Breakout Weekend for Team Honda HRC at Thunder Valley MX

  • Jett Lawrence rebounds to take a 2-1 overall win in the 450 class
  • Moto win, second-overall results for Hunter Lawrence, who takes points lead
  • In 250 class, Chance Hymas earns career-first moto win and career-best second overall
  • Solid fourth-overall finish for Jo Shimoda, with 5-3 moto finishes

At the Lakewood, Colorado, Thunder Valley National (round 3 of the AMA Pro Motocross series), all four Team Honda HRC racers enjoyed positive showings that were important steps toward achieving their aspirations for the season. Following the worst outdoor performance of his career last week (and still affected by a hard crash), Jett Lawrence took the 450 overall win and significantly reduced his deficit in the title chase. Hunter Lawrence earned the first 450 moto-win of his career and left the Centennial State with his first premier-class red plate. The 250 class saw Chance Hymas also notch his first moto-win and take his first overall-podium finish. Jo Shimoda tallied his first moto-podium finish and continued a steady progression in overall results (from sixth at round 1, to fifth at round 2, to fourth in Colorado).

Hymas sat in third for the first two-thirds of 250 moto 1, but a late pass by Levi Kitchen left him finishing fourth. Meanwhile, Shimoda advanced from just inside the top 10 on lap 1 to finish just behind his teammate, in fifth. It was Hymas's CRF250R exiting turn 1 of moto 2 with the lead, and the Idaho native rode well for the entire race, successfully fending off early advances from Haiden Deegan before winning by almost 4 seconds. Shimoda quietly climbed from sixth on lap 1 to a commendable third place, catching Deegan on the last lap and almost making the pass. The Japanese racer earned fourth overall.

The first 450 moto saw Hunter and Jett start fifth and sixth, respectively, and they both moved up one position on the first lap. The brothers steadily advanced, overtaking Jason Anderson, Justin Barcia and Justin Cooper, to put them first and second at the three-quarters mark. Later, Hunter was second out of turn 1 in moto 2, with Jett just behind. Chase Sexton passed them both on lap 1 but went down a couple laps later. Jett passed his brother with six laps remaining, and with four laps left, they both got around erstwhile leader Cooper. Hunter put on a charge against his brother, with Jett responding, and they both did the fastest laps of the race on the last lap, finishing just over a second apart. With the Lawrences' finish positions flipped from moto 1, they tied on points, with Jett getting the nod in the overall tally thanks to his better moto 2 result.


  • On Friday, Team Honda HRC attended Media Day for the Thunder Valley National, getting in some track time and participating in interviews. A storm that evening caused some damage at the track, but Team Honda HRC was largely unaffected.
  • Once again, a pop-up dealer-activation booth was set up in the Team Honda HRC pits at the Thunder Valley National, this time staffed by Littleton, Colorado, dealership Peak Honda World.
  • During morning qualifying, Jett Lawrence posted the fastest 450 lap time, with Hunter Lawrence second. In the 250 ranks, Chance Hymas and Jo Shimoda were third- and fourth-best, respectively.
  • In both 450 motos, Jett and Hunter Lawrence occupied the top two positions on the fastest-lap timesheets. Chance Hymas posted the fastest time in the second 250 moto.
  • Jett Lawrence's success this weekend gave Honda sole possession of the record for most premier-class overall wins at Thunder Valley, with six. Other Red Riders to have scored wins include Ivan Tedesco, Ken Roczen (three times) and Jett last year. Honda also now ties Kawasaki for most premier-class moto wins at the track, with 11.
  • Hunter Lawrence's steady results so far this year put him in the title-chase lead for the first time in his career, six points ahead of Chase Sexton, which means his CRF450RWE will wear the red plate at the next round. After losing ground last week due to a crash, Jett Lawrence sits third, having slashed his deficit from 24 to 16. In the 250 ranks, Chance Hymas now sits second in points, 23 behind leader Haiden Deegan. Jo Shimoda is fifth.
  • Team Honda HRC is back in action in one week, at the High Point National MX in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania.

