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Monday Conversation: Jason Lawrence

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Boost Mobile/Monster Energy/ampm’s Jason Lawrence was the old Jason Lawrence again at Washougal, grabbing third overall in the 450 class. The 10-3 score was a weird way to get it, but Lawrence’s speed wasn’t luck, as he chased Josh Grant for much of the first moto before petering out but hanging onto a strong third-place ride, reminiscent of his Daytona Supercross performance. We talked to Lawrence after the race.

Racer X: Hey, Jason, can you describe what’s been going on with you and how you’ve felt over the last few months?
Jason Lawrence: It’s just a lot of things. I’m just trying to see what I’m going to do with my future because I was at a point where I was really, really wanting to try and find something else to do just because of how it was and how things were going, and how people were seeing it and how they were taking it. It was just crazy, so I just really felt uncomfortable at the track and didn’t want to be here. I mean, if I wasn’t doing good in the races, there was no reason for me to be here. I can’t really say that I’ve loved coming to the track this whole time, but I’ve always been doing good, so it’s easy to swallow. But when I was coming and not doing good, it got too hard, and I was down on myself. I needed to take some time to rebuild and just get a little more stamina – not much more, but I got as much as I could in that time.

Typically, you’re a happy, funny guy, so why are you so down in the dumps?
I just had a bunch of bad results and a bunch of people just talking like my career’s going to be over and things like that. With all the extra weight of this team, if I’m doing things that are f&%$in’ up, it’s looking bad for Max [Anstie], who is just coming into it, and for Nick [Wey] too. I felt like I was f&%$in’ up more than just my future, but maybe theirs, too. So I thought it would be best if I got away until I got my head straight, and then came back like I did.

You even said in the press conference that even though you’re on the podium, you’re not that pumped.
No, not really. I contemplated coming to the race or not for sure – I made my flight on Friday – but that’s how it’s been for me lately. I’m going to race the X Games and try and have fun with that, and I’ve been looking forward to the last four nationals this whole time, because a lot of them are close to my house. That’s what we’re looking forward to next.

How do you approach a race like this after not really wanting to race and not being in a good mood about it?
You just pretty much come with no expectations and try to do the best you can. That’s what I’ve done at RedBud and Millville – not really at Millville I guess, but at RedBud. But it didn’t really turn out that good. I don’t know. Things haven’t exactly turned around. All that happened is I got a fat start right there. Other than that, I don’t know! [Laughs]

But the one thing you have – and that you’ve always had – is speed. You can go fast, and that’s something that not everyone can do.
Yeah, for sure, and I think that’s what I mean about what I said in the press conference about coming to the realization that this is my job and it’s probably my calling. I have the talent that most of the other people that are on the track with me don’t have, and I’ve kind of realized that, and if I can put in the work that those guys are putting in, they don’t stand much of a chance.

You’ve proven that before, winning the title last year and stuff like that...
Yeah, for sure, and that’s what I mean by being down on the sport. I just came off of by far the best year of my whole life, and people look at it like it was shit because I got thrown out of the outdoors. Whatever it is, if everyone in the industry is going to be down on that year, I don’t know how I’m ever going to get people to be pumped, because I might not ever do that again. It might have been a one-time thing...

But you can, though, right?
I can, but I’m only guaranteed that one, so I don’t know. I think people take for granted how hard I try. I’ve been in bullshit before, but people need to let it go. I mean, I’m not doing anything, and you guys don’t have anything to talk about except that I’m not showing up to the race, and that’s it.

I can’t speak for everyone, but for most of the media, we just want to report on how you do at the races. We didn’t want to be covering the crazy Jason Lawrence stories.
Yeah, I get that, but I think the media sometimes was digging for bullshit on me, and they would love to throw something out there like that about what I did on the weekend instead of how it was out on the track and things like that. I don’t know, I don’t really have anything else to say...

Does it change how you approach the last few to get back up and run up front and revitalize yourself?
Well, for one thing, I’m definitely not trying to earn back anyone’s respect. Most of the people in this industry have lost my respect, despite what they think about it, but I’m definitely not out there trying to make you guys say, “Hey, J-Law’s the man again.” I really don’t care. I just want to do good so when I come to the race I can feel happy about it instead of when I’m going out there not doing as good as I know I should be doing, and being depressed.

Don’t you think it might work the opposite way, where you make sure you’re happier, which will lead to better results?
I don’t know. Whatever.
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