The performance stretched his win streak to three races and keeps his title hopes alive heading into the finale. Lawrence’s teammate Chase Sexton nearly did likewise in the premier class, also topping his qualifying sessions and winning his heat race before a crash out of the main-event lead limited him to fourth place.
The 250SX West main saw Lawrence grab the holeshot and hold off the advances of his title rival Christian Craig until the latter rider went down on lap 6. The remaining 14 laps were relatively drama-free for the Australian, with his eventual winning margin being over four seconds. In the premier-class main event, Sexton started from the same spot as his teammate and exited turn 1 with the lead, then fought off Eli Tomac before the dry, hardpack conditions got the better of him early on. Undaunted, the 22-year-old remounted back in the pack and began a charge that carried him to the top five just after the midway point. He moved into fourth with four laps remaining, and that’s where he would stay to the finish, just over six seconds short of extending his podium streak.
Chase Sexton #23
“I qualified first again and won my heat race, which was good. I had a really good day going and pulled the holeshot in the main event but just made a dumb mistake – hit the little curb they had by the mechanics’ area and fell over. After that, I feel like I rode pretty good and made some good passes to get all the way back to fourth – not ideal, but it’s something I can build off of because I feel like I rode well after my little incident. I’m looking forward to having a good week and doing the final round in Salt Lake City.”
Hunter Lawrence #96
“[Christian] was pulling in on me in some spots, and then I’d get out a little bit. It was shaping up to be good, but he ended up going down. I got a bit of a breather, and there was nothing more I could do for my championship hopes at that point; I just had to focus on winning the thing. The crowd was unreal; you could hear them every time something would happen. For Salt Lake, I’ve just got to try and make it five wins for the season, and that’s the best I can do, really.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager
“It was almost a perfect day. It was the first race of the year where we qualified first in every single session with both guys and won both heat races, and we holeshot every single race. Hunter just did what he needed to do, which was beat Christian [Craig], and he rode patient when the track was really slippery and super hardpack. He had Christian all over him and didn’t make a mistake under the pressure until Christian did. He rode awesome to get the win. Chase was enroute to do the same thing until he made a small mistake; he took a different line, and it didn’t work out the way he thought it would. He was able to come from pretty far back to fourth, which was a commendable ride. Overall, it was a good day, and next week we’ll see what happens with Jett and Hunter and Christian in the same race.”