The Lawrence family and racing brothers Hunter and Jett have undertaken a twisty and arduous trek that crosses 10,000 miles from Australia to Europe and arrives soon at GEICO Honda—Hunter as a professional and Jett as soon-to-graduate amateur prodigy. Are these siblings the latest in a line of motocross sensations from the vast depths of Down Under?
Some sympathy for the Lawrences: Hunter, 18, and Jett, 14, are fortunate in many ways—talent, health, opportunity, devoted family—but their nationality means they are precast in the large shadow shaped like the number 22, which will loom over them in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. The likening is inevitable. Chad Reed was 19 when he went to Europe, won a Grand Prix, and finished second in the 2001 FIM 250cc World Championship. Hunter Lawrence is unlikely to win the 2018 MX2 crown, due to a broken hand that counted him out of rounds five and six in April, but he has already created a stir, and equaled Reed’s impact by excelling at the 2017 Motocross of Nations. Reed was the first Australian race victor in 2011 at St. Jean D’Angely, France; Lawrence aced the MX2 category in Matterley Basin, England, last October. Lawrence could still eclipse Reed’s GP feats and, like his countryman, heads to the U.S. for 2019 with a promising berth with GEICO Honda, just as Reed went straight onto a Yamaha of Troy YZ250F.