Jett Lawrence Rebounds to Capture Second Pro Motocross Championship Win of the Season at Thunder Valley, Haiden Deegan Grabs Third Straight 250 Class Victory

The Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, traveled to the Rocky Mountains for Round 3 of the 2024 season, with an early test in the mile-high altitude of Thunder Valley Motocross Park, which sits mere minutes from downtown Denver. The landmark 20th running of the Toyota Thunder Valley National saw a variety of weather conditions, from abundant sunshine to rain and wind gusts, resulting in another captivating afternoon of action. One week after a big crash ended his undefeated 450 Class record, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence outdueled his brother Hunter to capture a bounce-back win and re-establish himself in the early season title fight. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan continued his winning ways and emerged triumphant once again to open the summer with three straight victories.

450 Class

Moto 1

The first moto of the afternoon got underway with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper leading the field out of the first turn for the MotoSport.com Holeshot, closely followed by Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger was fourth, with the Lawrence brothers in fifth and sixth, and points leader Chase Sexton in seventh.

After the first 10 minutes, Cooper had opened up a nearly eight-second lead over the field, with Anderson and Hunter Lawrence in second and third, respectively. Jett Lawrence moved into fourth, keeping his rivals within reach. Hunter Lawrence took control of second just before the halfway point, and Jett soon followed his brother into third. Sexton moved up to fourth, passing Anderson.

In the final 10 minutes, the Australian siblings increased their pace, chipping away at Cooper’s lead. With five minutes to go, Hunter Lawrence took advantage of lapped riders to seize the lead, with Jett following into second. The brothers quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field, with Hunter capturing his first moto win in the 450 Class by eight seconds over Jett. Cooper finished third, Barcia fourth, and Plessinger fifth. Sexton ended up sixth after a late misfortune.

Jett Lawrence (2-1) returned to the top step of the podium in Colorado.
Photo By MX Sports Pro Racing, Inc.

Moto 2

The second and deciding moto started similarly to the first, with Cooper leading the field through the first turn, sweeping the MotoSport.com Holeshots for the afternoon. Hunter Lawrence was second, with Sexton making a determined move forward, passing both Lawrence brothers to take second, dropping Hunter to third and Jett to fourth, while Anderson lurked in fifth.

Sexton set his sights on Cooper but a misjudgment caused him to crash, losing several positions. Hunter and Jett Lawrence moved into second and third, respectively, with Sexton remounting in sixth. At the halfway point, the top three were separated by just two seconds. As the moto entered its final 10 minutes, Hunter Lawrence lost ground, allowing Jett to pass him and start applying pressure on Cooper for the lead. With less than five minutes to go, Jett Lawrence grabbed the lead, followed by Hunter, dropping Cooper to third.

Hunter Lawrence (1-2) just missed out on his first 450 Class victory but now sits atop the championship standings.
Photo By MX Sports Pro Racing, Inc.

Jett Lawrence won his third moto of the season by 1.2 seconds over Hunter, with Cooper in third. Overall, Jett’s second moto triumph (2-1) gave him the tiebreaker over Hunter (1-2) for the overall win. Cooper’s consistent performance secured his first career podium in the premier class in third (3-3).

Hunter Lawrence moved to the top of the 450 Class standings, six points ahead of Sexton, who finished fifth overall (6-5), while Jett climbed to third, 16 points behind Hunter.

450 Class Overall Results:

  1. Jett Lawrence (Australia) – 2-1
  2. Hunter Lawrence (Australia) – 1-2
  3. Justin Cooper (USA) – 3-3
  4. Justin Barcia (USA) – 4-6
  5. Chase Sexton (USA) – 6-5

450 Class Standings:

  1. Hunter Lawrence (Australia) – 129 points
  2. Chase Sexton (USA) – 123 points
  3. Jett Lawrence (Australia) – 113 points
  4. Justin Cooper (USA) – 109 points
  5. Aaron Plessinger (USA) – 100 points

250 Class

Moto 1

The opening moto began with Haiden Deegan grabbing the MotoSport.com Holeshot, with Tom Vialle in second and Chance Hymas in third. Deegan and Vialle pulled away from the rest of the field, making it a two-rider battle. Deegan’s consistency allowed him to build a lead, but a brief crash allowed Vialle to take the lead. Deegan recovered quickly, reclaiming the lead on the final lap after a fierce battle, and winning the moto by 5.8 seconds. Vialle finished second, with Levi Kitchen in third.

Haiden Deegan (1-2) captured his third straight win of the season.
Photo By MX Sports Pro Racing, Inc.

Moto 2

The final moto of the day saw Hymas earning the MotoSport.com Holeshot and leading early, with Deegan in second. Hymas built a lead, while Kitchen’s early tip-over dropped him from third to sixth. Vialle moved into third but had a brief crash, allowing Shimoda to take third. Hymas secured his first career moto win, with Deegan second and Shimoda third.

Chance Hymas (4-1) enjoyed a breakout afternoon with a runner-up effort.
Photo By MX Sports Pro Racing, Inc.

Deegan’s 1-2 finish secured his third consecutive overall win, extending his points lead. Hymas’ career-best performance (4-1) earned him his first podium, while Vialle rounded out the top three (2-4).

250 Class Overall Results:

  1. Haiden Deegan (USA) – 1-2
  2. Chance Hymas (USA) – 4-1
  3. Tom Vialle (France) – 2-4

250 Class Standings:

  1. Haiden Deegan (USA) – 144 points
  2. Chance Hymas (USA) – 121 points
  3. Tom Vialle (France) – 121 points

Quotes:

“Going into that second moto my legs were shot, but I dug deep and just kept telling myself to stay there [with the leaders]. I capitalized on a mistake by Hunter [Lawrence] and kept going after JCoop [Cooper]. I didn’t necessarily expect to be up here [in first], but it feels awesome after last weekend.”

Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC:

“That little [expletive] got me [laughs]. It was a good run. It was cool to go down to the wire. We made a big change over the week and I think it paid off for both of us [Jett and I].”

Hunter Lawrence, Team Honda HRC:
Justin Cooper (3-3) spent most of the afternoon out front and earned his first career 450 Class podium result.
Photo By MX Sports Pro Racing, Inc.

“It was an awesome day. I got both holeshots and led for 25 minutes. I tried my best, but they [the Lawrences] were riding too good. I gave it everything I had and I’m really happy with today’s performance.”

Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing:

“I got a good start [in Moto 2] but Chance [Hymas] was ripping. I had to look at the big picture. We had the overall and now we have three [wins] in a row. The hard work is paying off.”

Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing:

“I’m speechless right now. I went over the finish line and just broke down. There was a point in time where I didn’t think this was possible. I’m just grateful to be here.”

Chance Hymas, Team Honda HRC:
Tom Vialle (2-4) finished on the podium for the third time this season.
Photo By MX Sports Pro Racing, Inc.

“Overall the speed was good. Just too many mistakes today. Sometimes that’s racing. The track was really good today and I’m looking forward to next weekend.”

Tom Vialle, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing:

Kurhula David Ngobeni

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