Good, Bad and Ugly | 2023 Unadilla 7

Bullet points from the ninth round of the 2023 Pro Motocross term.

'Good, Bad and Ugly' reflects on miscellaneous points from the ninth round of the 2023 Pro Motocross series, Unadilla. What would you put under each subheading? Travel to the forum to join the discussion or share ideas on social media (@VitalMX on Twitter and Instagram). For now, however, read on for some thoughts on Jett Lawrence's rise to the stardom.


I distinctly recall the first time that the Lawrence brothers appeared on my radar. It was at the 2014 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship, when Jett ripped to the 65cc title via 1-2 scores (it was Jo Shimoda who won the other moto). Hunter had already made his presence known at the same event one year prior, where he finished second overall in 85cc with a 4-1 scorecard. The Lawrence duo became hot property, not that they were financially rewarded for some time, and a spotlight was placed on the likeable family from that moment on.

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Hunter was a 'star' in his first EMX250 term with Kawasaki's official MX2 outfit (once branded as CLS). It was in his third outing, Germany, that he sensationally went 1-1 and confirmed his status as a future star. There were always murmurs about Jett in that time though. "Hunter will be brilliant, but Jett is the one to keep an eye on" was muttered throughout paddocks across the globe. There was very little substance to that claim; Jett had not even touched a big bike, nor had he been tested on the world's greatest stage. It was just two years later that changed.

Jett raced in EMX250 in 2018 as a privateer, with some support from Suzuki Germany. It was one of the few terms that he was seen on a different manufacturer to Hunter. It was a turbulent campaign; he was a lot younger than those who raced alongside him in the division that had no age restriction. Although he failed to qualify at points, his potential was confirmed via some awe-inspiring showings in the bottomless sand. A child, essentially, outlasting professional riders ten years his senior on an outdated motorcycle in the hardest conditions? MXGP and MX2 competition was pushed aside. It was the Jett show.

Those rides came at Ottobiano – a deep sand track that was held on the hottest weekend of the year and saw riders collapse as they crossed the finish line – and Assen. A single moto win at Ottobiano was simply a teaser. A perfect sweep at the finale, Assen, was the confirmation. It was clear that Jett was in his window of growth and, coincidentally, it was at that exact moment that he moved to the United States. It was such perfect timing and something that would have contributed to the immediate success in his current setting.

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It has been well documented that Hunter has experienced a lot more 'bad' times than Jett. Jett was around during their most difficult years in Europe, of course, but maybe naïve and spared from the pressure that came from the demands of surviving on the other side of the world. The only blip in Jett's career thus far was that collarbone injury that he sustained at Anaheim 2 in 2020. It took him no time at all to return to racing and right the wrongs with a podium finish at Salt Lake City 5. Bizarrely, that 'bad' time in his career was what sprung him to stardom. The followers and praise that he received in the hours after the injury confirmed that a star had been born off the track that arguably had even more potential than the on-track version.


'Ugly' best describes what Jett has done to his competitors in 2023 Pro Motocross. Perfect in every way, except for timed qualification at High Point, he has led ninety-two percent of the laps and barely broke a sweat. There is a point where perfection borders on the line of boredom for onlookers. One becomes so accustomed to seeing something that it no longer registers in the brain as something extraordinary. This is a little poke to remind everyone of the excellence.


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