Last year on the youth club page in TMX, we featured 14-year-old Aussie rising star Jett Lawrence – suggesting he could have a massive future. As a 65cc pilot he was the World Junior champion in 2014 and he’s also a multi-championship winner in his native Australia.
As a Factory Suzuki rider in 2017, he was aiming at both EMX and World Junior titles. But with the EMX finale cancelled, and injury derailing his chances at the Worlds, next up for Jett is the MX 250s in 2018. He’ll be under the same Suzuki awning as older brother Hunter this year and it’s going to be a massive learning curve for a kid who doesn’t hit 15 until August.
In October last year Geico Honda announced the signing of 18-year-old Hunter on a long-term contract to begin in 2019, and just before Christmas, it was announced Jett would also be making the trip across the Atlantic.
Here’s the full GEICO Honda statement…
“Team GEICO Honda announces the long-term signing of highly-touted amateur talent Jett Lawrence, the younger brother of MXGP MX2 contender, Hunter Lawrence.
“Both Australians will join the GEICO Honda squad in the US in 2019. Hunter as a full-time pro, and Jett for a year of amateur competition, with a likely pro debut in 2020.
Hunter Lawrence’s deal with GEICO was announced in October, but the GEICO Honda team had also been in negotiations with Jett, the 2014 65cc Junior World Champion, and multi-time 85cc champion in Australia.
“Jett, aged 14, will race the EMX250 class in Europe in 2018 for Suzuki before moving to the US to join the legendary Factory Connection Honda amateur squad, a division of GEICO Honda.
“We’ve done our research and talked to a lot of people in both Australia and Europe, and they all believe Jett is the real deal,” says GEICO Honda Team Manager Dan Betley.
“We’re looking forward to having both Hunter and Jett learn the ropes of US racing with us starting in 2019.”
Jett’s success on mini cycles led several teams on both sides of the Atlantic to try to lock-up his services for the future – he’s easily one of the most-heralded amateur riders in the ranks.
He will race amateur events in 2019 and the team will then gauge his progress to determine a graduation date to the pros.
The Factory Connection Honda amateur team has become one of the most successful in the sport, winning titles with Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, and Eli Tomac before all three moved to the GEICO Honda pro team and continued to deliver championships.
Current GEICO Honda pro team riders RJ Hampshire and Chase Sexton also competed with the team as amateurs and each scored the coveted AMA Nicky Hayden Motocross Horizon Award.