Morning Espresso: Vurb’s 2024 Team Previews: Honda HRC

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Welcome to the offseason and our new ongoing “Team Previews” column. Every week from now until the Monster Energy Supercross season starts in January we will be profiling a big team in the sport. We’ll go through the changes that have been made, analyze results, and give each team a grade on all of their offseason moves. This week we have Honda HRC and you will find the full schedule below.

The Biggest Question Mark: Will Jo Shimoda and Chance Hymas be able to follow the footsteps of the Lawrence brothers 250 class legacy?

Who’s In:

#18/1MX – Jett Lawrence
#30 – Jo Shimoda
#48 – Chance Hymas
#96 – Hunter Lawrence

Who’s Out:

#4 – Chase Sexton
#45 – Colt Nichols

Last Season’s Supercross Results:
Jett Lawrence – 1st (250SX West)
Jo Shimoda – 13th (250SX East)
Chance Hymas – 16th (250SX East)
Hunter Lawrence – 1st (250SX East)

Last Season’s Motocross Results:
Jett Lawrence 1st (450MX)
Jo Shimoda – 3rd (250MX)
Chance Hymas – 18th (250MX)
Hunter Lawrence – 1st (250MX)

Best 2023 SX Finish:
Jett Lawrence – 1st (Anaheim 1, San Diego, Oakland, Seattle, Glendale, Salt Lake City)
Jo Shimoda – 2nd (Nashville)
Chance Hymas – 6th (Daytona)
Hunter Lawrence – 1st (Houston, Tampa, Daytona, Indianapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville)

Best 2023 MX Finish:
Jett Lawrence – 1st Overall (All)
Jo Shimoda – 1st Overall (Ironman)
Chance Hymas – 5th Overall (Thunder Valley)
Hunter Lawrence – 1st Overall (Fox Raceway, Hangtown, Thunder Valley, High Point, Spring Creek, Unadilla, Budds Creek)

Offseason Grade: A++  

The Rundown:
The HRC Honda team is coming off of a 2023 season to remember. This team swept all the titles available in America and then added the 450 SMX Playoff championship as well. It’s going to be very difficult to match this year, but they’ve reloaded to make sure that they have the best chance to do so. 

Their ace, for the next ten years or so (they hope) is Jett Lawrence. The rookie came into 450MX and pulled off the fourth perfect season in the history of the sport. He’s coming into 2024 as the man to beat despite never lining up for a 450SX before. It’s no secret that Jett is going to do the majority of the winning in 2024. 

Joining Jett on a 450 inside and out will be his brother Hunter Lawrence. Hunter is not going to have much of a learning curve by moving up to the premier class. He may have a bad race here and there, but don’t expect him to have the big crashes or issues that most rookies have when moving up. He’s going to be consistent, calculated, and smooth. Hunter will get podiums in 2024 SX, but outdoors is where he’s really going to make a huge splash in the class. Huntah will win some outdoor races next summer and will be a title contender. 

With the departure of both of the Lawrence brothers from the 250 class, the team hired Jo Shimoda, who has the highest stock entering the 2024 season. They’re hoping that Jo will be able to make the transition from race winner to title contender indoors and out. Shimoda will be living up to his potential in 2024, especially after ending this season on a high note. Jo had to come back from injury late in the supercross season and that set him back a bit. With the Lawrence brothers moving up, expect to see a different side of Jo. It’s his turn. 

Joining Jo in the 250 class in 2024 will be Chance Hymas, who is entering his sophomore season despite a very abbreviated 2023. Hymas was starting to figure out how to run up front on a regular basis and even podiumed a moto at Thunder Valley. Then he tore his ACL and we haven’t seen him since the end of June. However, the signs of brilliance are there. He knows how to run up front, he knows how to get on the podium, and he’s got a great bike and team backing him. It will be crucial for him to get through the season injury free and put in all of the laps. If he’s healthy he will be a top five and podium contender in the 250SX East Region and top ten rider outside with the occasional breakout ride to get on the podium here and there.  

2024 Rider Projections:

Jett Lawrence- Jett will be the man to beat indoors and outdoors.

Jo Shimoda- A new team and bike will keep Jo progressing into a champion.

Chance Hymas – Hymas will be inside the top ten no problem and battling for the top fives and podiums more often than not.

Hunter Lawrence – Hunter won’t have much of a learning curve jumping up to the 450 full-time. He will be a top contender for years to come and possibly the biggest thorn in the side of his brother.  

Thanks for reading my series of team previews for the coming season. If you’d like to talk about these or any of the other stories that I’ve written you can email me at [email protected] You can also reach me on Twitter/Instagram: @troydogvurb

2024 Team Preview Schedule:

10/13 – Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull /  GASGAS Factory Race Team

10/20 – Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki

10/27 – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

11/5 – HRC Honda

11/7 – Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing

11/10 – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

11/14 – HEP Motorsports

11/17 – Team Solitaire

11/21 – AEO Powersports KTM

11/24 – Rock River Yamaha

11/28 – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

12/1 – Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha

12/5 – Partzilla PRMX 

12/8 – HBI Racing Kawasaki

12/12 – Triumph Racing

12/15 – Madd Parts Kawasaki

12/19 – Liqui Moly Beta Racing

12/22 – MotoConcepts Racing

12/29 – Firepower Honda

1 /3 – Phoenix Racing Honda

1/ 5- Bar-X Suzuki

Main image: Honda HRC

Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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