There is no doubt about it, America is preparing for a new kid on the block, a kid who has already sparked a small fire, but I think we all get the feeling, Jett Lawrence is very much going to be something special for years to come. Yes, I know, it is nothing new, we all saw it and even heard about how good Jett Lawrence was before he even arrived in Europe a couple of years ago, long before he arrived in USA.
Geico signs up Hunter Lawrence, and Jett was included in the package, similar to their deal in the Stefan Everts run Suzuki team a couple of years ago. Jett might have been riding on the coat-tails of big brother Hunter, but it didn’t take him long to make his own mark and pass his brother on the “NEXT BIG THING” list.
I have to admit, I am terrible at following the EMX scene, and really Liam Everts is the first EMX rider I actually will follow closely, mainly because his Dad wasn’t too bad and I have always been a fan of the whole Everts family. So seeing new talent isn’t something I am great at, and I didn’t really notice Jett until A2 when he nearly won, and since, well, these Salt Lake City rounds he has looked amazing and I quickly saw a lot of J.M.Bayle in the rookie Aussie.
Australia’s greatest motocross rider of all time, Chad Reed knew Lawrence was special the first time he saw him ride. Just as the Aussie legend leaves the sport, this young kid arrives, maybe to replace him?
“I’ve been watching him” Reed said. “His time in Europe was useful and I think that he has a bright future. You know, basically, I’m exiting so it’s fun to see an Aussie kid coming in. It was funny, Anaheim this year was my 250th supercross. So, to think it was Jett’s first one was really cool. For me, it’s always strange when I hear these kids say that they weren’t expecting to go pro so early. I mean, in my opinion, my generation at 16 you went pro – I don’t know why people wait, to be honest. I’m really happy that he’s racing, I think at 16 you’re at the age that you should be going professional and I think he’s already ahead of his brother. I’ve said a couple of years that Hunter should have been here racing, because there’s something to learn from supercross being week, after week, after week and you need to learn that grind.”
Former Team USA rider Ryan Hughes, who himself had an amazing career in both Europe and America recently joined the list of Jet lovers, but that list is now so long, its hard to get on the stand but list, which is probably where I started standing a few months ago.
“I have watched many kids come up and some have something a little more special than the rest,” Hughes said. “Rynopower athlete Jett Lawrence is that kid! His technique – his youth – his big balls to pin it and his obsession for the sport will see him a champion next year! Mark my words.”
Speaking to Davey Coombs the head man at MX Sports, who run the AMA Nationals, and many other major motorcycle events in America, and is also the owner of the World’s leading motocross magazine RacerX, DC and I finally agreed on something, and that is that Jett Lawrence might just be the second coming of Jean Michele Bayle.
Yes, you heard it, the crafty Frenchman who raced through Europe and America, won five major titles and then as quickly as he arrived, left again. Now results-wise, it’s going to be hard for Lawrence to join JMB in the legends list, but he has everything going for him, and as DC and I spoke in a two-part interview for MXLarge today and tomorrow, we both mentioned how we saw JMB all over again in this young Aussie kid.
“I expected to see him at Trentino when was riding the EMX,” Coombs said. “But he was hurt, and I didn’t get to see him race. So, the first time I got to see him race at Lorretta Lynn’s last year and I was just watching him, closely. And to your point, he reminded me of JMB out there. His corner speed, his style, and his enthusiasm, he really wanted to be there. Everything was new, but he took it in his stride. The Geico Honda team manager came over to me and mentioned how I was checking out Jett and asked me what I thought. I said man, he is like Bayle and I still feel that way. He is having to learn supercross, and it’s taking him a while, but it always does.”
American legend Johnny O’Mara told Eric Johnson earlier this year what he thought about the potential of Jett Lawrence and he wasn’t short in his praise of the young Australian.
“Switching gears, a little bit,” O’Mara said. “I’d always heard about Jettson Lawrence. I’d always hear, ‘Wait until you see little Jett.’ I was just like, ‘Alright.’ He was only 12 or 13 and was just on his little 85, he was already the 65cc World Champion, and Jett was just amazing. No disrespect to Hunter, but Jett was just amazing. The duo, the combination of both, I mean Hunter is only 20 years old and he’s got a very bright future. All we must do is just get him healthy. Actually, Jett has done more supercross than Hunter already, so for us in 2021, the big focus will be to get Hunter back up to supercross speed. He’s naturally a really good outdoor motocross racer.”
Ricky Carmichael has often spoken out about Lawrence, the two met in Australia during the Aus X Open, and the GOAT has had the chance to watching him repeatedly this year.
“You think about Jett Lawrence, what a heart-breaking moment for him earlier in the year, but man, he was on his way to his first win in Anaheim, but that guy has a bright future ahead of him. Watching him improve, it’s exciting and if he remains focused and dedicated, then he has a strong career. He seems like the complete package.”