The start of Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Anaheim 1 is exactly one month away, and fans are not the only ones getting excited. Jett Lawrence will make his 450 supercross debut and he is excited to finally face off against Eli Tomac. Hoping to avoid the same rookie errors he made in the 250 class, he is hoping to minimize mistakes and is willing to accept a third or fifth place on a bad night. Our team caught up with Jett at the Team Honda HRC intro last night to get his thoughts on this and more.
Racer X: Alright, Jett Lawrence, first of all, just recap 2023 for us. I mean, it was incredible and it's gotta feel surreal that it's gone so well, right.
Jett Lawrence: Yeah. No, it's been, like you said, unreal season. Definitely couldn't ask for a better season, to be honest, the only thing you could really add is maybe a 450SX title. So, we're gonna try and do that this year. So, the next year coming in 2024. But yeah, supercross championship in 250 on the West Coast side, then obviously going perfect in outdoors and then also again, the first SMX win, yeah, can’t ask for a better season.
Something that got brought up today, which is dangerous, is you guys noticed how last year Eli Tomac he didn't end up winning the title, but he was en route, because he did such a good job of managing his bad days. And this is something, you're coming in 22 and 0, and SMX champion, you're not thinking that style, you're thinking, “No, I've got to take some fifths here and there.”
I can say, I'm not always gonna be perfect. Obviously outdoors is a different story. But yeah, it's just kind of being this, whatever's getting dealt that night, really, whatever cards you get given, you gotta deal with those cards and, and kind of put down whatever you have best. And if it's a fifth, then fifth place, if it's a sixth then sixth place. So, it's not riding over your head and creating something that's already not going as good, and then making it even worse in the long run. Obviously, I'd rather not have those too many bad races. Obviously, I want only a few. Hopefully I don't have any of them. Hopefully, I mainly let's say a third would be the worst or fifth. So, it's just kind of just managing. Race wins, I mean, it helps a lot, but we get paid the big dollars for championships and that what really cements it more than race wins. People remember who wins the championships at the end of the year, not what races were won.
That's well done. And also no one has ever won the first 450 supercross they’ve ever been in. A couple of guys came close. Is this something you've thought about or are you like, “I wanna get through Anaheim 1.”
I didn't know that until today, until you told me. But, yeah, just see what cards we get dealt with, really? See what cards we get dealt with and we'll deal with whatever we have.
You're a rookie in the 450 supercross class, but you have so much experience already behind you. Does it feel like you're coming in fresh in any way or is it like? Yeah, “I'm a 450 guy already.”
I think it's still fresh. I think the next few years are still gonna be fresh for me. Just because the 450 for me, I still have so much learning to do. I gotta learn how to go through nights that aren't working, that are kind of going against me, it's going with me. So, I gotta work. I still got a lot of learning to do with situations that I haven't been put in yet. So, I mean, I think it's still gonna be fairly exciting for me for the next few years. It's kinda gonna get boring for me if I go, win, win, win, win, win and win, then I might just go for a sport change at that point. If we get to 25 it's the same, then we might be sports changing. [Laughs]
And then lastly, you get to race Eli, like you wanted to race in outdoors, but you didn’t get a chance to. So how cool is that gonna be?
No, I've been saying all today, in other interviews, so I'm really, really excited to race him. He’s one of our last legends. I mean, the other riders that have got to race up against Ricky [Carmichael] and that stuff, who haven't got to race him [Eli], and we get to race him in his last year. It's an awesome opportunity to get to learn off one of the best guys. And right now, he's probably one of our best guys of our generation of kind of legends. And yeah, there's no better person to learn off than him, he's obviously won a lot of championships the way he did it. And obviously there's something that I gotta learn off of him. So, I'm excited to do that and hopefully have a good battle with him, hopefully beat him then it kinda really salutes me. But I really feel like that's a good key in my mind, like, “All right, okay. Now, I definitely am one of the guys up there, that's not the guy, but definitely up there,” I would say.