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Motocross Legend Lawrence Hunter

Motocross Legend Lawrence Hunter

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Australian Motocross Legend Hunter Lawrence

2018 Motocross des Nations - Hunter Lawrence - with insert - By Olivia de Vaulx

Photo: Team Honda HRC rider Hunter  Lawrence (Queensland) at the 2018 Motocross des Nations at Red Bud in the United States. Hunter finished second in the MX2 class, coming first the year before where he took out the Ricky Carmichael Award for the youngest and best placed rider in the final of the 2017 MXDN at Matterley Basin in the United Kingdom.  (All photos on this page by Olivier de Vaulx).

Hunter Lawrence - one of the World's most promising young motocross riders

Queensland rider Hunter Lawrence has been inducted into the Legends section of the Australian Motocross History website, joining his younger brother Jett – the 2021 and 2022 American Motocross Association (AMA) Pro 250 Champion.

The 23-year-old Queenslander finished second to Jett in the 2022 AMA Pro 250 Championship, creating history the year before on 11 September 2021 – the 20-year anniversary of the Twin Towers incident in the US – when he and Hunter became the first brothers to finish in the top three of the United States motocross championships.

On 1 October 2017, Hunter Lawrence burst onto the international motocross scene , when he starred at the Motocross des Nations at Matterley Basin in the UK. In his first attempt, he won the overall MX2 class, becoming the first Australian to achieve this feat. 

He led the Aussies to sixth overall on his Suzuki RM-250, scoring 4-8 results across his two motos, which included the MXGP and MX Open class machines.

These results earned the young Queenslander the 2017 Ricky Carmichael Award, which is assigned to the youngest and best placed rider in the final of every Motocross des Nations.

Then in 2018, he put in another strong performance at the Motocross des Nations at the Red Bud circuit, in Michigan, United States, where he finished second on 7 October 2018 in the MX2 class in front of more than 80,000 fans. 

Following this outstanding performance at the Motocross des Nations at Red Bud in the US, Hunter was offered a contract to race a Honda CRF250R with the Factory Connection team for the 2019 AMA Pro season.  And Jett was part of the deal!

The Lawrence brothers are known as some of the most promising talents in racing. In 2015, when Jett was just 16, the Lawrence Family packed up their belongings and moved to Europe to pursue his motocross dream.

He first campaigned the 2016 European Motocross Championship and then the FIM MXGP series’ MX2 class in 2017, taking second overall at the US round in Florida, finishing ninth in the final standings.

Hunter switched to the 114 Motorsports satellite Honda squad for 2018 and, despite missing several races, finished ninth overall in the FIM MXGP series’ MX2 class – for the second year in a row.

Hunter’s first two seasons in the US in 2019 and 2020 were marred by injuries. But in the 2021 AMA Pro 250 Championship, he tallied two moto wins and one overall victory in this series to finish third overall, going one place higher in 2022.

His brother Jett and Chad Reed – who won the AMA Pro 450cc class in 2009 – are the only Australians to win an AMA Championship, both in motocross and supercross.

And Hunter is the only other Aussie to place in the AMA top three, with Jeff Leisk finishing fourth in 1988 (125) and sixth in 1987 (250). Another Queenslander – the late Andrew McFarlane finished seventh in 2006 in the 250cc class.

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2017 Motocross des Nations - Hunter Lawrence - Ricky Carmichael Award winner

Hunter Lawrence – Winner of the Ricky Carmichael award at the 2017 Motocross des Nations for the most promising young rider

Where it all began for Hunter!

2020 Honda HRC Team rider - Hunter Lawrence - Head shot - By Olivier de Vaulx

Photo:  Hunter Lawrence first dreamt of pursuing an international motocross career at age 7 (By Olivier de Vaulx).

Hunter Lawrence was born on 1 August 1999 in Queensland and grew up in Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast.

As a child, he watched supercross racing from the US on TV, which inspired him to enrol in racing junior motocross.

From as early as seven years old, Hunter idolised fellow Australian Chad Reed and dreamt of following in his footsteps.

Hunter and his younger brother Jett excelled in junior motocross, spurring each other on, and they contested several World Junior Motocross Championships, with Jett being crowned the 2014 World Champion in his class.

