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Honda’s Jett Lawrence Takes AMA 450cc Motocross Title After Winning Every Race Held So Far This Year

Okay, MD does not normally cover AMA Motocross, but this story is worth bringing to our readers’ attention. As a rookie in the 450cc class, Honda’s Jett Lawrence has won every single outdoor moto held in 2023.

Jett already had quite a record in the 250cc catagories, both supercross and outdoors, but winning 18 of 18 motos thus far as a 450 rookie is unprecedented. He clinches the title early, with two rounds still remaining.

Here is the press release from Honda Racing Corporation.

NEW BERLIN, New York (August 12, 2023) — Continuing an incredible year for Team Honda HRC, Jett Lawrence posted yet another a 1-1 moto score at legendary Unadilla MX today aboard his CRF450RWE, a showing that earned him the overall win and clinched the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross 450 Championship with two rounds remaining in the series. The Australian, who just celebrated his 20th birthday five days ago, has been absolutely dominant during his rookie season in the 450 class, winning every moto so far.

The theme of perfection also applies to Team Honda HRC, which earlier this year swept all three AMA Supercross titles, with Jett Lawrence taking the 250SX West Region crown, brother Hunter Lawrence earning the 250SX East Region trophy and Chase Sexton collecting the premier 450SX laurels. Sexton was second overall in the 450 class today at Unadilla, and Hunter Lawrence (who currently leads the AMA Pro Motocross 250 points chase) earned the 250 overall win today aboard his CRF250R.

This all comes during a season in which Honda marks the 50th anniversary of its first production motocross bike, the CR250M Elsinore, aboard which Gary Jones rode to Honda’s first AMA Motocross 250 Championship, in 1973. Other Red Riders to have taken the title in the class (which has since switched to 450cc four-stroke machinery) include Donnie Hansen, David Bailey, Rick Johnson, Jeff Stanton, Jean-Michel Bayle, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael. Although Honda last earned the 450 outdoor title in 2004, the brand is tied with Kawasaki for the class’s championship record, with 14 number-one plates over the years.

A native of Landsborough, in Queensland, Australia, Jett has ridden for Team Honda HRC since 2021, a year after he turned pro with the Honda-supported Factory Connection squad. He earned the AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship in 2021 and 2022, as well as the 2022 250SX East title and the 2023 250SX West crown.

“It’s an unreal opportunity,” Jett Lawrence said after today’s race. “Like Hunter said when he won his championship, I haven’t even dreamed of this, because we never thought it was possible to be where we are today. To do it like this, being undefeated so far, it’s very emotional for me, with all the hard times we’ve gone through, and the hard work. That whole [second moto], I was keeping it together and just pushing, pushing, pushing. Then as soon as I went over the finish line, the emotions came out. I’ve got to send a huge thank-you to my mechanic, Christien Ducharme; we’re like family now. My manager Lucas [Mirtl], is awesome, and my family—everyone who has been behind me. HRC Honda took a risk with taking us in after 2020, and I’m glad I’m able to repay the favor.”

“We knew when Jett moved to the 450 class that he would be a force to reckon with, but I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the level of success and consistency that he has already exhibited,” added Brandon Wilson, Manager of Sports and Experiential at American Honda. “This year has just been incredible for the entire team, but Jett’s performance in particular has been one for the record books. We’re so happy that he has put Honda and the CRF450RWE on top, and we look forward to seeing him continue to earn the success that he’s clearly capable of achieving.”

Jett Lawrence and the rest of Team Honda HRC will finish out the AMA Pro Motocross series over the next two weekends, after which they’ll take a weekend off and then campaign the first-ever AMA SuperMotocross Championship.


  1. Dave says:

    Watched the final round over the weekend and picked up on another statistic that I hadn’t kept up with. Chase Sexton’s supercross title was Honda’s first premier motocross/supercross title since Ricky Carmichael had ridden for them, 20 years ago. This year Honda has won every AMA MX/SX pro title on offer, three of them between the Lawrence brothers, who won two national championships each.

  2. Nomadak says:

    The Jett Lawrence story, that of his brother Hunter and his family is …just pretty incredible.

    I have been a study of the whole sport of motorcycling since I was a wee lad. I’ve had my own bikes since age 7 and not been without one since. I recently turned 56.

