Lawrence wins SuperMotocross World Championship
By John Goolsby
Monday 25th September, 2023 - 1:36pm
Jett Lawrence has won the inaugural Monster Energy SuperMotocross World Championship in Los Angeles.
The 20-year-old Australian clinched the championship and took home the USD 1 million bonus by winning both motos on Saturday night.
Lawrence, the 2023 AMA 450cc champion, won all 22 motos in his rookie campaign.
There was high drama in the Los Angeles Coliseum as Lawrence looked to beat his Honda Racing team-mate Chase Sexton.
Sexton held a two-point lead entering the final round.
Lawrence had a poor start in Moto 1 and settled in to sixth place over the first few laps.
The race was red flagged after Justin Barcia took a fall and was attended to by medical personnel on track.
A staggered restart was required due to the accident and Lawrence restarted in fourth place.
Lawrence began finding his pace and found himself in first place after passing Ken Roczen with less than 13 minutes remaining in the moto.
The Gold Coast native held off a hard-charging Roczen to claim the win and take a seven-point lead over Sexton.
In Moto 2, Sexton got the hole shot and Lawrence settled in to the fifth position.
Lawrence moved into second place just two minutes into the moto.
Lawrence followed Sexton over the next few laps with the knowledge that a second-place finish would give him the title.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, disaster struck for Sexton. The American took a hard fall and was unable to continue.
Lawrence inherited the lead after Sexton’s fall.
Roczen moved to second place and the race became a winner-takes-all affair.
Lawrence was able to maintain a two- to three-second gap over the German over the remaining laps to clinch the title.
“What a year, I mean stepping up to 450 and not expecting what I did,” Lawrence said.
“I knew I was pretty good in the dirt on two wheels but I didn’t know I was that good.”
“The nerves were real high,” he said. “It started when I woke up this morning.”
Lawrence has now won 41 AMA races in 82 starts.
Hunter Lawrence, Jett’s older brother, entered the final round of the playoffs with the point lead in the 250cc class.
Lawrence suffered a fall Friday and struggled in qualifying Saturday. After consulting with physicians, Lawrence elected not to race.
“It’s tough to put into words honestly,” Lawrence said.
“It’s not smart (to race) for the long-term.
“The money is obviously one of the only real factors but we don’t do this for money,” he said.
“You can’t by a new back or a new neck if, God forbid, something happen put there.”