In 2015, Hunter won both the Australian 125cc and 250cc Junior Motocross Championships  at Bunbury in Western Australia.

The family felt that if they kept competing in the World Junior Motocross Championships, the boys would eventually get noticed and opportunities to race in Europe and the US would open up, which they did!

After Hunter Lawrence and younger brother Jett started achieving success in Australia, their family sold their belongings and moved overseas – initially to Belgium.

Racing in Europe

So in 2015, the Lawrence Family packed up their belongings and moved to Europe to pursue Hunter’s motocross dream. At the time of the move, he was 16-years-of-age and Jett 12.

In 2016, riding a Suzuki, Hunter contested the European Motocross Championship and then the FIM MXGP series’ MX2 class in 2017 – finishing second overall at the US round in Florida. 

Hunter finished ninth overall in the final standings in 2017 and 2018. Both of these years, he represented Australia in the Motocross des Nations, scoring 4-8 results at Matterley Basin in the UK in 2017, where he took out the MX2 class overall on his RM-Z250 and won the Ricky Carmichael Award for best young rider.

Hunter backed up this performance in 2018 Motocross of Nations where he finished second at the Red Bud circuit, in Michigan, United States on 7 October 2018.

Following this event, Hunter was offered a contract to race in the USA for the 2019 racing season. But the family would only accept if Jett was taken too!

Photo: Hunter’s big win in the 2018 Motocross des Nations at Red Bud, USA – helped  him and his brother Jett secure contracts to race in the United States (By Olivier de Vaulx)

2018 Motocross des Nations - Red Bud USA - Hunter Lawrence - By Olivier de Vaulx

The big move to the United States

Both Lawrence brothers received contracts and the family then relocated to the USA, now residing in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

Hunter was offered a contract to race a Honda CRF250R with the Factory Connection team for the 2019 AMA season. Unfortunately, Hunter US racing career didn’t get off to a good start – breaking his collarbone before the supercross season started, which kept him waiting until the outdoors to make his US debut.

On 18 May 2019, the 19-year-old Australian lined up at the opening round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown, finishing 11th overall.
The next weekend at Pala, though, although finishing ninth overall, Hunter burst into the limelight and could have won had he not tangled with Jordon Smith while running in third place in moto 1 and crashed while leading the second moto.

Hunter recovered though to finish second in moto 2 and proved to everyone that he was the real deal.

Lawrence’s season ‘high point’ came at High Point, Mt Morris, PA when he stormed to his first race win on US soil, notching another wins at Millville and Spring Creek.  

With four rounds remaining, Hunter had muscled his way up to fourth in the standings when disaster struck during a practice session with his team. In what was dubbed a ‘freak accident’, an engine malfunction saw it seize at the top of a jump and the talented racer landed heavily, breaking his collarbone for the second time that year.

Hunter only missed two rounds before he returned to racing at the Budds Creek National, where he qualified fourth and finished 12th overall. Then at the final round at Ironman, he tore his ACL and meniscus and mildly sprained his MCL during a training incident.

Hunter finished 10th in the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross 250 final standings, despite missing several rounds, then 13th in 2020 after a continuous injury run.

At the second round of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, he was forced to pull out of the first moto after dislocated his shoulder without even crashing.
But he soldiered on and finished seventh overall at Spring Creek on 19 September 2020, then fifth at Thunder Valley on 3 October 2020.

2019 Hunter Lawrence in action in the United States 1 - By Olivia de Vaulx
2019 Hunter Lawrence in action in the United States 4 - By Olivia de Vaulx
2019 Hunter Lawrence in action in the United States 3 - By Olivia de Vaulx
2019 Hunter Lawrence in action in the United States 6 - By Olivia de Vaulx
2019 Hunter Lawrence in action in the United States 2 - By Olivia de Vaulx
2019 Hunter Lawrence in action in the United States 5 - By Olivia de Vaulx

Photo:  After two injury-affected years in the  United States, Queenslander Hunter Lawrence finally had a clean run in 2021 and finished third in the AMA Pro 250 Championship in the United States (Photos by Olivier de Vaulx).

Finishing on the podium in the AMA 250 Championships

Riding for the factory Team Honda HRC squad in 2021, things finally started to turn for Hunter.

