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Jett Lawrence - Unstoppable

Jett Lawrence - Unstoppable

Jun 16

  • Race Report

An evening of scattered thunderstorms gave way to picture-perfect weather conditions and an ever-changing racetrack on Saturday as the Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, kicked off its East Coast swing with the annual Father’s Day weekend tradition from legendary High Point Raceway.

The 47th running of the High Point National Presented by Sustainable Yard Management represented Round 4 of the 2024 season, where the “Country Club of Motocross” welcomed a massive crowd that saw reigning 450 Class Champion Jett Lawrence pilot his Team Honda HRC machine to a 1-1 effort for his third win of the season. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ty Masterpool prevailed with a breakthrough maiden victory that also signified an unprecedented 300th victory for the most successful team in the history of the sport.

The Honda-mounted Lawrence brothers led the field through the first turn to open Moto 1, with point leader Hunter Lawrence inching ahead of Jett to earn the Holeshot and hold onto the early lead. Behind them, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Dylan Ferrandis battled his way into third. The Frenchman held the position for just over a lap until Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper made the pass. A little more than seven minutes into the moto, Hunter Lawrence lost traction coming out of a turn and stopped briefly, which allowed Jett Lawrence to assume the lead. Moments later, Cooper endured a similar hiccup, which allowed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton to move into third.

As the moto wore on, the Lawrences increased their advantage over the field as some miscues by Sexton allowed the lead to grow to nearly 20 seconds entering the final 10 minutes of the moto. The distance between Jett and Hunter hovered around two seconds, with some ebb and flow as the pair navigated lapped riders. With three laps to go the intensity picked up, with less than a second between the siblings. They mirrored lap times and took the white flag with eight tenths separating the teammates. Hunter Lawrence went on the attack and looked for alternate lines to attempt a pass, but it was too little too late.

Jett Lawrence captured his fourth moto win of the season a mere seventh tenths ahead of Hunter, while Sexton followed in a distant third, 36 seconds back. Cooper finished fourth, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger in fifth.

The final moto of the afternoon started with the Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha of Phil Nicoletti leading the field to the Holeshot before he gave way to Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson. Jett Lawrence then slotted into third, with Hunter Lawrence following into fourth. The Lawrences were quick to pass Nicoletti and take over the remaining podium positions. Sexton followed through into fourth and pressured Hunter Lawrence for third. Sexton made quick work of the points leader to slot into the top three five minutes into the moto.

Sexton continued his push and pressured Jett Lawrence for second, which saw the champ close in on Anderson for the lead. A battle for the top spot ensued and as Anderson looked to fend off Lawrence, it allowed Sexton to make the move past both riders and jump from third to first. Lawrence completed the pass on Anderson and quickly worked his way around Sexton to seize control of the lead 10 minutes into the moto. From there, Lawrence and Sexton settled into their respective positions through the heart of the moto.

With a little more than 10 minutes to go Sexton mounted an attack on Lawrence and made an easy pass to move into the lead. Lawrence gave chase and passed Sexton back, only for Sexton to do the same and put his KTM back out front. Sexton kept a patient Lawrence at bay and as the moto dipped into its final five minutes Sexton lost traction with his front tire and tipped over, which handed the lead back to Lawrence. Sexton remounted in second, but found himself under fire from Hunter Lawrence in third.

Sexton dug deep to get Jett Lawrence back within his sights but the Honda rider managed the lead through to the finish to wrap up his second sweep of the motos this season. He crossed the finish line 3.7 seconds ahead of Sexton, with Hunter Lawrence in third.

Jett Lawrence’s second 1-1 effort of the summer resulted in his third overall win in four rounds and the 14th victory of his 450 Class career and provided back-to-back wins to follow up his worst outing in the premier class in which he crashed and suffered minor injuries. Sexton (3-2) earned the tiebreaker over Hunter Lawrence (2-3) for the runner-up spot, while the elder Lawrence, who is the championship leader, remains the only rider to finish on the overall podium at each round thus far.

With his four straight podium results to start the season, Hunter Lawrence remains atop the championship standings. He holds a six-point lead over Sexton, with Jett Lawrence in third, eight points out of the lead.

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC: “Chase had some good lines [in Moto 2]. It was a bummer to see him go down. It was his race for sure. My shoulder was a bit more fatigued today. I struggled a bit, so it’s good to get the overall and head into the break.”

Chase Sexton, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: “I felt a lot better in the second moto. My speed was much better. Just too many dang mistakes. I just need to be better. We'll go back to work over the next two weeks and come back stronger. We were better in Moto 2 than Moto 1, which is good, so we’ve got to keep grinding.”

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC: “It’s pretty gnarly out there. In the second moto I just didn’t have the explosive fire like I had in Moto 1. I think that was pretty clear. It was good to minimize the damage [in points] and not do anything silly.”

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-1 // 50)

Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., KTM (3-2 // 42)

Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (2-3 // 42)

Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (5-5 // 34)

Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (4-6 // 34)

Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki (7-4 // 33)

Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Honda (6-7 // 31)

Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (10-8 // 26)

Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Husqvarna (9-9 // 26)

Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Suzuki (8-10 // 26)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 4 of 11)

Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda - 171

Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., KTM - 165

Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda - 163

Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha - 143

Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM - 134

Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki - 130

Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS - 121

Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Honda - 120

Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Husqvarna - 113

Freddie Noren, Lidkoping, Sweden, Kawasaki - 82

The opening moto of the day got underway with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nick Romano out front for the Holeshot, but he was quickly passed by Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder DiFrancesco and the Kawasaki of Masterpool. However, the rider to watch was Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas, who clawed his way into the lead before the completion of the opening lap. Well behind was point leader and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider Haiden Deegan, who started the moto outside the top 20.