    I started on a two stroke, I used a 4stroke to ride from Florida to Alaska. I’ve followed most forms of motorcycle racing competitions since the mid 70’s onwards. I have yearly video subscriptions to motocross, super cross, moto GP, etc. I own both 2 and 4 stroke bikes and compete myself…in Florida trail riders Enduros and Hare Scrambles, NPEG, GNCC. I have a fleet of street bikes, dual sports, pit bikes, race bikes. My entire family rides, all 3 of my children have won multiple state and city off road racing titles. I am a proud father. I’ve read most all the bike rags, follow this site and others closely. I’ve read all the technical data and arguments on the 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke debates since they began. I love both…own both…and cannot wait until the bugs are worked out for electric bikes to join mainstream racing.

    Jett is very special. He had innate talent, so did his brother. His folks sold everything, including their home. They went to Europe from Australia after liquidating everything. They lived in meager conditions joining the World MXGP’s. At some point, They lived in a small apartment above a bar, kids sleeping on a pool table at one point, not sure where their next meal was going to come from at some stages of the boys’ developments. They eventually got noticed by the right people and American Honda moved them to the states. They entered the arena of American supercross and had immediate success, although it quickly became apparent that they needed further development. Somewhere along the way, old pro Johnny O’Mara got involved with their program. What you are seeing now, is the result of his experience and tutelage paired with a supreme talent.

    Jett has pointed out of the 250F class, in both supercross AND outdoors, although he is the younger of the two brothers. The AMA allow two championships in each series before you are booted out to the next higher class. One initial championship, then you get a chance to defend it. VERY IMPRESSIVE. 4 MAJOR titles since 2020 and during the COVID outbreak. This is not even including the 450 title he has already wrapped up, with several races to go.

    Hunter, the older Lawrence brother, has had to fight through so many injuries and adversity, paving a way for his younger sibling. The family learned from his “mistakes and obstacles” on its way to the big time. This created an easier path for Jett, but does not take away in any regard from Jett’s prodigious talent.

    Jett, has obviously been paying attention to his brother’s hard lessons. Hunter is still working on those titles. Before the outdoor season began, while still waiting for the west coast SX series to resume so he could wrap it up, he was already riding a 450 mx bike outdoors….way before the season began…. AND Way before Eli Tomac had his injury at the end of the SX season.

    Alot of smack talk out there on MX forums about there being no competition for Jett in the current field of 450 riders. It’s all a bunch of BS. This young man rides the 450 with precision, grace and a fluidity that is reminiscent of the best the sport has every seen, IE. the natural talent of Ron Leichien, the text book perfect style of the legendary little professor David Bailey, the raw ability to come in and make waves in the premiere class of Damon Bradshaw, and the sheer dominance of Jeremy McGrath. Only two other riders have achieved perfect outdoor seasons, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. James has TWO perfect seasons!

    I have listened to their superb commentation over this motocross season and their continued praise of Jett Lawrence.

    The Kid’s riding speaks for itself. He wastes zero energy. He has arguably perfect form, at any given time, at anywhere on the track, on tracks all across the nation, both first and second motos, for 30 minutes plus two laps. He gets great starts. His equipment hasn’t failed him. So far, he is unbeatable.

    He has humbled MANY past champions. Most out there in the top ten at AMA Outdoors Motocross are past supercross or 250F level champions.

    Dylan Ferrandis, yes… the frog Frenchman, humbled everyone two years ago in the outdoors with solid riding and a fitness that bested Eli Tomac, who was considered the fitness king. Eli Tomac is the famous son of the famous John Tomac, a renowned mountain biking champion. John married a female mountain biking champion, who became the mother of ELI. They still all live and train at altitude in Colorado, so now you can imagine not only the genetics involved but also the high altitude training that gives an advantage when the series moves to lower elevation events. Ken Roczen, past SX champ, came back for a one off event in outdoor MX this year and ran up front before eventually fading and succumbing to the onslaught of Jett’s assault. Chase Sexton, two time past 250F SX champ and last year’s 450 SX champ has ran with, run down and even led Jett this season on the outdoors but cannot close the deal and win a single moto. Justin Barcia is a past champ and finally healthy enough to compete again but he didn’t even finish near the top 5 last week. Cowboy and past two time 250 champ Aaron Plessinger, factory RED BULL KTM rider, has nothing for Jett. Cooper Webb, multitime champ of supercross on both 250 and 450 had NOTHING for Jett, in outdoors.

    We are witnessing greatness. TUNE in.

    • Dave says:

      “Only two other riders have achieved perfect outdoor seasons, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart. James has TWO perfect seasons! ”

      Crazy thing about Jett – this is his *rookie* season in the premier class. I remember what a big deal they made of Eli Tomac winning his 250cc debut race.

