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Jett Lawrence sweeps first Motocross round; Eli Tomac continues recovering

Jett Lawrence remains undefeated at this track. (Screen Capture via NBC Sports YouTube)
Lawrence wins both motos despite pressure from his brother

Defending champion Jett Lawrence swept both motos to start the 2024 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series Saturday at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Lawrence entered the motocross just two weeks after winning the AMA Supercross title with a first-pace finish in the 450 main event at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

After beginning to regain his footing following the rupture of his Achilles tendon, Star Racing Yamaha racer and Cortez-local Eli Tomac suffered an injury to his thumb in Denver, requiring him to sit out the final Supercross round in Salt Lake City while he underwent surgery.

Cooper Webb, the runner-up in the 2024 Supercross season also underwent thumb surgery after the Salt Lake City round.

Both Tomac and Webb sat out the first round of 2024 Motocross as they recover, but it has not been announced when the two dynamic racers will return to the track.

No posts have been made to Tomac’s Instagram page since the announcement of his surgery, but he has expressed his intention to race in the Motocross season, though he acknowledged that he would have to sit out the first few rounds.

While a force to be reckoned with in Supercross and Motocross, Tomac has expressed that Motocross is more his forte.

And the results back up Tomac’s dominance on the Motocross track. Tomac is a four-time Pro Motocross 450 champion (2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022) and a two-time runner-up (2016 and 2021). To date, he has had 32 career AMA Pro Motocross Championship 450 wins.

On Saturday in the first motocross race, Jett Lawrence took the hole shot from his brother, Hunter Lawrence, who was quickly passed by Aaron Plessinger.

Dylan Ferrandis crashed early on, and Hunter Lawrence pushed past Plessinger to regain second place. Jett Lawrence took the win in the first race with Hunter close behind in second.

In the second race, Hunter Lawrence claimed the hole shot by an incredibly narrow margin from his brother. Plessinger and multiple other riders collided on the first turn.

Jett Lawrence didn’t take long to pass Hunter, with surprise pressure being put on the two brothers by Phil Nicoletti, a sport veteran who announced that he will retire when the Motocross season ends in September.

Nicoletti continued right behind the Lawrence brothers and Chase Sexton bore down on the group in the final few laps, passing Nicoletti as Sexton, Hunter Lawrence and Nicoletti rode three across around a turn.

Hunter held off Sexton for a time as he surged and rode neck and neck with his brother, but Sexton passed Hunter in the end, clinching second place, not too far behind first-place Jett.

The next round of the Pro Motocross season will take place at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Rancho Cordova, California.