Lawrence (Yamaha of Troy) brings home his first overall AMA championship in his young professional motocross career
CORONA, Calif., (April 29, 2008) – Longtime Monster Energy-backed racer Jason Lawrence (Yamaha of Troy) is on top of the motocross world right now, standing alone as this year’s Western Lites Regional champion of 2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.
Lawrence, who boldly predicted the win prior to the start of the season, was as relieved as he was pumped following his 2nd place finish the WSX finals in Seattle on Saturday to clinch the title over rival Ryan Dungey. “Man, I’ve ate my words once or twice before, so I’m happy I could get this one,” said Lawrence of his first-ever AMA pro championship.
As bold as he is fast, Lawrence let it be known that he wasn’t going to just dink around and coast through the finish line with his six- point lead entering Seattle. The California transplant from New Jersey stepped it up early, snapping off the fastest lap time in practice,
51.865 to 52.170 over eventual race winner Dungey. In his heat race Lawrence was equally brilliant, yet showed the smarts of a third-year supercross veteran when he let Dan Reardon go for the heat race No. 2 win (with Lawrence taking 2nd).
In the main Lawrence got a good gate pick and managed to navigate a major crash that collected some nine bikes at the start. And there was no doubt in the Monster Energy camp that, had he got caught in the melee, Lawrence would have still blazed back to preserve his win – like he did so many other times this year.
“Let me be the first to congratulate Jason from everyone at Monster Energy,” said Monster Energy spokesman Scott Sepkovic. “This championship marks not only the end of a long, sometimes difficult road Jason followed on his way to the top, but it also marks the beginning of what we all expect to be continued greatness for Jason.”
Out of trouble in the main and into 4th place by the end of the first lap, Lawrence clicked off three consecutive fast laps to put himself into 2nd place by lap five. From the stands it appeared to be business as usual for Lawrence as he rode mistake-free for the remainder of the race, but inside that Monster Energy-emblazoned helmet was the battle within the battle for the WSX title.
“Once I got into second I was so nervous I turned my idle up just to I wouldn’t stall it,” admitted Lawrence. “Then after that I was lucky to have my Yamaha teammate Broc Hepler right in there behind me.
Soon after Dungey crossed the finish line to win the race, Lawrence blasted through the air to win the championship. “JASON LAWRENCE IS YOUR 2008 WESTERN LITES SUPERCROSS CHAMPION!,” rang out across the world via the Monster Energy Supercross webcast.
Lawrence, who trailed Dungey by as much as 34 points after Anaheim 2, managed to shine with three consecutive wins in the middle of the season while Dungey struggled keeping it together. The end total of Lawrence’s 157 points to Dungey’s 154 would mark the first Lites championship for Yamaha of Troy since Chad Reed won in 2004.
Backed by Monster Energy since 2004 when he won a couple AMA Amateur National MX Championship Intermediate class titles at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch (Hurricane Mills, Tenn.), Lawrence also topped Ryan Villopoto in an Open/A Pro Sport championship the following summer at Loretta’s after turning pro at Southwick (Mass.).
Next up for the Monster Energy Supercross Western Lites champion is this weekend’s Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Lites Shootout at Las Vegas’
Sam Boyd Stadium (May 3).