Nations 250 star Hunter Lawrence will ride a Geico-tuned Honda in the MX2 world championship next year before moving to the USA for three more years on the full Geico Honda squad. And insiders say he’s using his redundancy money after being dropped by the factory Suzuki team to help pay for the 2018 ride which will be on the Gariboldi-owned Team 114 Motorsports Honda team, managed by former women’s world champion Livia Lancelot.
It’s the first time the US Geico squad will be involved in GPs, and comes about as Lawrence lost his 2018 ride when Suzuki shut its doors. He was always going to go to the USA in 2019 for Geico Honda after his Suzuki deal finished. But with a pay-off from Suzuki in lieu of his 2018 salary, he’ll use the money to help pay for Geico tuning on the new team 114 squad.
Team Geico Honda announcesd the long-term signing of Australian Hunter Lawrence, in a three-year deal that will begin in the 2019 season of 250SX and 250MX racing in the United States, and continue through 2020 and 2021. “In 2018, Lawrence will continue to chase the MXGP World Championship in the MX2 Classification with a move to Team Honda 114 Motorsports. The move also includes a new technical partnership between Team Honda 114 Motorsports and the GEICO Honda team in the U.S.” said the official press statement.
“To join Geico Honda and their list of riders past and present is an honour,” says Lawrence. “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.”
“We’ve been talking to Hunter and his family for some time, even well before his strong performance at the USGP in Florida,” says Geico Honda Team Manager Dan Betley. “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.”
Lawrence won his first MX2 moto for Suzuki at the last GP of the year in France two weeks ago then won the MX2 class at the Nations on Sunday.