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Music City Masterpiece

Lawrence reclaims 2024 AMA Supercross 450SX class lead with a stellar win in Nashville

After relinquishing sole control of the 2024 AMA Supercross championship lead with a trio of mixed results in recent weeks, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence returned to the top of the podium in Nashville.

The victory vaulted Lawrence right back into the championship lead with just three rounds remaining in the 2024 AMA Supercross season. As the win put an end to a difficult stretch for the Australian rookie, Lawrence was relieved with his performance on Saturday, April 20.

“I hate losing, so that bit of a losing streak really sucked. But [I’m] really pumped to come out and get it done here [in Nashville],” Lawrence said. “This [win] is leading [us] in the good direction, so hopefully we keep it going.”

It wasn’t a wire-to-wire victory for Lawrence, however. Monster Energy Star Racing’s Eli Tomac secured the holeshot and led for the first 10 laps, before Lawrence snagged the lead and raced away from the four-time AMA Supercross champion for the final 15 laps of the evening. Tomac finished the event in second place, while teammate Cooper Webb secured the final rung on the podium.

After entering the weekend tied with Webb at 261 points, Lawrence’s triumph in the Music City gave him a five-point edge over the Newport, N.C., native — with the Aussie up to 286 points on the campaign.

The best of the East and West came together for the annual 250SX East/West Showdown, pitting racers from the regional 250SX classes against one another. Riders from the West claimed the top two spots during the event, with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire collecting the win.

Hampshire’s victory in the combined-class race vaulted him into first place in the overall 250SX West standings, as he erased a 15-point deficit to overtake Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Levi Kitchen — who crashed with reigning 250SX East leader Cameron McAdoo of Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki during the early stages of the race — with 166 points on the season. Kitchen follows with 164 points with just two events left on the 250SX West schedule.

“[That was] just an awesome race. I had a couple moments there in the beginning, settled in, [then] I clicked off my laps,” Hampshire said. “[It’s] just a big weight off my shoulders. I knew I could close the points lead tonight, didn’t expect to get the red plate back, but man, I’m so dang happy for my whole team, all our supporters, just everybody that sticks behind us.”

Fellow West Coast rider Jo Shimoda claimed second place for Team Honda HRC, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle was the lone representative on the podium for the 250SX East class with a third-place finish.

With his third-place finish, compounded with McAdoo’s early retirement, Vialle jumped into the overall 250SX East lead with 136 points on the season. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan also overtook McAdoo in the points standings, holding second place with 123 points while McAdoo sits in third with 120 points.

In addition to the intense racing action on the track, the Nashville AMA Supercross doubled as the annual Love Moto Stop Cancer race — a partnership between AMA Supercross and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The racers competed with customized bike graphics and gear designs inspired by art from young patients at St. Jude.

The 2024 AMA Supercross season heads to Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, April 27, with the conclusion of the 250SX East campaign as part of the festivities. Gate drop is set for 3 p.m. EST and the event will be streamed live on Peacock.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Kardas