Nine months after wrapping up the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship at Northern California’s Hangtown National, Jett Lawrence took another important step in defending that title, notching the overall win at the same track.
This time the venue was hosting round 2 of the series, a week after a perfect performance by the young Australian at the opener, and his performance was impressive given that he was suffering from a bad cold. Also notable was Lawrence’s Team Honda HRC colleague Chase Sexton, who finished second overall in the 450 class.
The first 250 moto saw Jett and his brother Hunter both get so-so starts before working their way up to third and fourth about halfway in. Also suffering from a cold, Hunter actually had a chance of finishing ahead of Jett, were it not for a small tip-over just past the halfway point. In moto 2, Jett moved into first on lap 1 and rode consistently well for the entire race while fending off his competition—including eventual runner-up Hunter during the final two laps. Hunter’s 4-2 tally was enough for third overall.
Sexton rode his CRF450R to the 450 moto 1 holeshot, and the Illinois native led most of the race before he was overtaken by Jason Anderson four laps from the end. Sexton fought back and finished less than .4 seconds back, while teammate Ken Roczen rode to a steady third-place finish. In the final race, Roczen and Sexton quickly moved into first and second, and then Sexton took over at the front on lap 5. This time it was Eli Tomac who eventually displaced Sexton, but again, the Honda rider rebounded and hounded the leader over the final six laps, ultimately finishing just over a second back. Roczen’s 3-4 scores earned him fourth overall.
Chase Sexton 23
“I just couldn’t get away from them today. It was a tough two motos. I led a lot of laps but didn’t get the win. Overall, I feel like my riding has been really good. I know Eli [Tomac] is strong here, especially in second motos, and to be able to latch onto him and give him a fight was good for me. I’ve still got the red plate; I’ve just got to keep being consistent, getting those good starts, and have some fun. It’s been good so far; I’m feeling really comfortable on the bike, the team has done a great job, and I’m looking forward to these next 10 rounds we’ve got. It’s going to be a fun season.”
Ken Roczen 94
“Just a so-so weekend at Hangtown. I wasn’t very comfortable on the track all day. A third and a fourth isn’t the goal, but tough weekends are also good for you as they make you stronger depending on how you look at them. I had way too many close calls, which isn’t my style at all, so at least we left safe and sound—and still second in the championship. We simply weren’t there this weekend, to put up a legit fight. My team and I are going to work on getting more comfortable this week so I’m able to charge forward.”
Jett Lawrence 18
“It’s been a rough one today with this cold I got. It made it very difficult on me that first moto. Like halfway through, I was flat, and in the second one I was just pushing all the way through; I had barely anything in my stomach because I threw up just before the second moto. It was a difficult day, but I’m pumped to get the win. Hopefully we can get rid of this sickness and continue on with the season.”