・Jett Lawrence battles to fourth, reducing gap to 450SX points lead
・Hunter Lawrence posts seventh-place result in 450SX main
・Jo Shimoda recovers in 250SX West to finish fourth
For the second consecutive weekend, the AMA Supercross series faced inclement weather that left the track in a treacherous condition, this time in San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium. While poor starts affected the performances of all Team Honda HRC riders, they ended with better results than in San Francisco, limiting what could have been considerable damage.
The Team Honda HRC duo of Jett and Hunter Lawrence found themselves buried in the pack off the 450SX main-event start. The muddy surface made passing particularly risky, as the riders were forced to venture outside of the main line, where the muck was deepest. Despite the tricky conditions, the Lawrence brothers worked their ways through the pack over the course of the race. Jett gained valuable championship points with a hard-fought fourth-place result, while Hunter finished three spots back in seventh. Phoenix Racing Honda’s Dylan Ferrandis put in a strong ride to finish in sixth position, once again the highest-finishing non-factory rider. Jett lost a position in the championship standings, slipping to third, but he actually reduced the gap to the leader, to just four points.
In the 250SX main event, Jo Shimoda also struggled off the start, rounding the first turn toward the back of the pack. The Japanese rider put his head down and worked through the pack. In the late stages of the race, Shimoda found himself in an intense three-rider battle for fourth place, which he would eventually secure for the night. SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg notched a commendable seventh-place result.
・Team Honda HRC riders Hunter and Jett Lawrence took part in Friday’s pre-season media day, participating in interviews with the media and getting in some track time. Jett had a scary crash that left him with a sore thumb, but he was okay to race the next day.
・The San Diego round featured a retro theme, and Team Honda HRC’s bikes honored Gary Jones and the 1973 CR250M Elsinore (basis for the bike Jones raced to the 1973 AMA 250 Motocross Championship—Honda’s first). The team’s CRF race bikes featured a mix of white and painted Cycra bodywork, and Throttle Jockey prepared special graphics that mimicked the historic machine’s shiny aluminum fuel tank with an orange stripe.
・All three Team Honda HRC riders wore special retro gear (Alpinestars for the Lawrence brothers, Fox for Jo Shimoda) to match the bikes.
・Other Red Rider retro aesthetics included the Jeremy McGrath Honda-era look of SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda riders Vince Freise, Mitchell Oldenburg and Carson Mumford, and a Rothmans Honda tribute CRF450R piloted by Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson.
・After running the red number-plate background in San Francisco, Jett was back with the purple background and fluorescent-yellow digits in San Diego, denoting his status as reigning SuperMotocross champion.
・Gary Jones’s bike was displayed in the pits, and Mr. Jones himself was a guest of honor with the team. He did interviews with the media and signed autographs for fans.
・Also on display in the Team Honda HRC pits was JCR Honda rider Preston Campbell’s California 300-winning CRF450X desert bike, as well as the Raceco-USA Talon 1000R that Dave Mason Jr. drove to the win at the Crandon round of the CHAMP short-course series.
・San Diego State University Sports MBA student Lauren Dundee was a guest intern with Team Honda HRC for round 3. Dundee assisted team PR manager Danny Gonzalez with the autograph session, PR functions and writing the race brief.
・San Diego dealership Fun Bike Center set up a pop-up activation booth in the Team Honda HRC pits, where they displayed a CRF450RWE and engaged with fans and customers, who were encouraged to enter a raffle for Alpinestars gear.
・Officials canceled the second qualifying sessions due to the rain, leaving just the free practice and a single qualifying session for each class. Jo Shimoda was second-quickest in the 250SX West session, with SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda riders Carson Mumford and Mitchell Oldenburg ninth and 10th. In the 450SX session, Jett and Hunter were sixth- and seventh-best, while Phoenix Honda’s Dylan Ferrandis had the fifth-best time.
・Slotted in the first 250SX West heat race, Shimoda got a pair of poor starts (the second following a red flag), but a good pace on the treacherous track put him in second late in the race. Even a pair of stressful last-lap falls weren’t enough to stop him from finishing third, and when another rider was penalized, Shimoda recorded a second-place result, with SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg one spot back. The second heat saw Oldenburg’s teammate Carson Mumford make it through, and CRF250R-mounted STR Racing rider Lance Kobusch qualified via the LCQ.
・Jett Lawrence was near last off the start of 450SX heat 1, but incredibly, a tight line through turn 1 helped put him in fifth place at the end of the next rhythm section—and then the lead after the whoop section! A fall cost him five positions, and he ultimately recovered for third. SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda’s Vince Friese made it through in ninth. Hunter Lawrence spun sideways in turn 1 off the 450SX heat 2 start and sat dead last, but he worked his way forward to qualify from eighth position. Phoenix Racing Honda’s Dylan Ferrandis notched a fourth-place result, and Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson made it through the last-chance qualifier.
・Shimoda turned the fastest lap time of the 250SX West heat races, and also the best time in the main event.
・Jett Lawrence and Jason Anderson engaged in a heated moment just after the 450SX main event, resulting in fines for both from the AMA. The following day, Jett published an apology on his Instagram account.
・During the broadcast, announcers recognized Monster Energy Honda rider Ricky Brabec’s second Dakar Rally victory, which concluded on Friday.
・This coming Saturday, Team Honda HRC will be back in action for AMA Supercross round 4, which is also the season’s second and final visit to Anaheim, California’s Angel Stadium.
250SX West Standings
|Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
|Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
|Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
|SmartTop MotoConcepts racing Honda
|Toyota Redlands Bar X Suzuki
|Team Honda HRC
|Smartop MotoConcepts Honda