Jett Lawrence
"The second moto was much harder than the first for me; my legs were shot late in the moto. When I was in third, I had to make a decision whether I was going to push past the top two or just settle. I knew we had to make up some points, so I put my head down and kept charging. I'm happy to get out of here with a win and a chunk of points. Let's head east!"

Hunter Lawrence
"It was definitely a great day, but I almost wish I left here with the overall instead of the red plate, as weird as that sounds. We made some big changes on the bike this week, and today it showed. It's always a good feeling when you do some testing that pays off. The 450s are beasts to hold on to compared to 250s, especially off the start, so setup plays a huge key in being competitive."

Chance Hymas
"It feels great to do this for the team. They've seen me at my lowest, and they've seen the work I've been putting in. We figured some stuff out with the bike and with my diet lately, and that's been a huge key. I feel like I'm back to where I was last year, before I got hurt."

Jo Shimoda
"This weekend was another improvement. This felt like the first time I was riding my style. We did a lot of bike work over the past month, and it's starting to come together. Today was a big confidence boost, to know I can run the pace. We just have to figure out our starts. And congrats Chance!"

Lars Lindstrom – Team Manager
"This was a successful weekend for the entire team, and it seems like Colorado and Honda are quite fond of one another, seeing as we've had a lot of success here. After last weekend, we had a lot of decisions to make to get our 450 boys more comfortable, and I want to thank our awesome team sponsor, Showa, for the hard work and commitment to do whatever it takes to win. Along with the extra effort from everyone on the team, we were able to respond quickly, and the brothers proved how happy they were with the bike by dominating qualifying and also the race. It was truly special to watch them battle it out, and I'm super-happy to see Hunter get his 450 first moto win. I'm also ecstatic to see Chance and Jo's progression, with Chance getting the holeshot and winning the second moto, which included pulling away from "The Deegs" [Haiden Deegan], while Jo just kept getting faster and faster to almost nab second. Once we figure out his starts and first-lap intensity, I think he'll be challenging for wins again."

Media contact:
Danny Gonzalez // Jonnum Media // // +1 (805) 915-7889
450 Overall Results

  1. Jett Lawrence (Hon)
  2. Hunter Lawrence (Hon)
  3. Justin Cooper (Yam)
  4. Justin Barcia (Gas)
  5. Chase Sexton (KTM)
  6. Aaron Plessinger (KTM)
  7. Jason Anderson (Kaw)
  8. Malcolm Stewart (Hus)
  9. Dylan Ferrandis (Hon)
  10. Christian Craig (Hus)

19. Cullin Park (Hon)
24. Henry Miller (Hon)
27. Jeremy Hand (Hon)
28. Tyler Stepek (Hon)
30. Ryder Floyd (Hon)
32. Luca Marsalisi (Hon)

450 Championship Points (after 3 of 11 rounds)

  1. Hunter Lawrence: 129
  2. Chase Sexton: 123
  3. Jett Lawrence: 113
  4. Justin Cooper: 109
  5. Aaron Plessinger: 100
  6. Jason Anderson: 97
  7. Justin Barcia: 95
  8. Dylan Ferrandis: 89
  9. Malcolm Stewart: 87
  10. Fredrik Noren: 68

16. Cullin Park: 29
19. Dean Wilson: 17

250 Overall Results

  1. Haiden Deegan (Yam)
  2. Chance Hymas (Hon)
  3. Tom Vialle (KTM)
  4. Jo Shimoda (Hon)
  5. Levi Kitchen (Kaw)
  6. Jalek Swoll (Tri)
  7. Ty Masterpool (Kaw)
  8. Pierce Brown (Gas)
  9. Julien Beaumer (KTM)
  10. Jordon Smith (Yam)

36. Gavin Brough (Hon)

250 Championship Points (after 3 of 11 rounds)

  1. Haiden Deegan: 144
  2. Chance Hymas: 121
  3. Tom Vialle: 121
  4. Levi Kitchen: 119
  5. Jo Shimoda: 99
  6. Jalek Swoll: 93
  7. Pierce Brown: 84
  8. Julien Beaumer: 73
  9. Ty Masterpool: 69
  10. Joey Savatgy: 60

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