GEICO Honda's Jett Lawrence fended off the attack of championship winner Dylan Ferrandis to claim his first-ever Lucas Oil Pro Motocross overall win.
The first gate drop of the day for the 250 Class began with Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper capturing the holeshot ahead of Jett Lawrence and Star/Yamaha Racing’s Shane McElrath. Ferrandis was able to fight his way into the top four and soon charged up to third, while GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin, Ferrandis’ primary championship rival, followed into fourth.
Out front a battle unfolded for the lead between newfound rivals Cooper and Lawrence. The Queenslander was able to close in on Cooper’s rear fender on one half of the track, but the Yamaha would respond and pull away on the other half. After several laps of trying Lawrence pulled the trigger and made the pass happen just before the halfway point of the moto. Behind the lead pair both Ferrandis and Martin were also pushing hard and with less than 10 minutes to go the top four were separated by just a few seconds. Ferrandis was able to take advantage of a slight miscue by Cooper to take control of second and quickly closed in on Lawrence for the lead.
Ferrandis applied heavy pressure on Lawrence, but the rookie didn’t flinch. The Aussie was able to put some distance on Ferrandis in the closing laps to take his first career moto win by 3.5 seconds, with Cooper in third, Martin fourth, and McElrath fifth. Lawrence’s win also benefited his teammate, Martin, as it prevented Ferrandis from clinching the title before the final moto.
As the field completed its sighting lap for the final moto of the season Cooper was faced with heartbreaking adversity when an apparent problem with his motorcycle prevented him from lining up on the gate. The field took off without him and began with McElrath securing the MotoSport.com Holeshot just ahead of Martin, with Ferrandis just a few positions behind. Martin put the pressure on McElrath for the top spot early and successfully moved into the lead with Lawrence giving chase from third. Behind the battle up front Ferrandis crashed and dropped to ninth, while back up front Lawrence got around McElrath for second. A short time later GEICO Honda’s Jo Shimoda made the pass on McElrath for third.
As the leaders settled into their positions all eyes focused on Ferrandis and his attempt to rebound from the early misfortune. The Frenchman was able to make up a few spots quickly, but as the moto wore on he was considerably more patient, looking to avoid any additional conflict. He eventually made his way back into the top five, putting him comfortably in control of securing the championship. Out front, Martin did what he needed to do and put the pressure on Ferrandis. The Honda rider dominated the last race of the season and cruised home to his fifth moto win of the season by 18.3 seconds over Lawrence, with Shimoda wrapping up a GEICO Honda sweep of the moto podium in third.
Lawrence capped off his rookie season, in which he earned Rookie of the Year honors, with his first career win and podium finish (1-2), while Martin helped secure a 1-2 sweep of the team in second (4-1). Ferrandis clinched the title in third (2-5).
“It means the world [to get this win]. I’ve worked my butt off to get where I am today,” said Jett Lawrence, who at 17 years old became the 86th different winner in 250 Class history and just the second Australian to stand atop the podium. “I’m just excited to be up here. I’m glad I could finish it out [my rookie season] with a bang.”
One year after securing the runner-up spot in the championship standings Ferrandis continued his upward progression with his most successful season to date. Each of his three wins in 2020 came via 1-1 sweeps of the motos, and his eight podium finishes established a new career best, despite running an abbreviated season. While a total of five different Frenchmen have earned victories over the course of the 47 years the class has existed, Ferrandis is the first to also bring home a title. It makes him the 32nd different champion in 250 Class history and signified the fifth championship for the Star Yamaha effort over the past seven seasons.
“It was a crazy [final] moto. I made a mistake and crashed and had to come back through the field,” expressed Ferrandis, who ended the year with a 13-point margin in the final standings. “I just want to thank everyone at Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha. They put so much work into this. I’ve been dreaming of holding up this [number one] plate for a long time now. It’s been a hard and a long journey, but I’m just so happy. As an athlete in any sport we all want to win. We all work hard. For me, it took me some time to get here, but now all you want is more. You can’t dream of anything else but winning.”
Hunter Lawrence was unable to finish the day after reaggravating a shoulder injury he sustained earlier in the season at Loretta Lynn’s II.
Jett’s win is a bittersweet one for the team after it was confirmed that title sponsor, GEICO, will not be continuing its support of the team beyond this year. It marks the end of a 13-year partnership between GEICO and Factory Connection Honda.
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Bittersweet pulling our rig out one last time as GEICO Honda. We have partnered with GEICO for the last 13 years and together, we have built a powerhouse team that will forever live on. We are working hard to fill our title sponsor spot so we can continue making memories for years to come. For now, let’s do this boys! One more round! ❤️
Fox Raceway 250MX Results
1 Jett Lawrence 1 – 2
2 Jeremy Martin 4 – 1
3 Dylan Ferrandis 2 – 5
4 Shane McElrath 5 – 4
5 Jo Shimoda 8 – 3
6 Jarrett Frye 7 – 6
7 Mitchell Harrison 6 – 9
8 Brandon Hartranft 11 – 7
9 Carson Mumford 10 – 8
10 Cameron McAdoo 9 – 11
Lucas Oil Pro Motocrtoss 250MX Championship Results
1 Dylan Ferrandis 390
2 Jeremy Martin 377
3 Shane McElrath 288
4 Jett Lawrence 277
5 Justin Cooper 271
6 Alex Martin 242
7 R.J. Hampshire 217
8 Mitchell Harrison 190
9 Cameron McAdoo 187
10 Jo Shimoda 174