News 13 Jan 2021

Forkner, Lawrence downplay rivalry prior to 250SX East battle

Tensions could rise again following multiple Salt Lake City clashes.

Image: Octopi Media.

A simmering rivalry between Austin Forkner and Jett Lawrence has been downplayed by the pair entering Houston 1, where both will contend for the 250SX East title in 2021 Monster Energy Supercross.

Forkner and Hunter Lawrence got together in qualifying at Salt Lake City 4 last season, which led to Jett Lawrence and Forkner clashing later in that same session and tension rising between the trio afterwards.

One round later at SLC5, things escalated further between Forkner and Jett Lawrence when Forkner took him down in the first turn of the heat race, with Lawrence then retaliating later in that same heat. Forkner went on to win the main event, while Lawrence earned his first-career Supercross podium in third position.

While Hunter Lawrence will be in the western region for 250SX this year, the battle between Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Forkner and new Team Honda HRC signing Jett Lawrence in the east will be one of the most tantalizing storylines entering the new year. It’s expected that both will challenge for the crown.

“I’ve been seeing everybody’s trying to build it up,” Forkner explained. “Everybody likes a rivalry, so that’s kinda just what I chalked it up to. I mean, we got together in one of the last Salt Lake City races – I don’t know if that set us up for a huge rivalry, it was just something that happened. But, yeah, I guess everybody wants a rivalry and they picked us two.

“I didn’t really know who was going to be on each coast, I was just trying to prepare as much as I could myself and we had work to do with the new bike, so I didn’t worry about anybody else and had enough to worry about. We did that with the new bike and it’s great.”

Lawrence, 17, was more direct in his view of a potential flare-up between he and 22-year-old Forkner this season, but also stated that what happened in Salt Lake City was left in Utah. For the 2021 season, both are looking to start with a clean-slate for a chance at the championship.

“Everybody tries to build some things up to make some drama, make it more exciting… like every TV show, they want drama,” Lawrence responded. “But yeah, it was a one-time thing. Who knows, if either of us try to do a stupid move we will obviously give the favor back.

“If I do something wrong to him, he will give it back, that’s how racing goes. We did settle it there and, like I said, if something comes up again one of us is going to hit back harder and harder, then we’ll just have to wait and see.”