Hunter Lawrence on his SX title, his Suzuki GP days and nearly quitting the sport
Hunter Lawrence spoke of his joy at wining his first professional title after many ups and downs in a rollercoaster career that saw him leave Australia and lead the way for his family with dreams of making it to the big time. A factory GP ride with Suzuki including a moto win, and a MXoN MX2 win followed but also injury disappointment and team issues interrupted his GP career before moving to the States only for injuries to overshadow the moto wins and almost push Hunter so low he thought he was done with the sport.
Now, after a strong 2022, Lawrence has dominated the 2023 East coast sueprcross series to take his first title and make everything he did in the last seven years worthwhile. He’s a champion and he’s earned it the hard way, deserving everything that is now coming his way as a reward.
Hunter said in the press conference: “I didn’t even dream of this as a kid, as I didn’t know it was possible. The sport isn’t that big in Australia, so you don’t realize you can have a career doing this. Funny that in 2020 in this same state, I was thinking seriously about quitting. Just being knocked down over and over again with injuries, at that point I figured I would get a normal job and just support Jett. This is definitely redemption, to have been at the lowest point I’ve been at, so close to where I captured my first championship. It’s so special to get this one, and I hope to get many more with this same group.”
We asked Hunter if he felt this was the culmination of his journey of the learning and sacrifice through Europe and America or if it was the start of a run of championships: “I’d like to say both, obviously I have been the guinea pig, Jett and I through Europe and stuff and getting to here. I would like to think it’s the start of a great career but absolutely, you know, you can’t help but think of all the sacrifice and everything you went through in Europe, it sucked. But there was core people that stuck by us and obviously our circle and crew here, I think that’s what makes it so special for everyone. I was the crash test dummy to come through and learn. I had a lot of ups and downs and they were all there, the same crew of people we have with us now were the ones with us when we were at rock bottom, that just makes it better.”
We also asked the new champ about his days with Harry Everts at Suzuki with Harry having a part of all the most technical riders of today, from Prado to the Lawrence brothers plus the Stefan and Liam, Hunter has found memories of the time spent on yellow: “The Suzuki times in Europe, man I miss them so much, with Jeremy and Harry, Stefan and little Liam. Obviously he is racing MX2 and just got his first podium in Arco, that was crazy. Those are the years of my life that, you have certain years of your life that you just never forget and you can’t ever really recreate and that year with Suzuki was one of them. It was awesome, I loved working with them. I miss those cold winter days at 0 degrees out, it’s mizzling rain and we are riding a rough rutted sand track, it’s cool.
“We got to catch up with Harry last year at Red Bud MXoN, it was awesome because it’s like , same thing, for him to see where Jett and I are know from when we where there and obviously with Jorge and Liam now, a factory Red Bull KTM guy. He was on a, jeez, just got off a 65 when I was at Suzuki with him!”
Article: Jonathan McCready
Image: Feld Entertainment Inc.
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