During today’s AMA Supercross round at Nissan Stadium, Team Honda HRC rider Hunter Lawrence clinched the 250SX East Region Championship with yet another main-event victory.
His teammate, Chase Sexton, won the 450SX main event on the same day. Of the nine East Region events held so far this season, Lawrence has ridden his CRF250R to the win in seven, and he finished third at the other two. The series finale is still to be run, but Lawrence’s 56-point lead in the title chase is too large for any rider to overcome.
This is Lawrence’s third season with Team Honda HRC. A native of Landsborough, in Queensland, Australia, he campaigned the 2016 European Motocross Championship as a 16-year-old, then moved up to the MX2 class the following season, earning attention when he finished second overall at the U.S. round in Florida. He switched to the 114 Motorsports Honda satellite squad for 2018 and finished third in the final standings despite missing several races. He topped the MX2 class at the Motocross of Nations that same year, before relocating to the U.S. with his family, so that he and his brother Jett could ride for the Factory Connection Honda satellite team. Although his bids for an AMA title were initially thwarted by injuries, his speed was obvious, and he and Jett were promoted to the factory squad for the 2021 season. Since then, Hunter has been consistently fast, finishing in the top three in every AMA championship he has campaigned with the squad. This much-deserved 2023 crown is his first in AMA racing.
“I just want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” Hunter Lawrence said on the podium after the race. “Everyone that is with me now was with me when I was at my lowest of lows, so this is incredible. I can’t say I dreamed of this as a kid, because I didn’t know this was possible. I’m choked up; this is just surreal. This weekend has been incredible—the perfect day. I just want to celebrate this with everyone I love and care about—the whole team. This means the world.”
This marks the 13th time that Honda has won the AMA Supercross East Region support-class title, with Lawrence joining past Red Riders including Brian Swink, Doug Henry, Davi Millsaps, Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, Wil Hahn, Malcolm Stewart, Justin Bogle, Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence. (Jett currently races a Team Honda HRC CRF250R in the AMA 250SX West Region and has a chance to clinch that title next week in Denver.)
“On behalf of everyone at American Honda and HRC, I’d like to extend a huge congratulations and thank you to Hunter,” said Brandon Wilson, Manager of Sports and Experiential at American Honda. “Of course it’s always an incredible feeling for a manufacturer and team to win a championship, but this one is particularly sweet, simply because Hunter has had to overcome so much to earn it. His family has made incredible sacrifices, moving first to Europe and then to the United States. As the older brother, Hunter has often had to blaze the trail, but he has consistently maintained a positive attitude, even when dealing with injuries and other setbacks. We’re all extremely proud of him, and we look forward to much continued success.”
Lawrence’s 2023 250SX East Championship comes in a season during which Honda marks the 50th anniversary of its first production motocross bike, the CR250M Elsinore, which Gary Jones rode to Honda’s first AMA Motocross Championship in 1973.