Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence and Chance Hymas on Hangtown

Words and image: Honda

While the Hangtown round of the AMA Pro Motocross series in Rancho Cordova, California, didn’t go as hoped for Team Honda HRC, there were bright spots for the squad to be happy about as they left round 2. On the one hand, Jett Lawrence saw his undefeated streak in the 450 class ended following a hard crash in moto 1, resulting in a 24-6 12th-overall finish. On the other hand, the team’s other three riders had strong showings, with Hunter Lawrence notching his second runner-up overall result in two premier-class tries, Chance Hymas repeating his strong fourth-overall 250 finish from last week, and Jo Shimoda improving to tally a fifth-overall result.

Continuing a trend started last week in Pala, Jett and Hunter Lawrence put their CRF450RWE race machines in front out of the first turn in 450 moto 1, but shortly after, Jett came up short on a tricky downhill double and went down hard, suffering a contusion to his right thigh in the fall. Hunter assumed the lead spot and retained it until three laps from the end, when eventual moto-winner Chase Sexton got by. While Hunter held on for second, Jett (after pausing to have his mechanic straighten his bike’s front end) attempted to come through the pack but was ultimately unable to advance to the points-paying positions. Hunter and Jett both started moto 2 in the top six, and they sat third and fourth, respectively, after one lap. Jett was up to second seven laps in, but his battered body began to fail him just past the halfway point, resulting in lost positions. He slipped to sixth at the finish, while Hunter rode a steady race for fourth in the moto and second overall.

Hymas nailed the 250 moto 1 holeshot aboard his CRF250R and led for the majority of the race, only succumbing to eventual moto-winner Haiden Deegan with three laps remaining. Hymas held on for a commendable second-place finish, while Jo Shimoda climbed steadily from 12th on lap 1 to seventh at the finish. Hymas and Shimoda both had decent starts in 250 moto 2, sitting fourth and seventh at the end of lap 1. Hymas lost a spot at about the one-third mark but regained it a few laps later (his eventual 2-4 showing being good enough for fourth overall), while Shimoda worked forward to post fifth-place moto and overall results.

Jett Lawrence: “Rough race! In moto 1, I thought I could go for a double that would give me some space, and it ended up bucking me off. I got a chunk taken out of my leg, which was not ideal. We’ll get healed up for next weekend and try to start another win streak.”

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Hunter Lawrence: “It was a tough day. Normally, downhills are a strength I can count on. We sucked on them today, if we’re being honest, but what can you do? We just have to get back to work. The beautiful thing about this sport is we get to line up again next weekend.”

Chance Hymas: ““Round 2 was good to me. I didn’t have it for qualifying, but I got the holeshot in the first moto and led every lap until the last three laps, which was a big confidence boost. In the second moto, I got a fourth-place start and a fourth-place finish. There are still some things we need to work on, but overall, it was another good weekend.”

Jo Shimoda: ““Today was an improvement. I felt it in the suspension and gearing, so it’s good to see our hard work is paying off. I was closer to the top guys from last week, which I’m happy about. It’s going to take a little bit of time to figure this out, but we’ll take it race by race.”

Lars Lindstrom: “It was definitely an up-and-down weekend for us. Obviously the big news was Jett’s first-lap crash, which ended his win streak. Luckily, it wasn’t enough to take us out of contention, and he’ll be ready to fight again next weekend. Last week’s second-place finish for Hunter was awesome, and it was great to see him back it up with another second-place finish. Chance Hymas was awesome in the first race, and it always feels good to get a holeshot, especially in the 250 class where it’s ultra-competitive and important. For him to have pressure from Levi Kitchen the entire race and not give it up was a big box ticked off the list. We worked hard with Jo this week to improve the bike to his liking, and even though there was an improvement, there’s more that we can gain with some time and effort.”