News 12 Feb 2024

How Hunter Lawrence’s Glendale top-five made history

Joins brother and Team Honda HRC teammate Jett toward the front.

Image: Octopi Media.

A fifth-place result from Hunter Lawrence in 450SX at Glendale came as a season-best since stepping up with Team Honda HRC for the 2024 season, and in doing so he and teammate Jett Lawrence – who placed third on Saturday night – became the first brothers in history to both finish inside the top five of a premier class main event.

While Jett, 20, won on debut at Anaheim 1 and has gone on to post three more top-fives across the opening six rounds – including another win in Detroit and his podium in Glendale to reclaim the red plates – it has been more of a bumpy start for 24-year-old Hunter on the factory CRF450R.

“P5, a career-best, so that was really cool,” the elder Lawrence told MotoOnline. “I’ve been working really hard during the week, so it’s cool to see it pay off. Awesome, pat on the back, heading in the right direction, and a good pat on the back to myself and the team. Looking forward going into the break, continue to get better, and hopefully come out swinging at Dallas, so should be awesome.

“Just keep training and building confidence on the bike. I’m still learning the bike, it’s a lot of motorcycle to hold onto, so doing that explosive stuff and just trying to get better in those opening laps. A lot of that is just confidence, having the confidence to send it at full speed in a line you haven’t gone or a section through the whoops – stuff like that, you’re maybe not comfortable with.”

Hunter’s premier class career started on the back foot when he failed to qualify at A1, which was shocking for the reigning 250SX East and 250MX champion, but from there he has been showing signs of improvement with 10-7-11-8-5 scores across the next five races. By virtue of that type of consistency, he’s climbed to ninth in the point-standings, and confidence is building as he gains comfort on the bike.

For Jett, who made his way by Hunter for position on lap five in his run to the podium, to see Hunter making inroads was fitting: “It’s an awesome thing to have both of us in the top five. Hunter’s had few kind of rough weekends, so it’s cool to see him ride like how we rides again and get a top five. It was cool to see, he finally got a bit of a break from an unlucky last few weekends.”

As for Team Honda HRC manager Lars Lindstrom, the accomplishment of having both Lawrences – technically rookies in the premier class of Monster Energy Supercross – racing toward the front and finishing with 3-5 results came as a welcome one, effectively pin-pointing starts as being paramount among the talent-packed field that is 450SX 2024.

“Tonight was a great night for the team, which is very difficult to accomplish,” Lindstrom said. “Having all your riders do well is pretty rare, and even though we didn’t win tonight, it was a win for the team as a whole. Having Hunter step up to the level that he and we all know he belongs, and having Jett come through the pack to get a podium and take the points lead back, was fantastic. Starts have never been more important, so we need to focus on that as much as possible for the rest of the series.”

With light beginning to shine through at the end of the tunnel, the next likely target will be a double podium for the Australian-born pair, and eventually, the possibility of Hunter bringing home a Supercross main event victory in the premier class is a very genuine one.