Features 27 May 2024

Debrief: 2024 Pro Motocross Rd1 Fox Raceway

Winners Jett Lawrence and Haiden Deegan recap their days in Pala.

It was a weekend of sweeps as Jett Lawrence (450 class) and Haiden Deegan (250 class) both went 1-1 to walk away as winners from the Fox Raceway National. Both of them spoke with the media after the race about their days in this Debrief feature.


Image: Octopi Media.

Jett, congratulations. 24-0 now, you can kind of actually claim that. It looked in the second moto like it was very active in the rear end of the bike. Did you guys maybe miss the mark a tiny bit setup-wise? You make it look easy when you go 1-1, but if the bike isn’t working the way you maybe wanted it, does it make it a harder day at the office?

Definitely! When the bike is not working the way you want it to be, you have to put a little bit more effort into everywhere else just to kind of hold it down. Whatever it’s doing, you kind of have to adjust to that and use that bit more strength just to hold it. The first moto was the worst I would say. I was at a bit of a limit. I couldn’t push too hard. I could kind of push a little hard at the start when the bumps weren’t so vicious, but once we got halfway through and later, it got a little worse and I tried to use more flow. We got it sorted for the second one, but I ended up going kind of to the front a little bit more, but we were able to push if we were precise enough. It’s good to finally get 24-0 to match Ricky [Carmichael] and James [Stewart]. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and look at some stuff to improve, but also improve myself. In Supercross, I think we’re a little heavier with our legs and we don’t move them as much because we have such stiff suspension, where in outdoors you use your legs a lot more. I think throughout the season, we’ll just get better and better and kind of get my moto legs more and more.

Perfect in motocross still, but also perfect here, you’ve never lost and overall. What is it about this track that is so good for you?

I don’t know, I’m not a big fan of the track. I think it’s a one-way street with the track and the loving side of things. I guess we just gel with starts here pretty well. I guess we gel with the track, but I don’t know. We spent quite a lot of days here in 2019 on a 250, but I’m not sure if that gives anything different to race day. I don’t know, I might just get lucky here. We’re happy about it for sure.

When did you find that jump over the dragon’s back and did you feel that made a difference with your lap times and how you gapped the field in the second moto versus the first moto?

I was pretty pumped when I found it today. That stuff for me either kind of happens accidentally or you can see it working in and trying it. I got it a few times, it was finicky because you had to do it in a rut and as you hit it more and more, it would kind of get a little side kick in it. I got a little loose one lap. You kind of see it and can imagine you can do it and when it works, it’s definitely pretty nice. It just kind of helped keeping that momentum going forward instead of hitting that top one and bouncing again.  


Image: Octopi Media.

Haiden you looked good all day, a 1-1 result!

Yeah, it was a good day. First moto, I got a decent start and just sent it the first lap and made my way into third quick. It was pretty sweet. I ended up winning after Levi got a little thing stuck in his footpeg or whatever, and I ended up making the pass right there when he had to pull over. The second moto I just ripped a nice holeshot. It’s always nice starting out front. We went out and won that moto.

Can you just give us your side of the incident that happened and to the best of your knowledge, what’s the hold up or what’s the problem?

I went off the track, I didn’t accelerate at all, I did what I was supposed to do. But yeah, Mitch [Payton] is trying to get us. I don’t know, Levi, do you think I deserve that win or no? Long story short, it’s going to be war now until the end.

You obviously grew up about 15 minutes down the road from this track and you could see you had a bit of a level of intensity or level of trust in your tires in terms of how well you know this dirt. Do you think that played a factor in today or do you think like the other guys who spend so much time testing on the East Coast that when you go to these East Coast races, you’re going to be even that much better again?

Yeah, honestly, I had the same thing as Levi. After press day, I told the team, “This is not good. This bike is very sketchy.” It was just the track. It was all rocks and dry. Then race day came around and the bike was good. Overall, coming into next weekend, I have a solid bike setup and it’s another west coast track that I’m used to just like this one. It shapes up quite the same, dry and slick. If we can carry the momentum over, last year I got my first win at the second round, so hopefully we can just carry that momentum over.

Is there a particular direction that you could maybe give to the track crew in terms of the preparation? Sometimes you’ll hear the tracks are prepped too similar. Is there a preference you guys would have that would make for great racing?

I think personally, when they throw in some outside bowl turns and you’re going for passes you can just lay in around the outside, that helps quite a bit. When the outsides are all blown out, it just files into that main rut. So whenever they throw some outsides in there to switch up some lines to help make passes during the race, it’s really useful.

You were in the championship battle in Supercross, was there any Supercross hangover? Was it difficult to adjust in the short amount of time to go outdoors and get prepped?

I mean yeah, a little bit. You come from Supercross, and you hop right onto an outdoor track. We all grew up racing outdoors all on outdoor tracks so it’s kind of natural. Getting back on the outdoor track, get the speed back. It’s a little slow off the start after running tight tracks for a while, but after a day or two, you’re back in the flow of an outdoor track.