Jett Lawrence - Generational Star
Posted on November 18, 2021
Of course, it is old news that HRC rider Jett Lawrence won the 2021 AMA 250 motocross championship, but with a talent like Lawrence, you just want to relive his high points as much as possible. Without doubt the future of American motocross, this young Aussie inspired a long list of young Aussie riders to make their dreams come true, just like Chad Reed did when he won the AMA supercross championship nearly two decades ago, when Jett was just two years old.
As we get closer and closer to the 2022 season and wonder what Lawrence has in store for us in the AMA 250 supercross championship, lets look back in his stellar 2021 season.
On Winning the championship
Oh, my goodness, it’s a good day in the end. I think that’s the worst I’ve ridden in a while, but I still got the title. It feels so great, as we’ve been working quite a while to get this. I’ve got to thank the whole crew for getting me here—my brother, my whole family, my manager and all of Honda and HRC. It’s awesome and we’re going to enjoy it for a little while, but then it will be back to the drawing board for next season to hopefully back it up. I didn't ride good at all today. The practices were good, but I was 'sleeping' on the first moto start and then was rushing stuff, but I got a bit of a blessing to come up to eighth. Going into the second one, the mental frame was just to go out there and do my job. I got up from the crash as quick as I could and tried to put on a charge and not override the track, because it was pretty rough. I kind of got a flow and just relaxed and made my way through up to third, which was a lot better than the first moto. It's cool to wrap it up, but I don't think it's actually sunk in yet, realistically; I'm still trying to process it. I didn't come over here for nothing; my one goal was to win a championship and since then I've really been working my butt off to get to where I am today. Thankfully it's all paid off, and I can take a break and get ready for next season.
So, Pala was another really good weekend. We ended up taking another 1-1, so that's good. It was definitely really hot today, but luckily, I had two really good starts, including finally getting my first holeshot. From there, I was able to flow and get myself into a comfortable gap from second and then I just cruised and rode my own race. It was a very good day -- got some more points and feeling really good for Hangtown.
So today was a very good day. I ended up going 1-1 in the first qualifying and then obviously 1-1 in the race, so yeah, pretty good day. I was just having a lot of fun and was having such a good flow on the track and having a great time. I felt like it really showed in those motos. I went out and gave it my best and was finally able to get my first 1-1 in a pro motocross race, so that was awesome. Hopefully we can carry on doing the same thing in these next two rounds. I'm going to go with the same mentality I came into today with and try and execute the same races as I did today.
Budds Creek Consistency
Budds Creek wasn’t too bad for us; it was an up and down race day, really. We ended with a good finish, and we gained a point, but I’m a little bummed about the second moto. I got a really good start and was second, but I just had nothing to give after that. Basically, I went to go play poker and I had no money to put down [laughs]. That’s tough, but again, we gained a point. We're still in this championship and just have to keep fighting to get some good motos in over these next three rounds. We’ll keep on pushing and hopefully we can wrap this up. We'll keep on fighting and give it all we got.
Unadilla and 2-1
I got P8 in both qualifiers, but I felt pretty good; I was a little confused but not too worried about it because I really like this track. In the first moto I got a good start and was P3, then quickly moved into second. I had a few goes at first but couldn't get close enough to make a full pass. I tried looking at some new lines to see if I could make a pass and ended up losing some ground on the leader. I was trying to bring back that time again, but it was so hard because we're all so close on speed. I ended up getting second in that one, which I'm not too mad about; it's a good improvement from the weekends before. In the second moto I had another good start and felt really, really strong and was having a lot of fun chasing the boys. I ended up getting [Justin] Cooper, then I made a mistake and he got me back. I was able to get him back a couple laps later and made a charge on J-Mart [Jeremy Martin] in first. I ended up getting him in the same spot and just kept pushing because I felt so good. I ended up getting the win and getting back in this championship chase again, which is really nice.
Washougal wasn’t a great day, but it was alright. In the first moto I was just sleeping on the gate and didn’t get a really good start and was outside the top 10, I think. It was a very tight track, so it was a pain to pass. I only got up to seventh, but I didn’t have much pop in my riding. After that, “Dazzy” [Darren Lawrence, Jett’s father] and Johnny [O’Mara] gave me a little kick in the butt, so I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to try and prove you guys wrong.’ In the second moto my jump wasn’t the greatest, but I was able to hold on; I ended up being third on the start and was pumped, but then I pulled a young-kid mistake with a pissing contest with J-Mart [Jeremy Martin] going into that turn, but I paid for it and went back a few positions. I was riding a lot better and was able to come through to second, so I only lost two points on the day. We’re going to use this break very wisely, and I can’t wait for Unadilla, which was kind of my pro debut during outdoors in 2019; I like that track, and I’m excited to go there.
