Dual Wins for Team Honda HRC at Thunder Valley National MX
For the second time in the first three weeks of the AMA Pro Motocross season, Team Honda HRC swept the overall wins in both classes, this time at Lakewood, Colorado’s Thunder Valley National and at the hands of Ken Roczen and Jett Lawrence aboard their CRF450R and CRF250R race machines.
Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence also notched podium overall finishes, and with the season now past its one-quarter mark, Red Riders continue to hold down the top two spots in the points standings of both classes.
The 450 class saw Roczen start well and quickly move to the front, where he ran comfortably until being passed by Eli Tomac near the end. Sexton ran the first half of the race in fifth before making a pass and finishing fourth. The second moto saw Roczen once again quickly move into first and run up front until he was tracked down and overtaken by his teammate. Sexton appeared to have a moto win wrapped up when he suffered a tip-over on the final lap, allowing the German back by for the moto and overall wins. Although Sexton quickly remounted in second, the change in positions was enough for his teammate to take the overall win, with Sexton third overall.
In the 250 ranks, both Lawrence brothers were still feeling the effects of illness, but Jett put strong starts to good use. The first moto saw him complete lap one in fourth and, a lap later, advance to second, where he remained for the rest of the moto, while Hunter had to work through the pack to fourth. Hunter enjoyed a long-overdue holeshot in moto 2, and he remained comfortably in front to the finish, while his younger brother rode the race in a mostly lonely second, with a couple of brief tussles with Justin Cooper. Jett’s steady 2-2 finishes netted him the overall win, with Hunter one spot behind.
In a humorous nod to the movie Dumb and Dumber (part of which takes place in Colorado), Hunter and Jett Lawrence wore Alpinestars gear in light blue and orange, respectively, mimicking the tuxedos worn by Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey in the film. In addition, the Lawrence brothers’ helmets featured phrases from the movie: “You sold my dead bird to a blind kid?” (Hunter) and “Put another shrimp on the barbie” (Jett). The brothers even starred in a short social-media video recreation of the movie scene where Daniels’ Harry shows Carrey’s Lloyd the new motorcycle he picked up (in this case, a Honda Trail 125).
Ken Roczen and his mechanic Jordan Troxell also got in on some movie fun at the Thunder Valley National. Roczen ran a Top Gun “Maverick” logo on the rear of his Fox race pants, and his technician even wore a “Rooster” logo on the butt of his mechanic pants. (Troxell, who also won the team’s weekly Award of Excelence, went by that nickname even before the blockbuster sequel.)
For the second time in three races, Chase Sexton was the fastest 450 rider in combined qualifying times, while Ken Roczen was third. Jett and Hunter Lawrence were second- and third-fastest, respectively, in the 250 class.
Thunder Valley always presents a physical challenge thanks to its 6,100 foot elevation, but this year was particularly tough because of the high temperatures, ranging from 95 to 99º Fahrenheit during the motos.
Sexton turned the fastest lap time in 450 moto 2.
Roczen’s 450 overall win was his 21st in AMA Pro Motocross, as well as his fifth at Thunder Valley in seven attempts. His moto 2 victory raised his total at the track to seven, half of the motos he has entered there. Jett Lawrence’s 250 overall win was his third in a row and the eighth in his young career.
Team Honda HRC riders continue to hold down the top two positions in the points standings of both classes. Sexton’s edge over Roczen in the 450 division was reduced from 12 to five, while Jett’s advantage over Hunter in the 250 class grew from 11 to 12. Hunter’s margin over third is 26 points.
Team Honda HRC heads into the second quarter of the AMA Pro Motocross season this weekend, with Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania’s High Point round representing the season’s first race in the Eastern U.S.