In October, we learned that GEICO Honda had signed MXGP MX2 racer Hunter Lawrence to a long-term contract. Now, the team has announced that they have also signed his younger brother, Jett Lawrence. Currently, the younger Lawrence brother is an 85 cc champion both in Australia and in Europe. He will continue to race in Europe, moving up to the EMX250 class aboard a Suzuki, before making the move to America in 2019. From there, Lawrence will spend a year on the Factory Connection Honda team racing as an amateur, with plans to turn professional in 2020.
The full press release from the team is posted below…
Corona, California (December 21, 2017) - 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 U.S. 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 85cc Junior World Champion, and multi-time 85cc champion in Australia. Jett, age 14, will race the EMX250 class in Europe in 2018 for Suzuki before moving to the U.S. 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 U.S. racing with us starting in 2019."
Jett Lawrence'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 U.S. 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.