      Jett’s success is something I don’t think we’ve ever witnessed in motorsport before. It’ll be interesting to see if others meet the challenge. Part of this could be serendipitous luck. Even if Jett does everything exactly the same way next year there’s no guarantee that it goes this well again.

      • Jim SJim S says:

        It’s funny that a couple of the posts indicated James Stewart had two undefeated seasons. When did you forget Ricky Carmichael? Ricky had two perfect seasons. Jet is amazing because he did it as a rookie.

  3. Gary says:

    Seems kinda unfair that anyone could be so young and so talented. What a rookie season.

  4. robinson says:

    Wow, what an exceptional achievement by Jett Lawrence! Being a rookie in the 450cc class and winning every single outdoor moto in 2023 is truly remarkable. Clinching the championship title with two rounds still remaining showcases his unprecedented talent and determination

  5. dt 175 says:

    is everybody gonna dump on him for being a foreigner like they dumped on bayle?

  6. Garjo says:

    Always enjoyed outdoor mx, and still do. Unadilla track has morphed into a truly great track, with some sections quite different from years ago. A tip of the hat to Jett, quite a feat in his 450 rookie year. Eli Tomac, a great outdoor rider, would’ve had his hands full with this kid, consistently excellent starts, smooth and fast.

  7. motorhead says:

    Jett will sell a ton of 450s. Increase his contract, immediately, Honda. Sell a few hundred limited edition “Jett Rookie” bikes painted in Australian-flag. Why not cash in with a “Jett Outback 450” Dual Purpose version?

  8. L. Ron Jeremy says:

    He rides like a seasoned, multi-time champion. So smooth.

  9. Dave says:

    Only a couple of riders have ever gone undefeated in a season. I don’t believe any of them were rookies in class. They made a big deal of it when Tomac won his 250cc pro debut.

  10. John A Kuzmenko says:

    Jett is having a hell of a rookie 450 MX season, although I would like to see someone take a win over him before it’s over.
    Ironically, Dirck and Motorcycle Daily used to cover motocross, Supercross, and tested dirt bikes on this site.

  11. Stinkywheels says:

    This is not criticism. Didn’t this used to be covered by MD or is my memory that bad? It’s refreshing to see some US racing. I also wish Moto America got some coverage. I realize the industry and media is in decline but I can always hope. I’m not a big fan of SX (more of MX fan but I realize it’s a snore to watch), but I would like to get some info without paying a lot of corporations that I’m really not fond of to see or read about what I love, which is bikes, races and racers. I used to buy or subscribe to everything bike related for the last 40+ years.

  12. Doc Sarvis says:

    A very fortuitous first name in hindsight.

  13. Gary in NJ says:

    What an amazing feat. Some of the top riders are missing from the action this summer, but that in no way takes away this accomplishment. Jett was focused on winning – every ride, every race. I’m looking forward to the upcoming supercross season.

  14. Mick says:

    The kid must be fast. Funny none of my friends have mentioned anything about him. I checked out of motocross when they went four stroke. But a lot of my friends still follow the series very closely.

    I wonder this what this kid’s opinion is of the 450s. Most of the pros now a getting more vocal about a displacement reduction because the bikes have more power than is necessary. The race teams probably like them because that makes them cheap. The 250s are such money pits that they are probably in no hurry to have to work up platinum unobtainium bikes for the premiere class as well.

    Full circle I guess. The 250 class always seems end up with the most money. On the two strokes the money went to the riders. Now the money goes to the engines. The riders in the current 250 class complain about low pay.

    • Dave says:

      Have a look at the new prize structure with the new “Super MotoCross” series. the 250 class is being paid a LOT more in prize cash. Nobody racing today remembers 2-strokes beyond their minibike days. There are one or two guys playing the novelty of trying to qualify on 2T’s. It’s not really something anyone talks about anymore.

      • TimC says:

        Mick is wrong. When motorcycles quit being steam-driven is when they really dropped off the cliff, never to reach such a plateau again.

        • Mick says:

          You have it backwards Tim. Four strokes are a step back towards steam power. After all, electric is next. If it isn’t solar, hydro or wind steam powers everything else in one shape or form. I happen to be one of those very dependable guys who made your electricity for you.

          Buying a generator tomorrow aren’t you?

          I will never understand how mandating an obsolete engine architecture suddenly makes those who think that is ridiculous some kind of caveman.

          But then it is fashionable now days to fear and hide from anything remotely resembling the truth. Call me the caveman there to.

