Lawrence looked solid early, recording the second fastest practice time then overcoming getting held up at the first turn to make a run on a top nine transfer spot to the main. Moving up fast, Lawrence would get caught up on a Tuff Block lane divider, which would slow his momentum immensely. Once past that he had one more shot at a transfer spot, but cased a jump then punched the rear tire of Shaun Skinner (with his front tire) and went down – eventually placing 11th in the heat.
The LCQ proved to be a nice avenue for redemption for Lawrence as he dominated that race with the win and carried the momentum into the main.
“You hate having to go to the LCQ, but it’s always cool to win it,” said Lawrence. “The track was tricky tonight, so it (the LCQ) gave me some more time to check out new lines and areas where I could make up time in the main.”
With the second-to-last gate pick, Lawrence was forced to the very outside of the start. Undaunted, he pinned his Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster Energy/Troy Racing YZ250F and, for a second there it looked like he’d come out with the leaders. But when the rest of the field caught up, Lawrence was forced up on top of the first turn berm and nearly to a stop – putting him well back behind the front runners.
Charging hard – as his fans expect – Lawrence was up inside the top ten after the first lap, though the lead pack of Ryan Morais, Ryan Dungey, Dan Reardon and Jake Weimer were well ahead. Up to 6th place by the third lap, Lawrence passed the factory-backed Reardon (Honda) and for 5th place on lap eight, then got past Michael Blose for 4th and that’s where he’d wind up – 4th and the top Yamaha finisher overall.
“Yeah, I’m still managing to find all kinds of ways to keep myself off the podium – seems like something new every week,” said Lawrence. “We’ve got this weekend off with the start of the Eastern Lites series, so that’ll give me some time to get out and practice, work on a few things before we start the WSX back up the following week in San Francisco.”
Lawrence’s Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster Energy/Troy Racing teammate Nick Wey scored the last transfer spot in the second SX class heat race (9th) and had to play catch up in the main after an even rougher start than Lawrence (17th after the first lap for Wey). Wey managed to click off some fast laps and work his way up to 13th, but ran out of time in his quest to make the top ten.
This weekend Wey will look for his second top ten SX class finish of the year at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, a race where he finished 9th last year.
Next up for the Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster Energy/Troy Racing team is this Saturday’s Houston round at Reliant Stadium. It’s the first ESX Lites round, so Lawrence will park his bike for the weekend.
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