As the moto wore on, Hymas, Masterpool, and Team Honda HRC’s Jo Shimoda settled into the top three and all three remained within striking distance of one another as they navigated tricky track conditions. Just as the moto surpassed its halfway point, Hymas had a slight bobble while attempting to navigate lapped riders. With the Honda’s momentum halted momentarily, both Masterpool and Shimoda were able to get by and drop Hymas to third. Behind them, Deegan was on an impressive comeback and managed to claw his way into the top four.

Deegan’s charge forward brought him within reach of Hymas, which forced the Honda rider to respond. With the moto winding down, the battle for second became a three-rider affair between Shimoda, Hymas, and Deegan. A savvy move allowed Deegan to pass Hymas and move into the top three. Deegan then went on the attack against Shimoda. Deegan took advantage of a lapper to make the pass for second and then had two laps to track down Masterpool.

Deegan closed in and took advantage of his first opening to make the move on Masterpool just before the white flag. The Kawasaki rider battled back and kept the fight tight through the finish, but Deegan completed an impressive come-from-behind effort by 2.6 seconds over Masterpool. Shimoda followed in third, with Hymas fourth and DiFrancesco fifth. Deegan posted his fastest lap of the moto on the final circuit, to put the finishing touch on a statement ride.

The second moto saw the trio of Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha riders at the head of the pack, with Coty Schock earning the Holeshot over teammates Jett Reynolds and Mark Fineis. As they jockeyed for position it was the rookie, Fineis, who emerged with the lead for the first time. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle was also in the mix and made quick moves to jump into second and give pursuit of Fineis. Behind the top two, Masterpool was also pushing forward to slot into third. Deegan, meanwhile, found himself on the ground and started outside the top 20 for the second consecutive moto.

Vialle was patient and waited for his opportunity, which he capitalized on to seize control of the lead just over five minutes into the moto. While leading, Vialle landed off-kilter and went down, which handed the lead back to Fineis and dropped the Frenchman to fourth. Fineis’ lead was short-lived as Masterpool made a quick pass to grab the top spot, while Hymas followed from third.

With a comfortable gap on the field Masterpool went down and gave the lead back to Fineis, but quickly remounted in second. Fineis then crashed out from first a short time later, which allowed Hymas to slip past Masterpool and become the moto’s fifth different leader right as it reached the halfway point. Hymas was able to quickly establish a multi-second lead on Masterpool, who settled into second. Behind the leaders, Vialle ran third but faced pressure from a hard-charging Deegan, who once again marched his way into the top five. Deegan bided his time and eventually took advantage of a bobble by Vialle to move into third.

Back up front, Masterpool mounted a charge for the lead with less than four minutes to go and forced a bobble out of Hymas, which allowed the Kawasaki rider to reclaim the lead. With pressure coming from Deegan, Hymas was able to erase the deficit to Masterpool and make it a three-rider battle to the finish. Deegan got by Hymas and was on Masterpool’s rear fender in the final turns, but the Kawasaki rider held off the threat to secure his first career moto win by a mere three tenths of a second. Hymas finished in third.

With the moto win, Masterpool (2-1) and Deegan (1-2) finished tied atop the overall classification, but Masterpool earned the second-moto tiebreaker to capture the first overall win of his professional career. He became the 175th rider in Pro Motocross history to earn a 250 Class victory, which also signified the milestone 300th win for the decorated Pro Circuit race team led by Mitch Payton. Hymas secured his second straight podium result in third (4-3).

With three wins and a runner-up finish through the first four rounds, Deegan’s lead in the championship standings sits at 32 points over Hymas. Vialle, who finished fifth (8-4), sits third, 38 points behind Deegan.

Ty Masterpool, Pro Circuit Kawasaki: “It’s been a rough three to four years. I’m lucky to have a great team around me and just keep my head down. This is proof hard work pays off. I believed in the team around me and in God’s plan and it all worked out.”

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing: “I’m super proud of Masterpool [for the win]. He’s been through a lot of highs and lows. It was a battle and we took it down to the wire. I made things hard on myself today, but we still showed a lot of speed and extended the points lead, so it was still a good day.”

Chance Hymas, Team Honda HRC: “I felt good on the bike all day. I just got to be better. I’m super glad to be on the podium again and show some consistency. Now I’ve got second all to myself [in the point standings] and I’m ready to come out swinging after the break.”

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas., Kawasaki (2-1 // 47)

Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (1-2 // 47)

Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (4-3 // 38)

Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Honda (3-5 // 37)

Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (8-4 // 32)

Julien Beaumer, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., KTM (6-8 // 30)

Ryder DiFrancesco, Bakersfield, Calif., GASGAS (5-13 // 26)

Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (13-6 // 25)

Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Kawasaki (10-9 // 25)

Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (9-10 // 25)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 4 of 11)

Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha - 191

Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda - 159

Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM - 153

Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Kawasaki - 144

Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki - 136

Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, Kawasaki - 116

Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Triumph - 116

Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS - 109

Julien Beaumer, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., KTM - 103

Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha - 82

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