Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence continued his dominance of the 250 class this weekend in AMA Pro Motocross, notching his second 1-1 performance in a row, this time at Millville, Minnesota’s Spring Creek National.
The young Australian was the class of the field, although brother and teammate Hunter Lawrence nearly bested him in moto 1 before finishing third overall with 2-5 results. In the 450 ranks, Chase Sexton took second overall with 2-2 scores after mounting impressive attacks on winner Eli Tomac in both motos. Ken Roczen showed notable speed, but falls held him to 14th overall.
Jett took the first 250 holeshot, then was overtaken by Justin Cooper on lap 1. Cooper fell, delaying Jett long enough for Hunter to take over at the front. From there, a brotherly battle ensued for the remainder of the moto, the Lawrences establishing a big margin over third place. Hunter led the majority of the distance, but Jett took advantage of lapped riders to move by his brother two laps from the end and take the win. His advantage was just over half a second, and third place was 35 seconds back! Following a moto 2 red flag, Jett got a third-place start and was to the front by the second lap. While Hunter recovered from a poor start, Jett rode to the win with an advantage of just under 8 seconds on second place. Hunter climbed to fifth by the finish, for third overall.
Sexton started third in the first 450 moto and was up to second after lap 2. The Illinois native made an inspiring push and passed Tomac just before the halfway point. A crash three laps later dropped him to second, which is where he finished. Meanwhile, Roczen ran 13th following a poor start but was up to seventh at the end of lap 1. Unfortunately, a lap-2 crash put him to the back of the pack, and 16th was all he could manage by the finish. Both CRF450R riders started well in moto 2 and were running in the first two positions by the end of lap 1. Sexton relinquished the lead to Tomac on lap 4 but challenged him to the finish, the duo posting impressive lap times the entire way. Roczen rode near the front for much of the race, but a crash with four laps remaining resulted in a 14th-place result.
Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen posted the best two laps in 450 qualifying, their times less than two-tenths apart but nearly two seconds faster than third place. In the 250 class, Jett and Hunter Lawrence were second- and third best.
Once again, weather conditions were warm but relatively mild for the Spring Creek National, with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s for the motos.
Hunter posted the fastest lap time in 250 moto 1, with Jett second quickest, over two seconds better than third. Times were tighter in moto 2, but Jett had the fastest lap. Sexton notched the fastest lap time in the first 450 moto, 1.3 seconds quicker than second-best.
Jett’s overall win was his sixth in seven tries this season, the 11th of his career, and it marked his third sweep of the year. Jett also grew his moto-win total to 16 (nine out of 14 this season). Meanwhile, Hunter and Sexton notched their 18th and 19th moto podium results (in the 250 and 450 classes, respectively).
Earning the Team Honda HRC Award of Excellence at Spring Creek was 250 Crew Chief Grant Hutcheson, who has enjoyed a dream season thus far.
For the first time this season, Team Honda HRC leaves an AMA Pro Motocross round without both red plates in its possession, as Eli Tomac took over the lead in the 450 points chase. Still, Sexton is just five points back, in second, and Jett Lawrence has a comfortable 27-point lead over Hunter in the 250 ranks, with third place another 18 back.
Next weekend will find the AMA Pro Motocross series hitting the three-quarter mark, with the Washougal National in Washington state.