CORONA, Calif., (Feb. 11, 2008) – In winning the San Diego WSX Lites class race before 65,000 fans on his adopted home turf of Qualcomm Stadium – his third-straight win of the Monster Energy Supercross season - Monster Energy-backed Jason Lawrence (Yamaha of Troy) has erased a 34-point deficit to take the overall WSX points lead, 113-111, over Ryan Dungey.
Round Six of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, got underway Saturday afternoon with Lawrence laying down the law as he usually does in the practice sessions. Topping points leader Dungey, the Monster/PC/Kawasaki racers and Honda factory riders, Lawrence would open up even further in the second practice session – topping Dungey by nearly a half second.
“I like sending a message home in practice – something I’ve been able to do pretty consistently here this year,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence was set to do the same in his heat race (No. 2), but instead got tangled with another rider at the start and came out dead last after the first of six laps. The Carlsbad, Calif., transplant then began his march to qualifying position, picking off rider after rider before he got up to around 10th place. There Lawrence would get into an exciting battle with Justin Brayton for a couple laps, before finally getting past Brayton when both racers went for the same spot in a corner.
To make the heat race that much more exciting, having already come from last to a transfer spot, Lawrence crashed – again – on the last lap and just barely made it into the main, finishing 9th overall.
“That was probably the wildest heat race I’ve had all year,” said Lawrence. “I just never gave up.”
Never giving up are some of Lawrence’s words that stand as a solid lesson for up-and-coming racers. Remember, after Round Three of Monster Energy Supercross Lawrence trailed Dungey by 34 points. THIRTY FOUR points. In an abbreviated regional Lites class supercross season that’s a seemingly insurmountable points total to overcome. However, Lawrence’s gritty determination – coupled with the fact he’s the fastest WSX Lites class racer out there – has allowed him to make up that points differential and then some.
“Getting a good start and staying out of trouble in the main,” were Lawrence’s pre-race keys to victory, something he would pull off to a “T.” “And I figured I’d just put all that bad luck I had in my heat race behind me and make something happen early in the main.”
And that he did. Lawrence cracked the throttle on his YZ250F and pulled his first $1,000 Progressive Holeshot of the season, running unchallenged for the entire 15 laps of the Lites class main event. The win would be Lawrence’s third in a row and gives him a massive psychological advantage over the rest of the field when you look at his lap times and the point deficit he overcame to take the lead.
“We’ve got two races to go, Houston this weekend and Seattle late in the season,” said Lawrence. “My plan is to just step up and win them both so there’s no question as to who the WSX champion should be.”
Next up for Monster Energy Supercross is the Houston round at Reliant Stadium (Feb. 16).