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Southwick - Full Report

Southwick - Full Report

Jun 30

  • News

After a week off, the Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, returned to action for Round 5 of the 2024 season with an annual visit to Western Massachusetts and the iconic sand track at The Wick 338. The 43rd running of the Crestview Construction Southwick National was greeted with overcast skies, cool temperatures, and a huge crowd of passionate fans, which set the stage for another memorable day of racing.

In the 450 Class, defending champion Jett Lawrence parlayed 1-2 moto scores into his fourth win of the season for Team Honda HRC, while the 250 Class saw Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan prevail with 1-2 finishes of his own and add to his point lead with his fourth win of the summer.

The opening premier class moto began with the familiar sight of Team Honda HRC mounted Lawrence siblings at the head of the pack, with Jett securing the MotoSport.com Holeshot over Hunter. Right behind them was Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton. With a clear track ahead of him, Jett Lawrence was able to sprint out to an early lead of more than 2.5 seconds before the completion of the opening lap.

As the moto wore on, the young Australian continued to add to the advantage over his brother, which eventually approached 10 seconds. Behind them, Sexton asserted his hold of third, which allowed the top three to move upwards of 30 seconds over the rest of the field.

Jett Lawrence managed the margin through the final stages of the moto and wrapped up a wire-to-wire effort to secure his fifth moto win of the season by 6.4 seconds over Hunter Lawrence, with Sexton alone in a distant third. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson followed in fourth, with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper in fifth.

It was more of the same to begin the second and deciding moto as Jett Lawrence once again led Hunter Lawrence through the first turn for the MotoSpot.com Holeshot, while Sexton gave chase from third. Sexton was aggressive on the opening lap and made the pass on Hunter Lawrence for second. Right after that he began to look for a way into the lead around Jett Lawrence. Sexton’s forward momentum then stalled out, which allowed Hunter Lawrence to close in and reclaim second.

Hunter’s push wasn’t finished as he got alongside his brother and made the pass on Jett to grab control of the lead. Jett settled into second, while Sexton and his Red Bull KTM teammate Aaron Plessinger pursued from third and fourth, respectively.

The pace remained calm through the heart of the moto but the intensity picked up in the final 10 minutes when Hunter Lawrence briefly went off track. That allowed Jett Lawrence to close in and apply pressure on his brother. Jett was able to make the pass happen with a handful of minutes to go and easily distanced himself, but all eyes were on Sexton who was the fastest rider on the track. Sexton made quick work of Hunter Lawrence to take over second and then set his sights on the lead.

The KTM rider put on a charge to close in on Jett Lawrence and initiate a fight for the lead with less than two minutes to go. Sexton got alongside Lawrence and briefly nosed ahead, but the Honda rider battled back to hold onto the position. Sexton didn’t relent and his persistence ultimately paid off as he seized control of the moto just before time ran out. From there, Sexton checked out over the final two laps.

Sexton took his third moto win of the season by 8.5 seconds over Jett Lawrence, who needed to fend off a late push from Hunter Lawrence on the final lap.

Jett Lawrence’s consistency proved to be the difference maker in the overall classification as his 1-2 effort was enough to clinch his fourth victory of the season and the 15th of his career, which moved him into a tie with Jeremy McGrath for 10th on the all-time 450 Class wins list. Sexton’s impressive second moto triumph moved him into the runner-up spot(3-1), while Hunter Lawrence maintained his podium streak in third (2-3), which now sits at five races.

The podium finish for Hunter Lawrence allowed him to maintain his lead atop the championship standings, which now sits at just three points over Jett Lawrence and Sexton, who sit tied for second.

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC

“I’ve been having to rely on my legs more [managing a shoulder injury] and wore them out. Chase was just riding too strong in that one [Moto 2]. I tried to give him a fight, but this was just one of those races that was his. We’ll need to go back and do some work and come back better.”

Chase Sexton, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

“I felt super good early, then I lost touch a little bit and had to reset to get my flow back. I didn’t expect to catch them that quickly, but I got my flow back and was able to make it happen. I’m glad we came back strong in that second moto to get the win. I’m really happy about that.”

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC

“I was definitely riding my heart out. I was just going for it. This track is really gnarly and it’s tricky to get the bike set up for it. We gave it our all and that’s all I can ask for. We’ll keep working and come back stronger.”

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish // Points)

Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda (1-2 // 47)

Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., KTM (3-1 // 45)

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

Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (5-6 // 33)

Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Honda (7-5 // 32)

Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (12-4 // 28)

Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (6-11 // 27)

Phil Nicoletti, Cochecton, N.Y., Yamaha (9-9 // 26)

Harri Kullas, Tallinn, Estonia, KTM (10-10 // 24)

Kyle Webster, Inverloch, Vic., Australia (17-7 // 20)

450 Class Championship Standings (Round 5 of 11)

Hunter Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda - 213

Jett Lawrence, Landsborough, Qld., Australia, Honda - 210

Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., KTM - 210

Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha - 176

Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM - 162

Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Honda - 152

Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Kawasaki - 148

Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS - 148

Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Husqvarna - 133

Freddie Noren, Lidkoping, Sweden, Kawasaki - 90

The first moto of the afternoon got underway with the red plate of Deegan’s Yamaha leading the field through the first turn for the MotoSport.com Holeshot over his rivals in Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Levi Kitchen, and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle. The clear track gave Deegan an early advantage that he took full advantage of as the point leader soon established a multi-second advantage over the field.