          Ride well your unicorns.

          • Gary in NJ says:

            I started riding in 1973 at the age of 10. I literately came up in motorcycling from basic technology air-cooled 2Ts to the apex of water-cooled power-valved 2T engines. In the very late 90’s when 4T’s started to break into the scene I was still racing MX and hare scrambles. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to ride such a heavy bike. I continued to resist the trend to go to a 4T bikes (and was very proud of it) until 2004 when I had the opportunity to ride a YZF250 at Cooperland. I had never ridden with such confidence in my life. There was power everywhere in the rev range and it was especially appreciated on that gigantic step-up. I resisted the latest technology – and regretted it once I sampled it. While I gave up racing many years ago there is one thing that will put me back on a dirtbike – a well sorted electric bike. The torque advantage that I so enjoyed going from a 2T to a 4T can once be enjoyed going from a 4T to an E. I can’t wait to tell my grand kids that I went from 2T, to 4T to an E-bike. In her life my grand mother went from horses to the B747. I’m pretty sure she had fond memories of the horses…but I think she liked getting places quicker a whole lot better. I feel the same way about the technology in off-road motorcycles.

            And to keep this on topic, Jett is an outstanding rider, I look forward to following his long career.

          • Mick says:

            I started riding in the 60s and have ridden competitively in all the popular off road events. I had at least one off road four stroke from the early eighties until I got tired of dealing with them when they became so very maintenance intensive around 2010. For me they were like crossing a dirt bike with the first motorized four stroke thing that I got to solo on. An Alice Chalmers lawn tractor. That’s honestly why I kept one around for so long.

            Now I ride mostly woods. Four strokes and woods just don’t get along. Even most of the chainsaws are still two strokes. The four stroke are simply some kind of Rube Goldberg engined thing that WILL fail you in an expensive fashion IMO.

            Enough of that. The last decent off road four stroke was the early 2000s KTMs. I think they called that engine the RFS. The rest of them are just money and maintenance pits.

            I have to admit that the current four strokes are easy to ride motocross on, particularlynow that the tracks have either been made for them, jumps further from corners,whoops in the middle of corners and such. But take them off road and they generally do a really good job of making fast guys slow. Their lack of versatility is astonishing.

          • Dave says:

            Nobody “mandated” 4T, it just proved superior. Today riders are free to enter races on 2T bikes. They generally don’t because they’re harder to ride and not as fast.

            The 2T is the obsolete technology. 4T is the current technology, electric will be the future.

          • Mick says:

            4T weren’t mandated. They were simply given a huge displacement advantage. The current 250 four strokes make about as much power as the 250 two strokes do. But if you want to ride a two stroke in the 250 class, you have to ride a 125. You can’t even ride a 300 in the 450 class.

            Riding any four stroke in a hard Enduro is called losing. You would be lucky to finish at all.

            I made ice race tracks. Tens of thousands of dollars of four stroke parts died on them. And I made my tracks tight enough that 250 four strokes had a prayer.

            The only thing superior about a four stroke is their ability to generate recurring funds for their manufactures.

          • TimC says:

            Call us when the Shuttle lands.

        • Mr.Mike says:

          I remember when dirt bikes had pedals.

          • Dave says:

            “I remember when dirt bikes had pedals.”

            Mine still do. 😉

          • Mick says:

            If you have a four stroke dirt bike with pedals you get to have two guys pedaling. And of course that is supposed to be seen as fair.

          • Dave says:

            I’m the only guy pedaling my dirt bike (mountain bike). You lost me with the 4 stroke reference, though.

            If you’re still hung up on the displacement difference then again, we’ve been over this. It is actually the 2-stroke that has the displacement advantage because it fires its cylinder twice as often as a 4-stroke at a given crankshaft speed. By that measure a 250cc 2T actually has a 50cc advantage over a 450cc 4T at a given rpm. That it makes so much less power comes down to the disadvantages of the 2T’s inherent design (cannot control intake/exhaust timing + duration independent of piston travel). If fewest moving parts and light weight were all that mattered we’d be riding turbine engines.

          • blitz11 says:

            Ugghhhhhh. People just don’t understand engine dynamics, porting, flow, etc.

            Power is speed x torque.

            How do you get torque? Air flow + fuel + spark.

            How do you get speed? Light weight parts.

            Now, look at air flow. 4 – strokes get it through the cylinder head. Air flow control is through the cam-driven valves.

            2-strokes get air flow through the CYLINDER. Air flow control is through a combination of an input valve (engine piston, reed valve, or rotary valve) and the exhaust port (which can have variable height.)

