top of page

2023 AMA Pro Motocross Recap - Budds Creek

Getting close to closing time on this 2023 Motocross season, but there's one stop left before Ironman, that being Budds Creek. Honda HRC had a nice afterparty a week ago with Jett Lawrence at Unadilla and entered this week hoping for the same with Hunter Lawrence. Although not a guarantee, a net gain of 28 points over Star Yamaha's Justin Cooper would do the trick. That would also give Honda all five AMA National/Regional Championships, in what would be a first in the history of the sport, so no pressure. Then, of course, Jett is just four Motos away from a perfect season. This close to the finish line, how does he handle himself?

Daytime Program/Injury Notes:

- 450s back to closing the show after opening a week ago.

- Multi-Time Canadian 450MX Champion Dylan Wright lined up on a 450 and qualified 12th).

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 32 Justin Cooper (1:59.545) (Only Cooper and Haiden Deegan ran under the 2:00 range, Max Vohland was the only rider to run under the 2:01 range).

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 18 Jett Lawrence (1:57.084) (Nearly 1.5 seconds faster than anyone else, so yeah, just another day at the office)

250 Class

1st- No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (Honda HRC) (2-1)

As funny as it sounds now, that Moto 1 restart was a net neutral for Lawrence at best and a minor inconvenience at worse. It gave Cooper a much better start and the chance to beat him, yes, but it only resulted in a minimal points swing, and that got evened out down the line anyways. Besides, starts haven't been a strong suit for Hunter this summer. Now did that stop him from going wire to wire in Moto 2? Absolutely not, but everyone's due eventually.

Now Lawrence may be up 22 points with just one round left, but given the volatility of his starts, he may have to sweat this one out at Ironman. A Moto 1 win would clinch things right then and there, but if Cooper gets out to a comfortable lead in the opening half of the Moto, I think you see Lawrence not force the issue for the rest of the day. 28 points would clinch things for sure ( 7-7, 6-8, etc.), but he may not even need it.

2nd - No. 32 Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) (1-2)

Although Lawrence wasn't affected much by the Moto 1 restart in the grand scheme of things, no one ended up benefiting more than Cooper. He was more or less stuck around in no man's land (middle of the top 10), then ends up second on the second restart. Loved the pass he made on Jalek Swoll for the lead in the downhill-uphill section with Lawrence breathing down his neck after he punted him. An even better job of maintaining that gap to the finish. Going to need a ton of help to win this title, but this has been another great year for JCoop in The Great Outdoors.

9th - No. 929 Julien Beaumer (Red Bull KTM) (11-9)

Just a rock-solid debut for Beaumer in every sense of the phrase. He even got some time running inside the top five with guys like Daxton Bennick, JCoop, Swoll, and Lawrence in that second Moto 1 stint and was making some solid progress after a bad start before the red flag. He also spent a ton of time running behind teammate Tom Vialle in Moto 2, which was probably the best thing that could have happened to him. Watching how a guy, who's been to the mountaintop multiple times in the GPs, is attacking a track in real time must have been huge for Beaumer. Excited to see if he can look even better at Ironman.

11th - No. 238 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) (16-5)

I feel like multiple things can be true when you talk about Deegan's weekend. Yes, he would've won Moto 1 by around 7-10 seconds without that red flag. Also, yes, his second Moto 1 gate drop was horrible and he tried to make something happen inside of Vialle when literally nothing was there. The consequence of that was the gate selection he got later on, causing a start of 18th, but to his credit, Deegan fought up to 5th, so good on him.

Now, there was also some news that dropped after all the Motos had concluded. Steve Matthes dropped that Deegan had declined the opportunity to run in the 2023 Motocross Des Nations for the United States. That Washougal interview Deegan did continues to age worse and worse, and it's barely been a month since. Specifically the part where he broke out the nationality card talking about Hunter.

11th - No. 34 Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) (9-16)

In what I can only describe as a grave betrayal after all the good things said last week, Vohland comes out with his worst outing of the season, and on my PulpFantasy team no less!!! We're not going to get into if I should have seen this coming from a mile away or not, but I'm not mad, just disappointed.

