Team Honda HRC finished an incredible 2022 AMA Pro Motocross season on a sweltering day at Southern California’s Fox Raceway, where Jett Lawrence earned the 250 overall win and successfully defended his national championship.
Chase Sexton ended up second overall in the 450 class, falling just short of taking the premier-class crown. With a fourth-place overall finish, Hunter Lawrence took third in the final 250 points for the second year in a row, while crashes held Ken Roczen to ninth overall in the 450 division, although the German was still a commendable fourth on the year. The final round also served as the pro debut for Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas, who was 15th overall in the 250 class.
The first 250 moto saw Jett snare the holeshot and lead every lap, though he slowed in the middle part of the race in an attempt to assist Hunter, who was running third. Contact by Hunter caused Jo Shimoda to go down, and Hunter finished second in the moto. Meanwhile, Hymas had gone down off the start, and he remounted in last place but was able to climb to 20th. Jett completed the first lap of moto 2 in fourth place, and although he was up to second before the midway point, Shimoda was too far ahead for him to catch. Hunter was playing catchup after a poor start, and he climbed to fifth by the finish. Hymas advanced from 14th on lap 1 to 11th at the checkered flag.
Sexton took the holeshot in the first 450 moto and led until being overtaken by Tomac five laps from the end. Although Sexton challenged to retake the lead, he ultimately had to settle for second, while a start crash contributed to Roczen finishing eighth. Moto 2 had Sexton running in third on lap 1, but due to three unfortunate falls, he slipped back to eighth in the early going. He regrouped and charged forward again, turning impressive lap times on his way to a second-place finish. Another start crash contributed to a 13th-place finish for Roczen.
A Chase Sexton replica CRF450RWE was included in a pre-race segment on San Diego TV station KUSI.
Jett Lawrence turned the fastest lap time during 250 qualifying, over half-a-second quicker than the next best rider. Hunter Lawrence was fifth best, and Chance Hymas was 11th. In the 450 class, Chase Sexton posted the third-fastest time, while Ken Roczen was fifth best.
The final race of the season was also the hottest, with temperatures in the three-digit range for the motos. For the safety of the riders, organizers shortened the motos by five minutes each, to 25 minutes plus two laps.
Sexton posted the fastest lap times in both 450 motos. His best time in moto 2 was 1.7 seconds better than that of the next-best rider. Jett Lawrence had the fastest time in the first 250 moto.
Jett’s Fox Raceway 2 overall victory was his ninth in the 12 races, resulting in a final advantage of 45 points over the next-best rider. His career overall-win record in AMA Pro Motocross now stands at 14, and his moto 1 victory raised his moto-win tally to 20.
Jett also extended his undefeated streak at Fox Raceway, with four overall wins at the venue. The Australian earned the overall victories during both visits to Fox Raceway this year, as well as the single visits in 2020 and 2021.
Following the race, Jett Lawrence was presented with the Gary Jones Cup on the podium. The traveling trophy goes to the AMA Pro Motocross 250 champion every year. At Fox Raceway, the presentation was done in person by Jones, who in 1973 delivered Honda its first motocross championship.
The 2022 season was impressive for Honda and Team Honda HRC, in ways beyond winning the AMA Supercross 250 East Region Championship and the AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship. In both series, Honda also won the Manufacturers’ competition (based on points from each brand’s top-finishing rider in both classes at every round). In addition, Team Honda HRC topped the AMA Pro Motocross Team competition, Lars Lindstrom won the Team Manager of the Year award, and Jett Lawrence’s mechanic Christien Ducharme won the Mechanic of the Year award.
The 2022 season was something of a tribute to the now-defunct Factory Connection team. The top two 450 riders and the top three 250 riders all came up through what was a highly respected Honda satellite squad, which closed its doors after the 2020 season.
Everyone at Team Honda HRC congratulates Eli Tomac and the entire Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha on an incredible season, and the 450 championship.
Although the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross series is now complete, most of the Team Honda HRC crew will be on hand for the September 25 Motocross of Nations at Michigan’s RedBud MX. Sexton will ride for Team USA, and the Lawrence brothers will race for Team Australia. The day before the Fox Raceway 2 finale, Sexton participated in a photo shoot with his Team USA colleagues: Tomac and Justin Cooper.
The day after the race, Team USA held a golf tournament to raise funds for the Motocross of Nations effort. Honda sponsored a hole, and Sexton and Lindstrom both participated. Those who would like can still support Team USA by donating at raiseit4usa.com.