As teams and riders prepare for the rapidly approaching 2024 season, endemic motorcycle-media outlets and the U.S. motorcycle-racing sanctioning body have recently named Team Honda HRC rider Jett Lawrence as their 2023 Rider of the Year. The awards — coming from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), as well as Cycle News and Racer X Illustrated magazines — cited Lawrence’s extraordinary success this year as he collected no fewer than three major AMA crowns.
The 2023 season saw Lawrence race the factory Honda CRF250R to the AMA 250SX West Region Championship in May before transitioning to the premier class aboard the factory CRF450RWE. In the AMA Pro Motocross series, Lawrence turned in an incredible rookie performance, clinching the 450 National Championship on Aug. 12 (just four days after his 20th birthday), winning all 22 motos across the season in an unprecedented perfect season for a rookie rider. The following month, the Australian native put an exclamation point on the year by earning the inaugural SuperMotocross title.
“We’re proud to have Jett and his brother Hunter as AMA members,” said AMA Board of Directors Chairman Russ Ehnes in an official statement. “The Lawrence family’s story — transitioning from Australia to Europe to the United States in search of achieving Jett and Hunter’s racing dreams — is truly compelling.”
“Despite other talents across the motorcycle racing world, none stand out like Lawrence’s ’23 season,” wrote Cycle News Off-Road Test Editor Ryan Nitzen in his cover story.
“It’s now safe to say that Jett Lawrence was the fastest teenager our sport has ever seen,” wrote Racer X Illustrated Editor in Chief Davey Coombs. “Now 20, he’s also the youngest Racer X Rider of the Year ever.”
As impressive as Jett Lawrence’s year was, it was only part of a record-breaking 2023 for Team Honda HRC. Complementing Jett’s three titles were two more by his brother and teammate, Hunter Lawrence, who took the AMA 250SX East Championship and the AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship. Meanwhile, their then-teammate Chase Sexton earned the AMA Supercross 450 laurels.
That said, the squad’s focus is now firmly on the 2024 season, which commences Jan. 6 in Anaheim, California. There, the Lawrence brothers each have an opportunity to become the first-ever rider to win in an AMA Supercross premier-class debut.