Jett Lawrence interview - The Champ
Posted on September 12, 2021
We all know that Australia has produced some very good riders, from Jeff Leisk when he ventured to America and Europe back in the 1980’s, to Andrew McFarlane, Chad Reed and Micheal Byrne when they all moved to America and Europe in the early 2000s, to names like Todd Waters, Dean Ferris, Mitch Evans and Jed Beaton, and finally the Lawrence brothers now in USA.
We all know Australia has been a place that raw talent is in abundance, and we know that for years to come, that countries system will produce guys who will head to Europe for the Grand Prix’s or America for the AMA Nationals, but one thing I am not sure about is will Australia have such a talent as this young kid Jett Lawrence.
Last week Lawrence turned 18 years of age and he celebrated his birthday by wrapping up the 2021 AMA 250 Motocross championship. What Lawrence did last night at the Hangtown circuit in California was pick up a title nobody from down under has been able to win, not Leisk, not Reed, or any of the other amazing international talents from Australia.
Now, as he settles into his off-season, and processes all the success of 2021, you just have a feeling we are on the cusp of something really special. Is he the next J. M. Bayle, James Stewart, Chad Reed or Ryan Villopoto? I wouldn’t be surprised if he is.
For now, though, let’s all enjoy this charming and likeable character, who might just take the sport in USA to another level and give all of us motocross fans something to cheer about.
The World media caught up with the new AMA 250 motocross champion in the early hours of Sunday morning and below is the interview.
MXlarge: What didn’t happen today?
Lawrence: I tell you what didn’t happen, I didn’t ride good at all, I sucked. Practices, they were good. First moto start, I was sleeping, riding was riding way too fast for the track, and I was rushing stuff. I was just being stupid really. Thankfully got a bit of a blessing, coming up to 8th and obviously finishing third in the second one. Thankfully I racked it up and got the win.
MXlarge: Can you take us through the feeling and the emotion when you crossed the line?
Lawrence: The feeling when I went across the finish line was, my body was dying. It was cool, but I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. I think tomorrow, once I wake up, I will have processed everything. Still trying to process everything right now. Once it sinks in it will be good, but still dreaming right now. It was cool to wrap it up and get a break.
MXlarge: I wanted to ask about that second moto when you went down with Vohland. When you picked it up, it seemed like you didn’t panic and settled into a pace you were comfortable with. What was your mind set then?
Lawrence: My mind set was when I crashed was, I am really sucking today on dirt bikes. I knew, and I just had to get up as quickly as I could and put on a charge. I made sure I didn’t override the track, because the track was pretty rough. I had to make sure I didn’t over do the track and make any other stupid mistakes. I had to flow, and I made my way up to third. It was a lot better than the first moto.
MXLarge: Moto two on the start you decided to start next to Justin Cooper. Did you do that on purpose for a reason?
Lawrence: Kind of like it was a decent gate, and everyone knows he is a great starter, so if I get another bad jump, I just go in behind him. Starts were off, didn’t really work. You have to think if something happens, have a go to plan.
MXLarge: What was the mood like at the truck between motos and what did you talk about?
Lawrence: After the first moto I was pissed and not happy at all. Going into the second one the mood was go and do my job. I did a lot of work and I felt I deserved what I had done so far. I went out and was right, go out there and do your job.
MXLarge: Is there any lessons you learnt from this season?
Lawrence: Just that the mistakes, the main thing I learnt. Take away those silly mistakes that are not called for and obviously always room to improve and we will study what I sucked at and crap the whip and get me ready for my top shape for next year.
MXlarge: Looking back on the season, what are the standout moments?
Lawrence: I haven’t processed the season yet. I will watch some races and see what I wasn’t good at and what everyone else was good at. I will process that with my trainer Johnny and the rest of the team.
MXlarge: Big money in the championship, what will you spend it on?
Lawrence: I think I have a good group around me, and I might buy a house, or the price in the stock market is really high. We might invest in a car wash or invest in something else that will give money back to me. For now, invest with all the bonuses.
MXlarge: Those Australian roots, I went into your archives from your Instagram from six or seven years ago. I saw pictures of you when you first left Australia. When you left to go to Europe, did you think you would be a champion at the highest level?
Lawrence: I mean, that time we moved, I was like, I didn’t come here for nothing, and I wanted to win a championship and put it in the work and since then I have really been working my ass off to get where I am today. Thankfully it all paid off. It has been a long trail to this, yes.
MXlarge: What about the sacrifices, you must have a lot of mates you don’t see anymore?
Lawrence: Yes, that was tough for a young kid, I had my best mate, and we did everything together and we were like brothers. We did everything together. We can facetime each other now and they visit sometimes, and we planned on going back to Australia for the Aus X-Open and seeing everyone, but that doesn’t look possible now with the pandemic. We wanted to succeed and if that is what it takes, take it away.
MXlarge: You are the first Australian to win the 250-class title and the youngest since Ryan Villopoto in 2006 as well. How surreal is it to tick these boxes so early in your career?
Lawrence: It is cool to have my name with RV, because he is a legend and a sick lad, but it hasn’t sunk in. Once it does, I will be like a little schoolgirl. It is cool to be the first Australian to win a 250 championship over here, that is just awesome and hopefully I can continue this for the rest of my career.
MXLarge: We spent a lot of time around the series here in Australia and see kids who are following what you have done. If there were three things you could tell these kids, what would you tell them?
Lawrence: One would be work hard, that is number one, the main thing. Put in the training. Two would be don’t click quicker than the clock ticks. I learnt that from Stefan Everts, because he would always tell Hunter that, because Hunter always wanted to go fast. It was a really smart thing, because you don’t want to rush your time. Take it step by step and learn and three is listen and learn, because if you don’t listen, you won’t learn.