Not since the waning days of the Bush administration has the premier class Motocross Championship felt like the secondary attraction for a large swath of the summer. Jett Lawrence has been quite literally unstoppable through 18 Motos of racing, which explains just about all of that. Today at Unadilla, the kid we can now safely call a true generation talent, who moved halfway across the world twice to get to this point, can call himself a 450 Class Champion five days after turning 20 years old. More importantly than that, Lawrence is now just four Motos shy of perfection.
Call Daniel Blair a prophet because he was all over Jett Lawrence's potential ceiling for a few years now. Maybe not as high as Steve Matthes' ceilings, but he was on this from the jump. For Lawrence to do what he's done and continues to do at 19 and now 20 years old is nothing short of unreal. Has he been the best rider for all 18 Motos so far? I wouldn't say so, there's been more than a few occasions where Chase Sexton or Ken Roczen had him beat but couldn't seal the deal, but that's where unreal raw talent comes in handy. But for all of those off Motos, or are as 'off' things can get when you are literally undefeated, there's been as many and probably more Motos where he's upwards of 15 seconds better than anyone else by the very end and much more if you take out Chase Sexton.
Just to add on just how special what Lawrence is doing is, here are the only four other riders to win a premier class Championship as a rookie either indoors or outdoors; Jeremy McGrath (1993 Supercross Champion), Ryan Dungey (2010 Undisputed Champion), Ken Roczen (2014 Motocross Champion), and Dylan Ferrandis (2021 Motocross Champion). Four guys who either are AMA Hall of Famers right now or should be down the line, not too bad. And oh, by the way, the push to the Championship had been the secondary concern for Lawrence for about a month now as well.
Four Motos to Glory
With the No. 1 plate secured, the only thing left for Lawrence is to become the third rider in the over 50-year history of Motocross to complete a perfect season. Both Ricky Carmichael (twice) and James Stew (so good by the way) were able to seal the deal once they hit 18-0, and Jett doesn't have the extra two Motos to worry about as they did. Unadilla was unequivocally the toughest track remaining on the calendar, but what are the chances he seals the deal himself?
Even today, we saw Jett struggle a bit in that first Moto with the lappers, with both Sexton and Ferrandis looking better than him at one point or another. Both guys have a Moto win at each track left, Budds Creek and Ironman, over the last two years, and Lawrence has never won a Moto at Budds Creek. Granted, that was also the case with Washougal before this year, and look what happened. Hard to call it a lock, even after winning at one of the three toughest tracks on the schedule, but let's say I'd feel good enough to put money down on a 22-0 finish.
Main Image via Honda