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EXCLUSIVE HUNTER AND JETT LAWRENCE SX INTERVIEW | Latest | News | Race Reports

We sat down with 2024 AMA Supercross Champ Jett Lawrence and his brother Hunter to talk all the behind the scenes stuff from SX.

It’s a bloody good time to be an Australian race fan, as Team Honda HRC brothers Hunter and Jett Lawrence continue to rewrite the motocross and supercross history books. 2024 AMA Supercross Champ Jett Lawrence has given Aussies reason to tune in again.

Jett Lawrence became the first-ever rookie to win a 450SX main debut when he stormed Anaheim 1, and the brothers became the first siblings to ever finish 1-2 in supercross history with a classy performance at Denver. On top of that, Jett Lawrence has now completed the full collection of US motocross and supercross championships in just three years.

After a remarkable 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, ADB sat down with both Hunter and Jett Lawrence for this exclusive in-depth interview.

2024 AMA Supercross champion JETT LAWRENCE 

It’s the Monday after you wrapped up the championship. How are you feeling?

A little tired – we celebrated and I didn’t get to bed until about 1:30am, then I woke up at 4:50am as I still had so much adrenaline from the night before. I was more amped up than I was after the Pro Motocross, but it’s hard to celebrate at the end of a championship when you’ve now got to knuckle down again, focus on outdoors and make sure we execute that the same way.

Looking back on the season, what rating would you give yourself out of 10?

I’d say a 6.5 to 7. We were decent enough, but we weren’t great. My riding was good, but my starts were inconsistent and I made some silly decisions and mistakes.

Compared to your previous 250SX championships, the 450SX is a massive 17-round season. How did it feel playing the long game?

You definitely feel the wear and tear a bit more. The biggest thing is if you get injured on the 250, there’re breaks in the series where you can recover. In the 450s it’s always ‘OK, we need to get as fit as we can for next weekend’. There was a lot more maintenance, keeping your body up to shape, and staying injury-free.

Then there’s the time-zone differences to deal with, too, with some rounds starting early and others finishing late. It’s all about being consistent every single round.

At Anaheim 2, the fans really turned on you after your stoush with Jason Anderson at San Diego. Until this year the fans loved you, then suddenly everyone’s booing you. How did that affect you?

Yeah, it was different. Over the years we’ve never given people anything to hate me for, and when something small happened, they blew it up because they finally had something to bag me on. At the end of the day, I still won the championship and that’s a good punch in the nose to those guys. They can boo me all they want – it’s just going to make me hungrier to prove them wrong again. The more you hate me, the more I’ll win.

Ricky [Carmichael] warned us that himself, James [Stewart], Chad [Reed], they all got booed when they were winning, so I’m going to treat it the same way they did. Some people don’t like me doing well because I’m a young foreigner beating their guys.  That whole thing with Jason also made us see who our true friends were. Lots of riders commented on Anderson’s post and it made me realise that guys I thought were my friends actually weren’t.

When Cooper Webb cut your 21-point lead and got level with you, how did you turn it around?

We just focused on starts, because my riding and my speed weren’t the problem; if I got a good start I generally won, apart from at Arlington where I crashed while leading. The problem was I was starting back in the pack, while Cooper was near the front, and you can’t fight for the title when you’re trying to move through the pack. We just had to execute starts as that’s what was making me leave a lot of points on the track.

Mentally, I’ve always been a pretty strong kid. I knew I was better than fourth and fifth, but I wasn’t giving myself the best opportunity to show that by starting 10th or 15th.

How much of a highlight was it going 1-2 with Hunter at Denver?

That was one of the highlights of the year, for sure. We’d talked many times about how cool it’d be to do that. We thought it’d eventually happen, but for how soon it happened, we were even more pumped.

Hunter had a pretty rough year, not qualifying at A1, breaking his scapula at Daytona and missing a round. We had to build that momentum back up again, and to go 1-2 at Denver, we were over the moon. It was awesome for Dazz, too – to have his boys on the top two steps of the podium is an awesome accomplishment.

The tight-knit family thing was pretty obvious at that final round with the drama between you guys and Jason Anderson.

I could go on about how much of a muppet that guy is. The stuff he does, it’s a lazy way of racing. It’s harder to pass someone cleanly because you’ve still got to deal with them and try and gap them. Knocking someone off their bike so you don’t have to deal with them is a lazy type of riding and it wrecked Hunter’s night.

Then afterwards he gets in your face and yells at you, then goes to social media and tries to act tough. He’ll find out soon that if you mess with one of us Lawrences, there’s another one you’re going to have to handle, too. Secondly, we’re Australians and we don’t take no shit – it’s going to come to a head either on the track or in the parking lot, and if it’s off the race track, you’ll see the true Australian come out. [Laughs]

Barcia’s hit on you at St Louis was absolutely huge. Was that a racing incident in your eyes?

