Hunter Lawrence Signs Multi-Year Deal with GEICO Honda - USA Debut in 2019
Vital MX: Suzuki's MX2 and MXGP program going away seemed to be a major flop for the young Aussie's blossoming career, but in the end things looked to have lead down to an even brighter path as Lawrence has signed a four year contract with GEICO Honda. The first year of which will keep him in the GPs for another shot at the MX2 title before moving to the US full-time in 2019 for three years of racing along-side of GEICO Honda.
“To join GEICO Honda and their list of riders past and present is an honor,” said Lawrence in a press release. “My family gave up a lot to get me to this point so the decision to sign with GEICO was a big one for us. They felt like family from the minute we started talking and are giving me support next year with 114 Motorsports Honda to win a world title. Then I will make the move to the U.S. full time in 2019.”
Lawrence finished ninth in his rookie MX2 campaign, but really cemented his place among the best prospects toward the end of the season, with an overall podium at the MXGP of USA and a moto win at the season-finale in France. Lawrence was brilliant at the Motocross of Nations last weekend as well, winning the MX2 campaign over Team USA’s Zach Osborne.
GEICO Honda team manager Dan Betley said negations with Lawrence started before the USGP.
“We’ve been talking to Hunter and his family for some time, even well before his strong performance at the USGP in Florida. His talent is obvious, and in the second half of his rookie season in MX2 you could really see him spread his wings and start running up front. Hunter and his family expressed the desire to stay in the GPs for one more season with the goal of winning the World Championship, following in the footsteps of other Australians like Chad Reed, who spent time winning races and battling for a title in the GPs before coming over here. We have watched Hunter ride and feel he will be more than ready by the time he comes here in 2019, and while we haven’t seen him ride supercross yet, we believe he has the talent and skills to excel there, too, and with this deal, also plenty of time to prepare.”
As a part of this deal, GEICO Honda will also provide technical support for the new Team 114 Motorsports Honda team, which is owned by Gariboldi in which Tim Gajser won his MX2 championship for and still rides for today in a collaboration team with HRC in the MXGP class. The name is a bit of a play on numbers, as the 114 Motorsports team will run by Women's World MX Champion Livia Lancelot, who just retired (hint, that's her racing number).