250 Class Budds Creek Top 10

1st No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (2-1)

2nd No. 32 Justin Cooper (1-2)

3rd No. 30 Jo Shimoda (7-3)

4th No. 55 Austin Forkner (8-4)

5th No. 128 Tom Vialle (5-6)

6th No. 38 Jalek Swoll (3-12)

7th No. 241 Daxton Bennick (4-11)

8th No. 52 Carson Mumford (12-8)

9th No. 929 Julien Beaumer (11-9)

10th No. 35 Seth Hammaker (6-14)

250 Class Points After Budds Creek

1st No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (391 Points) (Clinches Championship with a Moto 1 win/gaining three points on Justin Cooper)

2nd No. 32 Justin Cooper (369 Points)

3rd No. 30 Jo Shimoda (343 Points)

4th No. 238 Haiden Deegan (329 Points)

5th No. 43 Levi Kitchen (308 Points)

6th No. 24 R.J. Hampshire (288 Points)

7th No. 34 Max Vohland (269 Points)

8th No. 128 Tom Vialle (268 Points)

9th No. 38 Jalek Swoll (191 Points)

10th No. 75 Ryder DiFrancesco (185 Points)

450 Class

1st- No. 1 Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC) (1-1)

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, but it's even better if your both. The choice to not run the paddle/scoop rear tire in Moto 1 nearly put Lawrence's Perfect Season in jeopardy, causing what has comfortably been his worst gate drop of the season. What ended up being surprising was not that he got to the front in about 15 minutes, but simply how he did it. Jett was very methodical going about things, which could be attributed to this hyper-rare situation he finds himself in, but that's not something we've seen out of him in quite some time.

Starting Moto 2 further inside on the gate and without that scoop tire, Lawrence promptly led the field into turn one by about a bike length. Not once but twice, however, did Sexton appear to have him dead to rights but tipped over on try one and ran out of time on try two. You'll see it in a few moments, but this wasn't a Lawrence taking-it-easy situation. Sexton was a MOVING on those final five laps. Luckily Lawrence remains perfect despite a final lap bobble and is 60 minutes shy from immortality.

4th - No. 23 Chase Sexton (Honda HRC) (9-2)

Say whatever you want about how Chase Sexton continues to find ways to end up on the ground; this kid absolutely refuses to quit under any circumstances. Looking back at the lap times, that Moto 2 super surge was 100% Sexton finding a level that even Lawrence hadn't reached. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself.

Jett Lawrence-Chase Sexton Budds Creek Moto 2 Lap Times

Let alone the fact that Sexton fought his way up from around 22nd to finish 9th in Moto 1. He's making things way harder on himself than he needs to, but the speed has been mostly all summer. One thing is for certain, though, if Lawrence does wrap this perfect season up, Sexton will throw in everything plus the kitchen sink to try and stop it.

5th - No. 51 Justin Barcia (TLD/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) (5-4)

In Lawrnece's Moto 1 surge, the one guy I was desperately trying to see try and get by was BamBam, and I got my wish. Sure, he got by him, but Barcia gave him the toughest time of anyone Lawrence got by inside the top five. But on the whole, you saw enough to understand why he was getting Des Nations consideration despite only running four Motos this summer. MX2 spot perhaps???

40th - No. 109 Dylan Wright (Honda/GDR/Fox Racing) (DNF-DNS)

Was going to be one hell of a showcase for the multi-time Canadian MX Champion and 'Captian Canada' for Des Nations if not for a chain and engine case issue ending his day far sooner than it should have. Wright was floating around the top 10 for most of that first Moto before everything unraveled. Hopefully, he can find better luck at Ironman, assuming he's coming back down.

450 Class Budds Creek Top 10

1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence (1-1)

2nd No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (4-3)

3rd No. 21 Jason Anderson (2-5)

4th No. 23 Chase Sexton (9-2)

5th No. 51 Justin Barcia (5-4)

6th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (3-9)

7th No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo (7-6)

8th No. 36 Garrett Marchbanks (6-8)

9th No. 81 Ty Masterpool (8-7)

10th No. 69 Phil Nicoletti (10-11)

450 Class Points After Budds Creek

1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence (500 Points) (Two Motos Shy of a Perfect Season)

2nd No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (379 Points)

3rd No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (350 Points)

4th No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo (298 Points)

5th No. 23 Chase Sexton (294 Points)

6th No. 81 Ty Masterpool (242 Points)

7th No. 36 Garrett Marchbanks (228 Points)

8th No. 47 Freddie Noren (208 Points)

9th No. 21 Jason Anderson (171 Points)

10th No. 78 Grant Harlan (162 Points)

Budds Creek PulpMX Industry Idiots Fantasy Team

250 Class: Max Vohland (All-Star, +5), Julien Beaumer (+7), Daxton Bennick (+3), Preston Kilroy (+8)

450 Class: Dylan Ferrandis (All-Star, +2), Anton Gole (+13), Jay Wilson (+7), Dylan Wright (+3)

FFL: Jett Lawrence (Successful) and Haiden Deegan (Unsuccessful)

Points Total: 388 (My Suffering is Almost Over)

Next Up: Ironman (Crawfordsville, Indiana) (Season Finale)

Main Image via Honda HRC


bottom of page