Young Australian Hunter Lawrence lit up the 2017 Motocross of Nations in the United Kingdom this year, putting in two great moto scores to win the MX2 class.
The Suzuki rider was awarded the Ricky Carmichael Award for best young rider on his way to helping Team Australia to sixth overall in the final nations classification.
His Australian team-mates, MXGP rider Dean Ferris (Yamaha) and Open Class rider Kirk Gibbs (KTM), finished behind Hunter both times they shared the track.
Ferris finished 22nd in the MXGP/MX2 race and Gibbs finished eighth in the Open Class/MX2 race.
In what were extremely tough and muddy conditions, Lawrence showed great speed against the 450 machines, grabbing great starts and making passes on riders much more experienced than himself.
He had this to say about his award-winning performance: “The day started off really well, with a good start on my RM-Z250. It was a good race with the 450s and I ended up fourth which was really cool, finishing ahead of some top-quality riders and I was the first MX2 rider across the line.
“It was a short break between the two motos and I didn’t get as good of a start in the second race and I had to work my way through the pack.
“There was so much mud on my helmet and I had to take the goggles off but I was riding well and making passes. I took a rock to the eye at one stage and that hurt a lot but others were making mistakes and I kept charging and eventually got up to third.
“Unfortunately, my helmet was falling down across my eyes and I couldn’t see so well and I crashed a couple of laps from the end.
“Obviously it was a massive let down for myself as I ended up finishing eighth after that mistake. I still won the MX2 class and won the Ricky Carmichael award for best young rider so I’m really happy with that and with helping Australia to a sixth overall.”
© Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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Nations Overall Result: 1. France, 20; 2. The Netherlands, 31; 3. Great Britain, 32; 4. Belgium, 53; 5. Switzerland, 56; 6. Australia, 58; 7. Italy, 63; 8. Estonia, 84; 9. USA, 85; 10. Sweden, 87.
Race 1 (MXGP + MX2) Results:
1. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), 36:10.357; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:06.251; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:09.398; 4. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:41.407; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:44.978; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:55.596; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:00.247; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:08.634; 9. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:19.761; 10. Zachary Osborne (USA, Husqvarna), +1:31.126.
Race 2 (MX2 + Open) Results:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 37:59.364; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:13.730; 3. Zachary Osborne (USA, Husqvarna), +1:38.876; 4. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:40.149; 5. Kirk Gibbs (AUS, KTM), +1:44.122; 6. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:49.117; 7. Dean Wilson (GBR, Husqvarna), +2:01.064; 8. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +2:02.897; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +2:07.211; 10. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +2:28.124; 11. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +2:36.512; 12. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +2:44.575; 13. Darian Sanayei (PUR, Kawasaki), +2:48.954; 14. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MXGP), +2:56.050.
Race 3 (MXGP + Open) Results:
1. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), 37:59.163; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:01.108; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:00.011; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:20.559; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:27.401; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:36.967; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:44.854; 8. Dean Wilson (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:51.593; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MXGP), +2:02.765; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +2:07.648; 11. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +2:24.491; 12. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +3:01.696; 13. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), -1 lap(s).