Manhandled at Millville
Millville was not the best round. I came in feeling really, really good--really excited for this round. First qualifying went well; I was second and battling for first. Going into the first moto, I felt confident but messed up my start really bad; I was focused on really wanting to get a good start and just focused too much on that one thing and then ended up messing it up, so I screwed myself there. I came all the way back to fourth and was really hoping I’d get a better start in the second one, and I did. I felt like I got everything good on my behalf, but not the greatest gate pick, but it is what it is. I was making my way through and then got into some carnage, and I ended up running into [Pierce] Brown. I didn't see him until the last minute and was like ‘Oh gosh,’ so I hit him. I feel bad for full-on hitting him, so hopefully he's not too hurt or can at least race next weekend. That set me back to 12th, but I made my way through. I kept on charging and made my way through to sixth. It wasn’t the best weekend, but we're going to go into Washougal with an open mind. We’re going to go back to some other settings that were better and really come out swinging and hopefully start getting on top of the box again to make sure the points leader doesn’t get too comfortable with the red plate.
9-3 In the Sand
Southwick wasn't my best weekend. Today I missed the podium, which isn’t good. I've been on the podium most of the time, so I’m definitely disappointed and I'm bummed with that. We made some good improvements with the bike this weekend, as we're always trying to make the bike and myself better. We ended up going 9-3 which isn’t too bad. In the first moto I had some bad luck and made some stupid mistakes at the same time. Both motos I had terrible starts, which wasn't making my life easy at all. I made a really good charge in the second moto and caught the guy who holeshot, which gives me a bit of confidence. In our sport we have to put things behind us pretty quick and look on to the next race. We have Millville next weekend, so we're going to do some testing during this week and make sure we come out swinging and start getting some more wins again. I have no more points cushioning, but I know the Millville track, so I'm going to just come out swinging and hopefully get a 1-1. My brother Hunter beat me to the 1-1 first, so screw him! [laughs] He didn't give me any warning about this, so now he’s competition! All in all, not my greatest weekend, but it is what it is. Now we'll focus on next weekend.
1-6 at Redbud
The bike setting in the first moto wasn't good. I had RJ [Hampshire] charging, and if he got me, I didn't really have any ammo to fight back. Between motos, my team did a great job making some adjustments that made the bike work better for me, but I just didn't give myself a very good chance for winning or even getting myself into a good position. I came from 37th to sixth, so I think that's pretty good. I definitely made a lot of passes, maybe the most passes of the day. I think if you look at the result it sucks because I lost three points, but you have to look at the positives; it was a strong ride, and I felt like there's not many other people in this class that could do that.
High Point at High Point
Today’s first moto wasn’t too bad. I was a little disappointed in myself because I made a little ‘boo-boo’ with my goggles. I thought I only had about two or three tear-offs over my roll-offs, but I ended up having seven. My vision was blurry until I figured it out and pulled some more of them off. I was able to make my way through and got pretty lucky with a few guys crashing out and ended up getting third, which is really good for one of my bad races. In the second moto I got a better start and made my way to second. I had a few goes at the leader but was kind of in no-man's land. It was too much to try and put an attack on, but I had heaps of room behind me, so I ended up playing it safe and gained one point this weekend, which is always good. I’m trying to make gains, so overall it was a good weekend for me in my eyes, for not having such a great day of riding. Hopefully we can just carry this onto RedBud, get a few wins and keep this train going.
Thunder Struck at Thunder Valley
Colorado was a bit of an up-and-down day. In qualifying, [Justin] Cooper crushed us, going 2'05”. Then in the first moto, I got a really good first start with second behind J-Mart [Jeremy Martin]. We ended up having a red flag and the next start wasn't so good. I was in fourth, and the boys were just way faster than me in the first moto. I just had to make sure to put my head down in the second moto and give it to them. I got a really good start. Justin was in front of me, and we had a really good battle in the first few laps, going back and forth; I had a lot of fun with that. I knew if I could get him and kind of crack him a little bit, he would feel like he was going to make a mistake, but he made it hard for me and it was fun. I had a lot of fun in that race, and it was good racing with Justin. Hopefully we can just keep this going in the next few rounds and maybe click off some more overall wins.
Season Opener Win
My start in the first moto didn’t give me good hopes of a podium, but I ended up carving my way through into third; then [Max] Vohland had some bad luck with a bike malfunction, so I ended up going into second. I could see Jeremy [Martin] up there so I kind of put in a little bit of a charge, but I didn’t want to overdo it and make a silly mistake like I used to. In the second moto I think I was eighth or something on the start. I made my way into third, and it took me a while to figure out what the two Star boys were doing out front; they were really on it. J-Mart made a mistake, and I was able to get close enough to watch what he was doing and got a pass done a few laps after that. I set my eyes on [Justin] Cooper and caught him fairly quickly; I think he might have made a mistake, but I got the pass done, which was really good. It was really square-edged and technical today, so it kind of helped me a little bit, but I felt really good; I felt like if it was at any other track, it would’ve been the same. I felt really strong because I’ve been putting the work in. I’m glad to see that’s paying off, and I can’t wait for next weekend, to maybe do something similar.