            Now, if you look at engine displacement, your have bore and stroke. On a 4-stroke, the entire cylinder wall is solid, so the wear is distributed evenly across the piston ring.

            On a 2-stroke, because you have ports cut into the cylinder wall, you do NOT have piston ring wear distributed evenly around the ring – where the ring crosses a port, the ring wears less than where the ring doesn’t cross a port. If the ring wears too much, then the ring catches on a port, and blows up the engine.

            The notion that a two-stroke can make 2x the power per stroke of a four stroke is true to a point – the point where the four stroke can flow twice the volume of air that a two-stroke can.

            The 2 stroke is limited by port area and ring wear. The more port area, the more flow, and the more the ring wears. The higher the engine speed, the faster the ring wears. ENGINE SPEED limits two-stroke power for a given displacement and reliability target.

            In the 1960’s, Honda was able to develop metallurgy that allows the 4-stroke to spin fast enough to out-flow the 2-strokes. More flow, more power. Modern 4-strokes can spin faster than a 2-stroke for a given displacement (due to the need to limit port
            area to achieve some level of reliability), and fast enough to make more power. Thus, the experience of the 250F rider above.

            What’s the tradeoff? Repair costs. Blow up a 4-stroke dirt bike, and it will cost you multiple thousand dollar bills. Blow up a 2-stroke, taking out cylinder and bottom end, and you’re out less than$1K.

            i LOVE two-stroke dirt bikes. Fast, easy to maintain, lightweight, cheap to operate. It’s the right powerplant for the application.

            If you want to bring 2-strokes back and make it competitive for MX and SX, you need to reduce the 4-stroke displacement advantage so you have a fair fight. The two-stroke has an inherent disadvantage – port area vs ring wear, so to make it fair, that has to be incorporated in the equation. No one does it, though.

            I am with Mick – give me my two-stroke dirt bike. I have zero interest in 4-stroke dirt bikes. If the fight were to be made fair, you’d see more 2-strokes on the track.

          • Gary in NJ says:

            2T’s have an advantage that they are supercharged, which closes the displacement gap.

          • blitz11 says:

            Supercharged? See, no one really does understand two strokes.

            The air charge in a normally aspirated two stroke engine goes in at ambient pressure. The intake is NOT pressurized. By definition, it is not supercharged.

            The expansion chamber does scavenge exhaust, but that is also done with 4 stroke “power bomb” headers which have either an additional resonance chamber or abbreviated expansion section.

          • Dave says:

            Blitz, you just spent a whole lot of words explaining that you don’t understand engines.

            The disadvantage is not “displacement” (it isn’t ring wear, either…), it is the limitations of port timing and scavenging.

            KTM makes 2T’s and 4T’s. Their 4T 250 makes only a couple hp less at peak than their 2T 250 but has much broader, more tractable power, making it easier to ride and faster in almost any rider’s hands. The 2T’s season has passed. Even if they could figure out the emissions issues, there is no way to solve their other inherent disadvantages. More displacement certainly isn’t the answer.

            The pinnacle 2T classes (500cc MX and 500cc GP) were both barely rideable death traps yet both are slower than the 4T’s that replaced them.

          • Gary in NJ says:

            I think you may be forgetting how 2T induction works. The has the piston moves down from TDC the transfer port is blocked, causing the charge in the crank chamber to pressurize. When the transfer port is uncovered it is not “sucked” into the chamber under vacuum, but is forced into the chamber through the transfer port. That is a supercharged effect.

          • Anonymous says:

            SUpercharging is “forced induction.” What you describe isn’t “forced induction” because the intake charge is at atmospheric pressure or less.

            The “pushing” of the charge in the crankcase to the transfer ports isn’t supercharging, it’s charge transfer (thus, the name “Transfer port”). There is a pressure rise because the transfer port acts as an orifice, and creates an impediment to flow, which is manifest as a pressure rise.

            Apples and oranges.

  15. TimC says:

    I’d actually consider it Totally Awesome if MD started covering this part of motorsport – which I really don’t care about but am suddenly interested. I remember a Henry Manney column from R&T where he went to a stock car race (LA IIRC) and noted it would probably be interesting to cover the series as there are probably plenty of stories (paraphrasing).

  16. viktor92 says:

    Yes, I couldn’t care less that category, but this guy is really a monster.

  17. Curt says:

    Exceptional effort. This should put him up near the top of the best rookie seasons of all time, whether his streak continues or not. Awesome to watch.

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