Features 27 Jun 2024

Rated: Pro Motocross form so far

Taking a closer look at the moto winners of the 2024 season to date.

Through the first four rounds of the 2024 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, seven different riders have claimed moto wins across the 250MX and 450MX classes. In this edition of Rated, MotoOnline dissects how each of the riders who have seen the checkered flag have performed throughout the eight motos of racing thus far.

Image: Octopi Media.

Rider: Hunter Lawrence
Rating: A
Rundown: With just one moto win to his credit so far, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence is the 450MX points leader after four rounds of racing. He got there by being extremely consistent so far in his debut season on a 450 as he had only finished off the podium in one of the eight motos ran when he ended up P4 in the second moto at Hangtown. He followed that up by winning the first moto the following week at Thunder Valley, the first of his career. Amazingly, Lawrence has yet to claim an overall victory yet as his brother Jett Lawrence has claimed three of them and Red Bull KTM’s Chase Sexton put a 1-1 day together at Hangtown for the other overall win. But as the other two have had their share of mistakes, Hunter Lawrence has remained solid and leads the championship by six points. To win the title, he will need to start winning more motos and overalls, but his strategy has worked to perfection so far of hanging with the lead group in every moto. He’s finished P2 in half the motos and seems poised to improve as we get back to racing. Overall, it’s hard to say what Hunter Lawrence is doing has been anything but impressive.

Rider: Chase Sexton
Rating: B
Rundown: If you rolled into the season and said Sexton would be sitting P2 in the standings, six points down after four rounds, many would say he’s doing very well. However, Sexton has been on the ground far too often this year already and it’s likely hurt his ability to not only be leading this championship, but perhaps running away with it. He crashed early in the opening moto at Fox Raceway and climbed back to fourth. Then he was challenging Jett Lawrence for the lead in the second moto when he again had another mistake and settled for second. Then at Hangtown, he won the opening moto and had a heroic ride in moto two from dead last to take the win on the final lap. That seemed like it would turn a page with Sexton, but he followed it up the next week with a 6-5 day at Thunder Valley where he crashed in both motos again. Then at High Point, he finished a distant third in the first moto, made a bike change, caught and passed Jett Lawrence for the lead in moto two, and then crashed back to second place again. Take the Hangtown ride out of this, and it would be a very frustrating season for Sexton. The saving grace is that through all of that, he’s only six points down in the championship as he looks to clean it up moving into the middle run of the season.

Rider: Jett Lawrence
Rating: A-
Rundown: The defending 450MX champion’s season so far can be defined as ‘amazing with one huge crash’. Lawrence has won five motos, three overalls, and sits eight points behind in the championship. The only blemish has come from a massive crash out of the lead in the first moto at Hangtown that left him with a gash in his hip and damage to his shoulder. He struggled to a P24 finish in that moto and then fought through the pain to get P6 in moto two. Since then, he’s gone 2-1-1-1 and is getting closer to the Jett Lawrence form we saw at the opening round of the series at Fox Raceway. The problem is the shoulder damage is still bothering him and none of his moto wins have been runaways as either his brother Hunter or Sexton have been on his hip the whole time. Still though, the recovery has been tremendous. If not for an uncharacteristic mistake out of him at the second round, Lawrence would likely still be the talk of the field, and even could potentially still have a perfect moto wins streak rolling along.

Image: Octopi Media.

Rider: Haiden Deegan
Rating: A+
Rundown: Following an impressive rookie 250MX season in 2023 that saw three moto wins and P4 in the championship out of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan, many predicted he’d be a title contender in 2024. But few saw it coming that Deegan would completely take over the class. He has won five motos, three overalls, hasn’t finished worse than P2 in a moto yet in 2024 and leads the championship by 32 points. The three motos he lost came from a wild crash while leading late in the second moto at Hangtown, being just outclassed by Chance Hymas in the second moto at Thunder Valley, and barely losing to Ty Masterpool in the second moto at High Point after he came from outside of the top 20. In each of those instances aside from the Hymas victory, a case could be made that Deegan had the ability to win and just narrowly came up short. He’s proven he can dominate from the front, or ride through the field and still win. His most recent performance at High Point was probably the standout as he came through the field in both motos to go 1-2. It seems like there’s no slowing him down no matter where he starts, and this championship might already be over unless someone else can start winning. But Deegan has been the clear standout so far.

Rider: Chance Hymas
Rating: A+
Rundown: Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas is suddenly one of the guys. After a best finish of P5 in Monster Energy Supercross this year, Hymas hasn’t finished worse than P4 in an AMA Pro Motocross moto yet and sits P2 in the standings because of it. The zenith so far has been a rather dominant second moto win at Thunder Valley, the first of his career, where he started just ahead of Haiden Deegan and took off for the win. It’s hard to call it a blemish for a guy who hasn’t hit the podium much in his career yet, but he is only two for four on overall podiums this season as he has struggled at times to be right with the lead group the entire duration of each moto. But it has to be said, nobody had Hymas doing this after how Supercross went for him and he’s well outdoing all expectations. Dietary changes and a fortified training methodology have been the catalysts for the sudden uptick out of Hymas and he seems poised to continue this breakout performance moving forward.

Rider: Tom Vialle
Rating: B-
Rundown: Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle was expected to be a surefire championship contender coming off winning the 250SX East Region Championship in Monster Energy Supercross this year. The two-time FIM World Motocross champion got his feet wet in the USA last year and even he said he felt much more comfortable going to each track this year having been to all of them already. But aside from a second moto victory at Hangtown and a good fight with Deegan in the first moto at Thunder Valley, Vialle has not been able to put it all together as many expected. He was a distant third overall at the opener, was off the pace in the first moto at Hangtown and the second moto at Thunder Valley, and crashed in both motos at High Point which garnered a disappointing 8-4 overall day. While title rival Haiden Deegan has been peerless at the front, Vialle has slipped to 38 points behind early in this championship. A deficit that is going to be extremely difficult to overcome without big mistakes out of Deegan.

Rider: Ty Masterpool
Rating: A
Rundown: The only other rider not named Haiden Deegan to claim a 250MX overall win so far in 2024 is Ty Masterpool. Yes, that is a real sentence. Masterpool got the last-minute call to fill-in at Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki for the season literally the day before the opening round and has taken off with it. While he of course battled to get comfortable with the machine early in the championship, he was able to qualify P1 at Thunder Valley after two weeks on the bike and then win the High Point National after just three weeks on the machine. The talent was always there, but the ability to acclimate to the program, machine and class (since he planned to race 450MX) so fast is nothing short of incredible. The downside is the issues he battled early getting used to the bike have left him a distant P6 in the championship already, but he’s already far exceeded the job of a fill-in rider and the paddock is abuzz with whether or not Masterpool has already done enough to make this spot a full-time deal moving forward.