Supercross (SX) racing requires balance in all aspects and entering his third season in the 250 Series, Team Honda HRC rider Jett Lawrence has learned to temper his natural confidence with humility.
The first personality trait wasn’t hard to come by. Confidence was acquired in him from a young age and reinforced by a third place finish in the SX East division last year and the 2021 Motocross Championship. Lawrence believes that humility comes just as naturally, though it can sometimes be. difficult to express in a sport where the winning runner has to believe he is the best in the field.
“Expectations were pretty high going forward (in 2021),” Lawrence told NBC Sports. “I didn’t really like the way it was picked up at all. I had my expectations. I am who I am and I always want to be better, so I didn’t care too much.
“I didn’t feel like it bothered me too much, to be honest. People like to try to put pressure on you, but I feel like it’s more about “you”. You can tell you’ve been pressured, and if you believe it, it’s the pressure. If you don’t, then don’t overthink it.
After literally mortgaging the family’s future, the Lawrence brothers burst onto the scene in 2020 with Jett and Hunter Lawrence featured as two of the most promising runners to join the series in several seasons. For Jett, the speed was there, but 2020 wasn’t the start many expected.
Lawrence won a podium in six starts from 250 SX West and finished 10th in the standings. A broken collarbone after being thrown from his bike into the whoops in Round 3 of 2020 prevented him from participating in all races that year.
His second season was much stronger. Racing each race and earning nearly twice as many points, Lawrence finished third in the standings behind champion Colt Nichols and Jo Shimoda, who became the first Japanese-born rider to win a race in the series last year.
More importantly, Lawrence learned to win and to stand on the podium with greater frequency. He won the second race of the season and took podiums in two of the three season opener races in Houston. He closed the season with two wins and a second place finish in Salt Lake City.
Without a disastrous race in Indianapolis where he finished out of points in 23rd place, he might have won the title.
“(Aggression) is probably one of my biggest issues,” Lawrence said. “We all want to be better than each other so it’s a very difficult thing. This is probably my strength and my weakness at the same time. This is what cost me a little (in 2021) in supercross.
“I try to go faster than anyone else on the track and it ends up catching me. The more mature side must realize that I’m okay. I get a little carried away sometimes because I want to be the best at what I do. Sometimes it definitely bites me, but sometimes it pays off.
Three consecutive top-two standings at the end of the season have propelled him into motocross with a ton of momentum. Lawrence won the season opener at Fox Raceway in Pala, Calif. And finished on the podium in three consecutive races. He’s also won three of the last five motocross races to put him in a position to drive smart at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, Calif., In the final.
Lawrence won the Outdoor Championship by six points over Justin Cooper.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Lawrence and Cooper traded the points lead over the season, and a streak of three modest fourth or sixth performances forced Lawrence to dig deep and close hard.
But that’s also what contributed to Lawrence’s confidence.
“I’m confident because I know I put in some work,” Lawrence said. “I don’t need someone to tell me I’m fine. I know I’m decent at what I do because I put work into it – so I’m confident as a person.
“Sometimes I try to hide this, because sometimes it seems arrogant. It’s a bit of a fight with that. But I feel like trust is definitely a good thing to have in your back pocket. C it’s pretty funny when people think I’m like that cocky kid, but people who know me say to me, “it just happens that way.”
“It’s good (to be confident) but it’s more like being mentally strong. I feel like my dad is very strong mentally and I take a bit of him – and just being strong mentally and knowing that I’m meant to be here, and I deserve everything I get. Not sounding like a spoiled brat, but everything I’ve accomplished I deserve.
With a 450 run looming, Lawrence has one final goal to reach as the 2022 season is about to start.
When asked what he would have liked to write about him at the end of the season, Lawrence replied: “(I would like to be known at the end of the season as) the greatest 250m runner in the world. world. It would be great to have that.
“But I also hate to say that because I’m just not that person trying to brag. So it’s weird, but a perfect season would be to get both championships.
“The race wins are obviously impressive, but the biggest goal is the championship and if I can get both, the goals are met in 250.”