Sexton, Jett and Hunter Lawrence plus Roczen on Washougal
For the third time this season, Team Honda HRC topped both classes at an AMA Pro Motocross National, this time in front of a large and enthusiastic Pacific Northwest crowd at Washougal MX Park, with Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence doing the honors in the 450 and 250 classes, respectively. The eighth round of the series also saw Ken Roczen and Hunter Lawrence turn in solid performances, the former fighting off a fever to notch fourth overall in the 450 class, and the latter winning a 250 moto and taking third overall.
Chase Sexton: ““That was gnarly! I felt really good from the get-go. I didn’t qualify the fastest, but my feeling on the bike was good, which is all that matters. Then it was just an hour and 10 minutes of battling. The first moto was a battle, and we had a little scuffle: he fell down, and I ran right into the back of him. The second moto was mentally challenging, with him behind me and not making any mistakes. I’m stoked that I was able to persevere and just keep him behind me. That’s how I want to win. You don’t want to win by a guy getting a bad start; it’s obviously easier, but you want to win when the guy is on you. Today we stuck together both motos. That was cool for me, and something that I’ve been dreaming of. I’ve been wanting to have that battle at the end of races, and it’s come together to where I could push and have a little bit of a gap. These next races are good for me, so hopefully we can have a good finish.”
Ken Roczen: “I was ready to give it my all. Unfortunately, it seems like my immune system kind of let me down a little bit. I started feeling iffy on Thursday and especially Friday; I came down with a fever and massive headache through Friday night. I probably picked up some kind of illness, so that made my day a lot tougher. I got lucky that the weather wasn’t super-hot, and I guess I have to be happy with a 4-6 for fourth overall. I know I belong on the podium, but poor starts were definitely not helping me out. I’m pumped with the effort the team has given; they keep believing in me. We’re going into a couple of off-weekends, and first and foremost, I want to get my body back in check, then put in some good work and come out swinging. I really like Unadilla and have done well there in the past, so my spirits are high—looking forward to finishing up the season strong.”
Jett Lawrence: “It was a weird day—different; I went second all day, but still got the overall win. I’m lucky I got it, and I would’ve liked to have gotten at least one moto win, but we’ll take it. The biggest thing here is always the shadows—I think I’ll come up here in the off-season and burn the trees! The second moto, I felt good, but I pushed and had a few sketchy moments in the shadow spots. I thought, ‘You know what, I already know I have an overall win unless Hunter passes Jo; I’m just going to stick with this and play it safe.’ The main thing is I just wanted to go back home safe. Now we get a bit of a break, and then we go to some tracks I really like, like Unadilla and Budds Creek. Hopefully we can keep that win streak going.”
Hunter Lawrence: ““Ugh, third overall. Not gonna lie, on paper it should’ve been better for me, but that’s how she goes. I’m stoked with my bike and riding. I’m going to come out swinging for these last four rounds.”
Lars Lindstrom: “Days like today are why we do this job. Winning both classes is something we’ve done a few times this season, but every time we do, we need to celebrate it. All our guys today were awesome. Kenny wasn’t feeling 100%, but he still gutted out a 4-6; Hunter killed it in the first moto and then riding great in the second moto until that tip-over, but he still came back to get on the overall podium; Jett was consistent enough to win yet again; and Chase’s win was super-special for everyone on the team. He had a knock-down, drag-out battle with Tomac, and he just really solidified himself as the next guy. Eli was on fire, and Chase was able to match him—having pressure in that entire second moto and still beating him. Everyone has worked so hard for this, no one more than Chase, so it feels really good.”
Words and images: Honda