, dropping him back to 28th. He forced his way through the pack to eventually finish with eighth. Meanwhile, Jett completed lap 1 in sixth place and steadily advanced to finish third. Jett got a much better start in the second moto and advanced to third by lap 2, then took over second two laps later, whee he stayed to the end and earned second overall. Hunter suffered an early crash and finished 11th.
- Round three of the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship marked the series’ Eastern debut and a return to Pennsylvania’s High Point Raceway after missing the venue last year due to the pandemic.
- Though a forecast of rain and thunderstorms threatened the High Point National, the event experienced partly cloudy skies and light rain throughout the day, creating excellent track conditions.
- As had been the case at the first two rounds, tickets were available for the High Point National, and though spectator access was limited to public areas (paddock access and autograph signings remained suspended), the huge fan turnout made for a packed venue and highly energetic race day.
- Jett Lawrence had an evident fan base in attendance after he posted a competition alert via social media earlier in the week. The young Australian promised to sign his moto-two jersey and personally hand it to the fan who displayed the best poster at the race. The winner was 14-year-old Karley Mullinax from Forest City, North Carolina.
- Roczen opted to run Cycra handguards at the High Point National.
- For the first time this season, Jett, Hunter, and Chase all wore matching camouflaged Alpinestars gear.
- Team Honda HRC riders participated in media interviews and video shoots leading up to race day. Ken Roczen had a virtual interview with Pittsburgh Today Live on Thursday morning, while the Lawrence brothers took part in a video shoot for NBC Sports Network’s show “Off The Grid”–a behind the scenes, insider program that primarily follows the IndyCar Series but in the past has also profiled Formula 1, NASCAR, MotoGP and other racing series. This year, an introduction to AMA Pro MX is being included, and Jett and Hunter were the focal point for the 250 Class, which included interviews and a riding component in which the brothers were followed by a drone.
- Hunter Lawrence posted the second-fastest time in 250MX qualifying, with a 2’02.022” in the final session, two ahead of Jett Lawrence’s 2’02.567”. FXR/Chaparral Honda rider Carson Mumford posted the 11th-best time, and TiLube Honda’s Maxwell Sanford finished 31st.
- Roczen was fastest in qualifying for the 450MX class, posting an impressive 1’59.440” in the first session and a 2’01.253’ in the final. Sexton also showed speed and posted the third-fastest lap time at 2’01.426”. FXR/Chaparral Honda’s Coty Schock was 14th-best.
- In the 450MX title chase, Roczen now sits second, a mere three points behind Dylan Ferrandis, while Sexton is tied for fourth with Adam Cianciarulo. Jett Lawrence extended his 250MX advantage over Justin Cooper to 11 points and retains the red plate, while Hunter Lawrence advanced to third.
- The top three overall finishers in each class, including Jett Lawrence, participated in a virtual post-race press conference Saturday evening via Zoom.
- The series will now take its second break of the season before returning in Buchanan, Michigan, with American motocross’ Independence Day tradition on July 3 for the RedBud National.
Ken Roczen 94“Today started off really good. I felt comfortable on the track, but we had a slightly different bike setup so in the first moto it really beat me up. I wasn't that comfortable out there so I really couldn’t do that much. I still rode okay, but it wasn't the best and I ended up third. In the second moto I was pinched off and had a really bad start. We did some adjustments to the bike that helped me out and I charged forward hard in the first half of the race and ended up having a good battle with Dylan [Ferrandis]. I ended up with another third place for fourth overall, which is kind of weird, but in the end, I'm okay with it because we rode really well and charged hard. That’s all we can do.”
Chase Sexton 23“Overall, today was a little bit better of a day, qualifying third. I was running second behind Adam [Cianciarulo] for most of the first moto and then I hit a rock and fell over, so that was a bummer and I ended up fourth. In the second moto I just didn't have much in the tank; I was pretty fatigued after the first one. I struggled a little bit during the week, but we have some time to rest now and get back to work.”
Hunter Lawrence 41“Today was one of those days. Everything started off really good, except for the first-lap crashes in both motos! Starts were great, I was riding well and qualified second. I was up front in the first moto after getting the holeshot. I battled with Jalek [Swoll] in the first lap, but unfortunately, I gained a little too much speed downhill and crashed, putting me way back. My crashes ruined my overall results for the day, ending up eighth, but we’ll regroup and get ready for RedBud.”
Jett Lawrence 18“Today’s first moto wasn’t too bad. I was a little disappointed in myself because I made a little ‘boo-boo’ with my goggles. I thought I only had about two or three tear-offs over my roll-offs, but I ended up having seven. My vision was blurry until I figured it out and pulled some more of them off. I was able to make my way through and got pretty lucky with a few guys crashing out and ended up getting third, which is really good for one of my bad races. In the second moto I got a better start and made my way to second. I had a few goes at the leader, but was kind of in no-man's land. It was too much to try and put an attack on, but I had heaps of room behind me, so I ended up playing it safe and gained one point this weekend, which is always good. I’m trying to make gains, so overall it was a good weekend for me in my eyes, for not having such a great day of riding. Hopefully we can just carry this onto RedBud, get a few wins and keep this train going.”
Erik Kehoe - Team Manager“The track conditions at High Point were fast and surprisingly dry considering the forecast of rain all weekend. Jett had a consistent day while finishing a solid second overall and gaining valuable points. After showing good speed and qualifying second, Hunter made some mistakes that caused him to battle through the pack to earn eighth overall. Ken and Chase both had great speed in qualifying first and third, respectively. Chase wasn’t feeling 100% from being sick last week, but still put in a solid effort for fifth overall. Ken’s starts off the gate weren’t great, but he made some aggressive moves in the first few laps to catch the pack of leaders. His consistent 3-3 moto scores earned him fourth overall, which shows how tough the competition is right now!”