One week after a strong showing at the AMA Pro Motocross opener, Team Honda HRC had an even better weekend at Lakewood, Colorado’s Thunder Valley National, with Ken Roczen turning in a flawless 1-1 moto tally to notch the 450 overall win.
One week after a strong showing at the AMA Pro Motocross opener, Team Honda HRC had an even better weekend at Lakewood, Colorado’s Thunder Valley National, with Ken Roczen turning in a flawless 1-1 moto tally to notch the 450 overall win. The German was capably backed up by his teammates, with brothers Jett and Hunter Lawrence finishing second and third, respectively, in the 250 class, while Chase Sexton overcame a poor 450 moto 2 start to notch sixth overall. Between them, Roczen and Jett Lawrence won three of the day’s four motos, and each assumed sole possession of the lead in his class’s title chase.
Having set the fastest 450 lap time in qualifying, Roczen exited turn 1 fourth in moto 1, then quickly advanced to third, made another pass for second, and took control of the lead–all on the opening lap. Although the German lost ground in the middle portion of the race–Adam Cianciarulo got by on lap 6 of 16, and Dylan Ferrandis did likewise four laps later–Roczen rallied to retake the lead three laps from the end, then carried it home for an impressive moto win. In the second moto, Roczen was untouchable from the start aboard his CRF450R, quickly taking the top spot from Cooper Webb and never looking back, earning his third straight moto win, this time with a 8.9 second margin. Teammate Chase Sexton completed the first 450 moto in fourth place but suffered a subpar moto 2 start, finishing the opening lap in 13th place. Undaunted, he charged forward to a fifth-place finish for sixth overall.
In 250 racing, Jett Lawrence and title rival Jeremy Martin were at the front of the pack following the first gate drop, but unfortunately the race was red flagged for a downed rider. On the restart, Jett and Hunter Lawrence battled for third before ultimately finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. The start of the second 250 moto saw Jett and Justin Cooper battling for the lead, with Hunter not far behind in third. With 20 minutes remaining, Jett made a strong pass on Cooper for the lead. The young Australian pulled away, eventually taking his second moto win of the season by over 15 seconds, for second overall. Although Hunter had a minor crash in the second moto, he didn’t lose much time and continued on for third in the moto and overall, marking the third AMA Pro Motocross podium result of his career.
Sitting at an elevation over 6,000 feet above sea level, Colorado’s Thunder Valley Motocross Park provided dry conditions for this year’s National, with temperatures hitting 80º Fahrenheit when practice started and peaking at approximately 90º in the afternoon.
The track layout was similar to that of years past, with its uphill start into a right-hand turn, and plenty of ups and downs. There were minor modifications toward the end of the track, including additional hills and turns.
Hunter Lawrence posted the third-fastest time in 250MX morning qualifying, his 2’07.565” in the final session good for fourth overall, two ahead of Jett Lawrence’s 2’07.978”. FXR/Chaparral Honda rider Carson Mumford posted the 21st-best time, and TiLube Honda’s Maxwell Sanford finished 31st.
Roczen dominated qualifying in the 450MX class, posting a notable 2’05.667” in the final session. Sexton was eighth-fastest at 2’08.923”, and FXR/Chaparral Honda’s Coty Schock was 18th-best.
With Roczen having sat out last year’s AMA Pro Motocross series, this was his first outdoors overall victory since the August 10, 2019, Unadilla round, where he also won both 450 motos. It was the 21st overall AMA Pro Motocross win of his career (19 in 450, 2 in 250).
In the 450 points chase, Roczen carries the lead by a single point ahead of Dylan Ferrandis, while Sexton sits fifth. Jett Lawrence has the 250 points lead, with a 10-point advantage on Justin Cooper, while Hunter Lawrence now sits fourth.
The Lawrence brothers are the second siblings to ever share a Pro Motocross podium, joining Alex and Jeremy Martin, who first accomplished this at the 2016 Glen Helen National.
The top three overall finishers from each class, including Ken Roczen and Jett and Hunter Lawrence, participated in a post-race press conference via Zoom on Saturday evening.
With two rounds in the books, the AMA Pro Motocross series now takes a weekend off before resuming in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, for the High Point National, where Roczen and Jett Lawrence will wear the red plates on their race bikes.