Mechanical DNF Costs Hunter Lawrence Dearly at MXGP Of Italy


A DNF while leading the first moto, 3 laps from home, proved costly for Australian Hunter Lawrence at the MXGP of Italy at the famed Imola circuit. Photo: Bavo
Hunter Lawrence was in fine form at the final round of the 2018 MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship at Imola in Italy until a DNF while leading moto 1 soured the weekend.

The Honda 114 Motorsports rider showed great speed all weekend, putting his Honda CRF250R right at the front of the field for a long portion of the first moto, building upon his recent run of good form.

Unfortunately a technical issue robbed the Australian rider of his first moto win of the season but he didn‰Ûªt let that setback get him down and he came out determined to repeat the effort in race two. A bad jump out the gate meant he had his work cut out, but he put his head down and charged through the field, on a track that others were finding difficult to pass on.

Lawrence came all the way through to second and was closing in on the leader as time expired, proving to everyone watching that he was the fastest guy on the track. He finished the round in 8th place overall and concluded an injury troubled season with a credible 9th place in the final championship standings.
Lawrence rebounded strongly in the second moto making plenty of passes to finish second. Photo: Youthstream
"I was really happy with my weekend. It was disappointing how the first moto ended but all weekend I felt pretty good," Lawrence said.

"Every session we went out, I was in the top five, including a second in timed qualifying. Then in the qualification race we had a rock and mud jamming into the rear brake which lost me some places but I was still able to ride well and finish fourth.

"In the first moto I ripped a good start on my Honda CRF250R, made some quick passes and got myself into the lead. I then led the whole race until two or three laps to go, until we had a small technical issue, so I ended up not finishing. I wasn‰Ûªt too demoralised though because I knew how well I was riding, so I regrouped in the break and got my focus back to try and do the same again in race two.

"Unfortunately I didn‰Ûªt get such a great start but I put my head down and moved from outside the top 10 into the top five, halfway through the race. I knew my speed and fitness were good so I kept charging and got into second place and moved to within striking distance on first place before the race expired. I know deep down I was the fastest this weekend, I believe that, and I know I‰Ûªve worked really hard to be here, which is a satisfying feeling," Lawrence concluded.

Honda Europe Off-Road Manager, Gordon Crockard, was full of praise for the young Australian.

"We witnessed a very good ride from Hunter Lawrence in the MX2 class where he led convincingly, only to be denied victory two laps to go, by an unexpected bike issue," Crockard said. "His riding was exceptional though and it was pleasing to see him lead the world champion Jorge Prado for the whole race and stretch such a large lead over third place. He then backed it up in race two with a completely different skillset, passing a large number of riders to move from outside the top 10, into second place. He ended up just a couple of seconds off the lead and proved that he was the fastest guy on the race track this weekend which was fantastic to see.

Lawrence now heads to the USA where he will represent Australia in the Motocross of Nations.
Lawrence now heads to the USA where he will represent Australia in the Motocross of Nations.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 33:49.364
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:21.043
3. Henry Jacobi (GER, Husqvarna), +0:36.879
4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:39.380
5. Marshal Weltin (USA, Kawasaki), +0:44.867
6. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:48.945
7. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:50.601
8. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:56.013
9. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +1:02.653
10. Simone Furlotti (ITA, Yamaha), +1:04.280

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:00.879
2. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:02.164
3. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:15.652
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:18.136
5. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +0:20.887
6. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, Yamaha), +0:28.846
7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:33.265
8. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:34.859
9. Henry Jacobi (GER, Husqvarna), +0:42.038
10. Richard Sikyna (SVK, KTM), +0:42.743

MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 40 points
3. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 34 points
4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 32 points
5. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 32 points
6. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 28 points
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 25 points
8. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 22 points
9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 22 points
10. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 17 points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 873 points
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 777 points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 673 points
4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 602 points
5. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 599 points
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 543 points
7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 397 points
8. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 391 points
9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, HON), 353 points
10. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 343 points

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