Hunter Lawrence and Jed Beaton have secured top-5 overall results at the opening round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship at MXGP of Patagonia, Argentina.
Lawrence spearheaded the Aussie duos attack on the MX2 class, finishing third overall with a 2-6 scorecard giving Team Honda 114 Motorsports a podium in their first ever GP.
On board the all-new 2018 Honda CRF250R, Lawrence got the holeshot in the first race and despite dropping to second halfway through, it still gave him a good platform for moto two. Unfortunately he didn’t get quite as good start in the second moto and instead the rider had to fight his way into sixth place, giving him the third step on the podium.
“I’m pretty happy with the weekend, we have a lot of positives to take out of this weekend. It would have been nice to get the win but it’s not my favourite track so I can’t be too disappointed,” said Lawrence. “I prefer more technical tracks than this one as it was high speed and a bit flat but we know what we need to change and sort out and make sure I’m 100% for the rest of the rounds. It was a good start to the year though; third overall on a bad day isn’t too bad. I’m looking forward to getting back to Europe and having a safe journey home.”
Beaton, riding for the Kawasaki-backed Dutch F&H Racing Team, found himself in 11th after qualifying and improved on that during both Motos. The Tasmanian local recorded a Seventh in Race 1 and Eighth in Race 2, which would see him place fifth overall.
Factory KTM’s Pauls Jonass raced with the No.1 plate to denote his position as reigning champion. The Latvian was brilliant in Argentina, taking the fastest times in all practice sessions, Pole Position and both moto wins on the new KTM 250 SX-F.
Jonass: “We did the pre-season races and I knew I had the speed and the fitness because I had worked hard in the winter time. I came into this race confident…but I did not expect to win every single session when we went on the track. It is a boost for us but we won’t let it get to our heads too much because there is still a long way to go. The new bike worked so well and we can see all that testing and work in the off-season paid off. I didn’t get any holeshots today so we still have something we can improve on!”
The series lands at the Eurocircuit in Valkenswaard, just south of Eindhoven, for the Grand Prix of Europe on March 18th.