He finished third in the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross 250MX Championship, having taken two moto wins and one overall victory – at Southwick on 10 July.

On 11 September 2021 at the Hangtown Motocross Classic season finale, Hunter and his younger brother Jett (who won the Championship) became the only brothers to both finish an AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the top three.

In 2022 Hunter finished third in the AMA 250MX and second in the AMA SX East series.  With Mitch Evens, the brothers represented Australia in the  MXdN’s that year in the USA, finishing on the podium in third.

For 2023, the brothers are reversing AMA SX championships, with Jett Contesting the West series, which kicked  off on 7 January in Anaheim, California and Hunter racing the East series.

 

Photo:  In 2021, the Lawrences – Jett (pictured) and Hunter created history becoming the only brothers to both finish an AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the top three. (By Olivier de Vaulx).

2021 AMA Pro Motocross 250 Champion Jett Lawrence - Headshot - By Olivia de Vaulx

Hunter Lawrence's key career highlights

2021 3rd AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship Hunter Jett Lawrence - Headshot - By Olivia de Vaulx

Overall Championships

2023
AMA 250 SX East Champion

2022
2nd AMA 250 SX East
3rd AMA Pro 250 Motocross Championship (Honda)

2021
3rd AMA Pro 250 Motocross Championship (Honda)
2nd AMA Pro 250 Supercross West Championship (Honda)

2020
13th AMA Pro 250 Motocross Championship (Honda)
24th AMA Pro 250 Supercross West Championship (Honda)

2019
10th AMA Pro 250 Motocross Championship (Honda)

2018
9th Motocross Grand Prix MX2 (Honda)

2017
9th Motocross Grand Prix MX2 (Suzuki)

2015
125cc Australian Junior Motocross Champion (Yamaha)
250cc Australian Junior Motocross Champion (Yamaha)

2012
Australian Junior Motocross Champion

Motocross des Nations 

2022
3rd Team Australia – Red Bud USA (Honda)
2nd overall in MX2 class

2018
2nd Motocross des Nations MX2 – Red Bud USA (Honda)

2017
1st Motocross des Nations MX2 – Matterley Basin UK, 1 October (Suzuki)

Individual SX podium finishes

2021
3rd Supercross Showdown – Salt Lake City 2, 1 May (Honda)

2nd AMA Pro 250 Supercross West – Atlanta 2, 13 April (Honda)

1st AMA Pro 250 Supercross West – Arlington 2, 16 March (Honda)

2nd AMA Pro 250 Supercross West – Arlington 1, 13 March (Honda)

Individual SX wins 2022

Six AMA 250SX East wins at Salt Lake City,  Denver, Atlanta, Seattle and Glendale (Honda)

Individual MX podium finishes

2021
1st AMA Pro 250 Championship – Southwick, 10 July (Honda)
3rd AMA Pro 250 Championship – Thunder Valley, 5 June (Honda)

2019
3rd AMA Pro 250 Championship – Spring Creek, 20 July (Honda)
2nd AMA Pro 250 Championship – High Point, 15 June (Honda)

2018
3rd Motocross Grand Prix MX2 – Bulgaria, 25 August (Honda)
3rd Motocross Grand Prix MX2 – Switzerland, 19 August (Honda)
3rd Motocross Grand Prix MX2 – Argentina, 4 March (Honda)

2017
2nd Motocross Grand Prix MX2 – Pays de Montbéliard, 16 September (Suzuki)
2nd Motocross Grand Prix MX2 – USA, 2 September (Suzuki)
2nd Motocross Grand Prix MX2 – Germany, 20 May (Suzuki)

Hunter Lawrence video gallery

Dirt and Iron – Interview brothers Hunter and Jett Lawrence in 2021

MXGP MTV – Jett Lawrence MX2 winner at 2017 MXDN at Matterley Basin in the UK

MXGP MTV – Jett Lawrence second overall in MX2 class at 2018 MXDN at Red Bud, USA.

Fabry Films – 2015 Australian Junior Motocross Championships, Bunbury WA

Dunlop Media – 2015 Hunter Lawrence, the Next Chapter

Honda Power Sports US – 2021 Lawrence Family Life

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