Lawrence Grabs Second Straight Supercross Win

Lawrence

Jett Lawrence en route to victory inside Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday night. (Feld Entertainment photo)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Team Honda HRC's Jett Lawrence grabbed the holeshot inside Protective Stadium and never relinquished the lead spot en route to a second straight Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship win Saturday night.

In doing so, Lawrence became the first rider to string back-to-back AMA Supercross wins this season. It was the Australian rider’s fourth win overall so far.

Heavy rains the night before the race saturated the red dirt track but only light rain fell during the racing at round nine of the 17-round season.

“I’m super pumped I was able to link two races together. … That was a very difficult track, it could cost you,” explained Lawrence. “I felt like old Jett would have thrown it away like Arlington. [You] just had to be very, very patient, and not just push this track because it could bite you pretty quickly. We tried going for a little sneaky corner over there; we came up very short. Thank gosh it’s soft so it stopped me. But no, it’s just an awesome, awesome weekend [and an] awesome race.

“Shout out to the team [because] they’re awesome and now, hopefully, we can maybe click off some more, but we'll have to wait and see. These races are all pretty gnarly with all these great riders out here.”

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing's Cooper Webb chased Jett from the start, but after the opening laps was never close enough to mount an attempt at the lead.

Webb’s rebound came after a crash in his heat earlier on in the program.

“After that incident when I crashed in the heat, it was good to rebound and get a good start; and yeah, it was a great ride,” noted Webb. “I felt awesome. I made a few mistakes in the beginning and that gap [to Jett] got there, and then I felt like I did a good job maintaining that. We played cat and mouse and I know what it takes now to run that pace, so [I’m] pretty happy with tonight, [getting a] solid second.

“[Jett] is a hell of a competitor and a great rider, so we'll try to be better for next week. It feels great to be back up here on the box.”

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What does Webb think it will take to close his current 13-point deficit to Lawrence?

“Who knows!” he said. “This season’s been crazy, so I think there’s still a lot of guys that are capable of getting in the mix. For me, I’ve just got to keep having rides like tonight, but one position better.”

Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki's Ken Roczen recovered from outside the top 10 to pass his way forward on the rutted track and claim a third-place finish.

“I’m really, really happy with how I rode. I’ve just got to get better off the gate,” tipped Roczen. “I’ve been putting a lot of practice starts in at home, but ultimately, I’ve got to start further up front. Being 11th [at the beginning of the main event] is not the position you want to be in if you want to fight for a win. But I made some really good passes happen and found myself in third; and I was pretty close behind Cooper and Jett, but … I just couldn’t find the right line in that one rhythm [section] over here and so I ended up doubling my way through and lost a bunch of time.

“The important thing is that I had a good gap to the people behind me,” he added. “I’m really happy to be just finally back on the box; that was important.”

Vialle

Tom Vialle celebrates victory inside Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday. (Feld Entertainment photo)

In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle backed up his win from a week ago with a commanding triumph in Birmingham.

Vialle also took over the point lead in the 250SX East Class with his wire-to-wire victory.

“Grabbing another win, I didn’t expect it,” admitted Vialle. “I felt great all day and I had a good heat race. I didn’t have the best start [in the main], but I caught all the guys and I was P-1 [after that]. [Then I just tried to] do some good laps and be consistent all moto. I tried to save [energy for] the last four or five laps and [it] was great. I love the track and we were lucky with the weather [and so] the track was pretty good and I’m really happy.

“Another win, taking the red plate, and I mean, it's been a long time [that] I didn’t win two races in a row … [not] since I was back in the GPs. I feel good and it's nice to win, I can tell you that.”

The Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki duo of Cameron McAdoo and Seth Hammaker filled out the 250SX East podium, with Hammaker finishing third after transferring into the main from the Last Chance Qualifier.

Next up, round 10 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship lines the racers up inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on March 16.

The 17-round Monster Energy Supercross season also pays points toward the 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship.

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