Hunter Lawrence - Fighting Hard
Posted on February 22, 2021
Australian rider Hunter Lawrence has everything he needs to finally show his full potential, and after a strong fifth place finish at the opening round of the West Coast series, he might just have enough to not only get through the supercross season but come into the motocross with full momentum.
After watching his brother and 250SX East contender Jett Lawrence race the year’s first seven events, 250SX West competitor the older Lawrence commenced his 2021 season in Orlando. The Australian showed good speed throughout the day, posting the fifth-best qualifying time and placing a solid third in his heat race. After he took a third-place start in the main event, a lap-one red flag caused a restart. Lawrence started 10th the second time but worked his way through the pack to fifth place at the finish.
All riding sessions planned for Friday’s media day were canceled due to poor weather. The 250SX West Regional riders, including Team Honda HRC’s Lawrence, still participated in their Feld-organized media sessions and virtual interviews.
With precipitation forecast for much of the time following last week’s Orlando 1 event, the was covered to minimize saturation, and the planned track transformation wasn’t completed. Round 8 featured the same overall track layout, though lanes and obstacles were modified.
In the 250SX West class, Lawrence posted the fifth-fastest time with a 52.259” in the final qualifier. Phoenix Racing rider Kyle Peters–currently the points leader in the AMA Arenacross series–was 13th. Muc-Off Honda’s Mitchell Harrison was 21st, while FXR Chaparral Honda riders Carson Mumford and Coty Shock were 22nd and 30th, respectively. Lawrence nailed the 250SX heat 2 holeshot and finished third, with Peters fifth. Shock and Mumford were 12th and 16th in heat 1, respectively, but would transfer through the LCQ.
“My Supercross season debut was pretty good; I'm pretty happy with it. We checked off a lot of the goals we had set during the preseason, with the limited time we had coming back from my shoulder recovery. That held me back a little bit to be honest. The strength was a big issue, but cardio and fitness have been great and I’m feeling really good; I need to keep building strength. We just finished the sixth week on the bike, so I can't complain. My starts were good until a restart in the main event. I put in some good, hard laps and was able to charge all the way back up to fifth from a pretty bad start. I'm content with the night. I got a solid one on the board and I’m looking forward to gaining more strength in my shoulder and coming back swinging at Daytona in two weeks. Massive shout-out to the team and all the fans supporting. Completely different person, I strongly believe.
“My nutrition and health side of things, my body’s dialed in now, and injuries are all taken care of and good. I feel great on the bike, the team’s helped out and we have a great motorcycle. I can’t wait to get going and I’m just really excited, because as I said, I just feel like [I have] a new body now and stuff like that, so I think in comparison to Salt Lake, it’s just not even the same.”
“We dug into it a lot, pretty deep on that after last year,” he added. “We just kind of felt like there were a lot of things going on that didn’t really make sense. My trainer Johnny O’Mara was quizzing me and figured out a lot of things with my body. It was kind of cannibalizing itself, eating away at all the muscle and tissue and stuff. Any crashes that would happen would result in any injury, just due to that, so it’s been cool – any training that I’ve been doing, my body’s been rebuilding itself, building muscle and gaining fitness. Previously, it was just kinda beating itself up and wouldn’t recover, so now looking back the way that I was, it’s mind-blowing how I could even make the during outdoors, compared to how I feel now.”