That hurt me a lot, but the biggest thing is I could tell it wasn’t intentional. Straight afterward Bambam [Barcia] came up to me to apologise and I could see in his eyes that he was being really genuine. I felt bad for him because I knew the media and fans were just going to eat it up, but you could see straight after he hit me, it almost looked like he wanted to stop and get off his bike to help!

I actually like him a lot more now. I never spoke to him much, but now I joke around and talk with him, He’s a really nice dude and I respect a man who’s trying to change his riding style. As a kid it’s easy to change that stuff as you’re still learning, but for a grown man, that’s a lot harder.

Take us through the SLC final. What was going through your head?

I got a good start and I was like, ‘OK, this is good, Hunter’s right there’, then when Anderson punted Hunter, I was like, ‘no, screw you, you bastard’! I sprinted and put in the fastest lap of the night, then ran into him pretty hard to send a message, like ‘hey, cut that shit out’. After that I settled down, and just focused on maintaining, trying not to make any mistakes or take risks and try and bring it home.

What did you think of the tracks this year?

I didn’t like them much. When the tracks were harder it gave me an advantage, you know? With a lot of the quads and rhythms, if I went and did a quad, the track crew would go and take it down, which was frustrating. Some of it was for safety, but a lot of it was about trying to keep the racing close. I think it made the racing worse, as the tracks were so one-lined and hard to pass on. It was a shame they cut the number of whoops down to nine as well.

You’ve won everything there is to win in the US. How do you stay motivated now that you’ve ticked the boxes?

It comes down to chasing records: I want to be a multi-time champion, not just win one supercross and one outdoors. I’ve given myself goals such as McGrath’s supercross win record and Ricky’s GOAT record. They’re pretty far-fetched, but I want goals that are so far out there that it keeps driving me. I want to be the best and I wake up every day to try and achieve that. I might do it, I might not, but I’m going to work my arse off to make it happen.

HUNTER LAWRENCE – P9 in rookie 450SX season

Looking back on the season what are your main take-aways?

It wasn’t anything to jump up and down about, but we had some really good riding, good learning, good race results and podiums, which was cool. I would’ve loved more, obviously. There were a few races where stuff out of your control happened, which is part of it, but we’re healthy and ready for outdoors. One of the big goals was to be healthy all season. We had one little hiccup at Daytona which caused me to miss the next round and I had to ride my way back into form.

What actually happened at Daytona, nothing was ever shown on the coverage?

I hit a massive rock coming out of a turn and I fractured my scapula when I hit the ground. I’d love to have seen how the season would’ve finished without that setback, as I went fifth at Phoenix and Dallas, and was really close to the front four boys. Then at Daytona I was behind Roczen looking to make the pass for fourth pretty early on, then the crash happened.

What was your highlight racing-wise?

It’s safe to say Denver where I led a bunch of laps and finished with a Lawrence 1-2. It certainly wasn’t Anaheim 1, where I failed to qualify in my debut 450SX race! I felt like the Salt Lake City final could’ve been really good too. I got off to a good start and was in a good position before I got taken down. I’d been building some momentum and I felt like I was at the peak of my riding, so it would’ve been a good result, I think.

Take us through Denver. You led a good chunk of that race.

I led to about the 10-11-minute mark, and I felt really good. If it’d been anyone apart from Jett behind me I probably would’ve won. But it was epic and it was a big night for him points-wise, with Webb finishing back in fifth, so it was the perfect outcome. It was perfect for everyone – the team, Jett, my parents and myself.

Things didn’t go to plan at Anaheim 1, but from there you seemed to get better with each round. Was that a case of just getting used to the class?

It’s more just myself, and all of my seasons seem to go that way. If you look at my 250 career, all the rounds, even in each moto, I get stronger towards the end. That’s just been my career trait. I build throughout the season and a lot of other guys tend to do the opposite, so I think that’s a positive trait.

But it was an eventful season, hey. The whole thing is a circus in itself and every round it seemed like there was something interesting going on.

What’s the thing you’re proudest of this year?

Honestly, I’m most proud of Jett and how he dealt with all the shit thrown at him and still kicked their arses.When everyone took the anti-Lawrence side and marked themselves in the sand, he just continued to kick their butt, which is unreal. I’ll have my time, no doubt, and it’s coming. On paper, a P6 or P7 doesn’t look that great, but on the track, we’re all so close and I could keep those front guys in sight. It wasn’t as far away as it looks.

How did you find the aggression, that step up in intensity and pace in the premier class, as a rookie?

The first 10 minutes of the race is just a huge, crazy sprint, then you start seeing them drop off because they push so hard early on. We worked on building strength to be able to send it for the first 10 minutes, and that’s when we started to see that ramp-up in results at Glendale and Arlington, before we hit Daytona. We worked a lot on explosiveness and gaining confidence in the bike, and focused on committing to, and sending destroyed lines on the track to create passing opportunities when you need to. It’s still supercross, but the 450 reacts completely differently to the 250.