While Deegan continued to build on his lead Vialle was on the move forward. The Frenchman started the moto in fourth but rode a consistent pace that allowed him to work his way around both Kitchen and Hymas and secure second place. He faced a deficit of just over eight seconds with a little more than 10 minutes left in the moto and was able to ride faster lap times than Deegan, which allowed Vialle to gain ground on the lead. The gap between the top two closed to about five seconds before Deegan responded, emphatically, and pulled away to establish his largest lead of the moto.

Deegan went wire to wire and charged to his sixth moto win of the season by a margin of 15.3 seconds over Vialle. Hymas fended off a late challenge from Kitchen to secure third, while Triumph Racing’s Joey Savatgy rounded out the top five.

The second moto started with each of the top five finishers from Moto 1 at the front of the field exiting the first turn, with Kitchen leading the way. However, a red flag for a downed rider necessitated a restart. When the gate dropped for the second time Kitchen once again put his Kawasaki out front for the MotoSport.com Holeshot, but Deegan went on the attack to take the lead from Kitchen with an aggressive pass. Behind them Vialle slotted into third, with Team Honda HRC’s Jo Shimoda in fourth.

As Deegan started to inch away from the field, Vialle put the pressure on Kitchen and was able to make the pass for second to give chase to Deegan. The Frenchman was able to close in and apply pressure on Deegan, who tucked his front tire and crashed out of the top spot. Vialle was forced to take evasive action but inherited the lead, while Shimoda and Kitchen followed through in second and third, respectively. Deegan remounted in sixth but made a quick pass to move back into the top five.

With the lead in hand, Vialle opened a lead of 4.5 seconds on the field as Deegan continued his recovery effort with a move into the top four and then engaged in a battle with Kitchen for third. Deegan waited for his opportunity and made an easy pass to break into the top three. Vialle was able to stabilize his hold of the lead through the majority of the moto, but Shimoda started to close in the closing minutes and got the gap to within three seconds as Deegan lurked a few additional seconds behind in third. As the pace increased up front Deegan responded and was able to catch Shimoda with two laps to go.

Soon the top three were separated by less than a second and Shimoda found himself alongside Vialle with a pass for the lead. Vialle and Deegan then engaged in a battle for second, still in pursuit of Shimoda out front. As they took the white flag the top three were within 1.5 seconds of one another. As Vialle looked to make a move on Shimoda he slid out and went down, which handed second to Deegan as Vialle remounted in third.

Shimoda closed out his first moto win of the season and his first with Team Honda HRC by a margin of 6.3 seconds over Deegan. Vialle settled for third.

Deegan’s 1-2 finishes put him atop the overall standings for his fourth win of the season and the sixth win of his career, while Vialle’s late falter from first to third in the final moto relegated him to the runner-up spot (2-3). Shimoda’s Moto 2 triumph vaulted him onto the overall podium for the first time this season in third (9-1).

With another win to his credit Deegan added to his lead in the championship standings, which now sits at 42 points over Hymas, who finished fourth (3-5). Vialle is one additional point back in third, 43 behind Deegan.

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“I look past those doubts [about riding in the sand]. I’m a motivated person and I’m willing to just put in the work. I was stalled out in third [in Moto 2], but then I saw those two guys [Shimoda and Vialle] and knew I had to dig deep at the end to try and make it happen. Tom went down and that’s what I needed for the [overall] win.”

Tom Vialle, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

“I had a great moto and was riding really well. I almost hit a lapper and then Jo [Shimoda] caught me. I tried to make a pass back on him, but I crashed and that was it.”

Jo Shimoda, Team Honda HRC

“I crashed in the first moto and had to do a lot of work. I came out ok on the restart [in Moto 2] and just never gave up. Vialle was getting away from me, but I kept pushing. The last three laps were just insane, but I’m really happy to get the moto win.”

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finishes // Points)

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

Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM (2-3 // 42)

Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Honda (9-1 // 38)

Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (3-5 // 37)

Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha (7-4 // 33)

Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Triumph (5-6 // 33)

Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Kawasaki (4-7 // 33)

Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas., Kawasaki (6-8 // 30)

Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (8-12 // 24)

Casey Cochran, Portsmouth, Va., Husqvarna (11-10 // 23)

250 Class Championship Standings (Round 5 of 11)

Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha - 238

Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda - 196

Tom Vialle, Avignon, France, KTM - 195

Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Kawasaki - 177

Jo Shimoda, Suzuka, Japan, Kawasaki - 174

Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, Kawasaki - 146

Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS - 133

Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Triumph - 124

Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Yamaha - 115

Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Triumph - 111

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