The track deteriorates a lot more than what it would’ve been when you raced 250s.

Exactly. The first five minutes of the 450 main is similar to the end of the 250 main, but it develops so differently and the 450s pull the track apart. The tracks have been a bit different this year, too – I think we skimmed the whoops at four, maybe five rounds of 17 this year. The rest were jumpers, which is insane.

In previous years the media tried to pitch the whole “Jett vs Hunter” thing but this year it’s seemed more like “the Lawrences vs everyone else”. Would that be a fair assumption?

I think they’re finally getting the message that they can’t pitch one brother against another. We set a standard that it wasn’t gonna happen, so it’s good for the media to realise that, and stop trying to push that ‘Lawrence against Lawrence’ narrative. They see we’re a really strong, tight-knit family, so it’s way better that it’s the Lawrences against everybody else. It’s no secret that the guys race us harder than they race each other, but we welcome that, too. We enjoy it, and it is what it is.

That last round at SLC you and Anderson got a bit physical.

There’s not much I want to talk about, as it gives him his little bit of relevance and he gets off on that on social media. That’s his comforting place, to take to social media and tell his lies. You saw it with Jett earlier this year a few times too, and that’s all there is to it.

You’ve really assumed the role of big brother this year. Not so much protecting Jett, but always having his back and thinking about how you can also help him succeed. Is that fair to say?

Yeah for sure. After seeing how everyone tried to kick Jett while he was down, as an older brother, it makes me want to knuckle down to push him and myself more.

I probably didn’t realise it when I was younger, but I’ve always been the role model for him.

We were talking about it on the weekend, that I’ve always been the compass. Regardless of whether we were lost or we knew where we were going, I’d be the first to try something new, we’d work it out, then put the perfect formula into Jettson. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

Without me, there is no Jett; he knows that and Dad’s said it many times. Without me, Jett isn’t as successful as he is today. A part of me wins when Jett wins. It’s the same with him – when I win, part of him does too.

People need to understand that we’re probably closer than a lot of brothers in the real world, because there’re always jealousies or insecurities getting in the way. We don’t have that, which is pretty special.

We’re heading to outdoors. What are your hopes and dreams for that?

I’d love for Jett and I to go 1-2, in either order. We’ve got to make sure no-one but a Lawrence wins races while we’re here, because it’s a pretty shitty feeling when people try and manipulate that, tell lies, and try to turn people against someone I love. If I win the championship, that’d be amazing, but if Jett defends his title, that’d be just as good.

Wildest moments of the 2024 SX season

  • Mixed fortunes as Jett Lawrence makes history at Anaheim 1 by becoming the first 450SX rookie to win on debut, while Hunter fails to qualify for the main.
  • Defending champ Chase Sexton laps A1 winner Jett at the muddiest round in years, at San Francisco.
  • Aaron Plessinger then laps Sexton, wins his first-ever race at San Diego, holds red plate for two rounds.
  • Jett Lawrence and Jason Anderson butt heads after San Diego, crowds then boo Jett at the next round at Anaheim 2.
  • Consistent Cooper Webb wins the A2 Triple Crown without winning a race.
  • Haiden Deegan ghost-rides his bike in a tribute to his dad, Brian, after winning the Arlington 250SX round.
  • 250SX East leader Austin Forkner loses contact lens in rhythm section and suffers brutal, season-ending crash at Arlington.
  • Crazed fans storm Daytona circuit while 450SX main event still runs, rip Jett’s goggles off his head.
  • Webb takes out 30-second board girl when she tries crossing the track on the opening lap of the Arlington main.
  • Justin Barcia smashes Jett on St Louis opening lap as Eli Tomac wins his first and only round of the year.
  • Webb pulls back 21point deficit to level the points lead at Foxborough, with four rounds remaining
  • Ken Roczen crashes out of season after spectacular shock failure through the Nashville whoops.
  • Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki suffers Nashville nightmare when both 250SX points leaders Cameron McAdoo and Levi Kitchen crash hard. McAdoo out for the season.
  • Hunter and Jett Lawrence become the first-ever brothers to finish on the podium, with 1-2 Denver performance.
  • RJ Hampshire wins 250SX West title at thrilling Salt Lake City finale.
  • Two-time MX2 World Champ Tom Vialle claims 250SX East championship.
  • Jett Lawrence and Hunter both trade on-track blows with Anderson at Salt Lake final round.

2024 MONSTER ENERGY AMA SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

450SX

1 Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) 351

2 Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) 336

3 Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM) 307

4 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) 282

5 Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) 282

9 Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) 207

250SX WEST

1 RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) 208

2 Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) 203

3 Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) 185

4 Jo Shimoda (Team Honda HRC) 181

5 Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) 123

25 Geran Stapleton (GasGas) 16

250SX EAST

1 Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) 172

2 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) 168

3 Coty Chock (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) 132

4 Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) 131

5 Max Anstie (Fire Power Honda Racing) 125

Words by Simon Makker