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Garage Finds | Jason Lawrence’s 2009 One Industries Jersey


Garage Finds | Jason Lawrence’s 2009 One Industries Jersey

Presented by Backyard Design

In 2008, Jason Lawrence piloted his Yamaha of Troy YZ250F to the Western Regional 250 Supercross Championship, besting a young Ryan Dungey in a battle that included as many mind games as it did passes on the track. He backed up that Supercross championship at the start of the 250 Nationals by winning the first moto of the season, but from there, his season went sideways. Shenanigans at the Freestone and Red Bud Nationals that followed saw him suspended by the AMA for the remainder of the season. Sadly, the Yamaha of Troy racing team shut its doors at the end of the season due to multiple reasons behind the scenes, and that left the defending champion without a ride.

In 2009, Lawrence and agent Scott Sepkovic launched their own team with support from Yamaha of Troy, Monster Energy, Boost Mobile, am/pm, and more. Nick Wey was teamed with the wild child, and the contrast between their two personalities actually made the J-Law Racing semi a very entertaining place to be. 

Lawrence’s title defense didn’t go as planned. Lawrence was suspended for two races for fighting at the San Francisco Supercross, a violation of his AMA probation following his last suspension. 

Sometime that year, I had asked J-Law to participate in a page I had created in TransWorld Motocross, in which I would give a racer a digital camera for a week. We would choose our favorite 10 photos that came back, and help the rider write captions for each of them before printing them in the magazine. Having had great success with other racers previously, I knew that Jason’s photos would be filled with plenty of questionable mischief and I looked forward to the laughs that would ensue. Instead, I never got the camera back! “Dude, I don’t know where it is,” he told me. “I lost it, bud!” Thus was the end of that feature in the magazine, as my bosses at TransWorld refused to reimburse me for the loss of my Nikon One Step. Haha!

Even though he had lost my camera and laughed about it, it was impossible to be mad at Jason. We had been friends since he was on the Suzuki amateur team. Sepkovic had introduced us, telling me that Jason was the next big thing. When he told Jason that I was the editor of TransWorld Motocross, Jason made a thoughtful face and replied, “Never heard of it, but that’s cool.” I knew right then that I liked him. Later that day, as he was riding Sepkovic’s Suzuki RM250, Jason came racing back to the pits and locked himself in the cab of his truck. Apparently, he had passed Chad Reed and proceeded to go out of the race line and through the largest mud puddle on the track just to cover Reed with mud. Haha!

After he was suspended from Supercross in 2009, I had an idea for a magazine shootout of sorts and recruited Jason and Travis Baker to help me conduct a 250 Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke Shootout. The AMA was considering allowing 250cc two-strokes to compete against the 250cc four-strokes at the professional level, and I wanted to see how they stacked up in the hands of a National-caliber pro (J-Law) and a rising amateur (Baker). As it turned out, both riders were quicker on the two-stroke, and Lawrence was especially faster on the premix-burning machine. On the way home from the track that day, Davey Coombs called me and asked about the results. I can’t say for sure, but I think that our results had a little to do with that rule being shut down on the National level.


At the end of that day, I asked Jason to give me his jersey for my office wall and he gladly handed it over. It wasn’t until later on that I looked at what he had written on it. “Dude, where’s your camera?” 

Lawrence’s four-month stint in jail later in 2009 for biting off part of his friend’s ear in a drunken brawl has been well-documented, and though he attempted to return to racing when he got out, the results never came and he retired quietly from the sport soon after. Since then, I seem to hear from Jason at least once a year – heck, he even came out to race the TransWorld SLAM in 2013 – but I’ve been unable to pin him down for any sort of interview. Most recently, he texted me from another new phone number and asked if I could get him passes to the East Rutherford Supercross that night…

Once he realized that it was a daytime event he lost interest, and when I followed up with an offer to fly him out to California for a visit on the SML Show, the trail went quiet… I suppose I’ll have to wait a year or so to hear from him again, but I will keep trying! There hasn’t been another character like Jason in pro racing since he faded away, and I certainly do miss the flavor he brought to the races.

Backyard Design Graphic Kit of the Week

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Backyard Design was founded in 2010 by two privateer Supercross racers: Jared Hicks from Alabama and Philipp Klakow from Germany. What started off as a project to fund their Supercross racing efforts has now grown into a worldwide graphics manufacturer, with dual headquarters in the United States and Germany. Backyard Design is known for being one of the first custom graphics makers to have a completely interactive website, where customers can design their own kits with a few clicks on a computer mouse.

The 2020 new bike season is in full swing, and it’s an exciting time of year for us media types. Getting to ride all of the new bikes and try virtually anything and everything we can make time for is an honor and privilege that I’ve never taken for granted. The only downfall? When it comes to the 250s and 450s, we need to keep them in stock form until we can conduct each of the class shootouts. That said, when it comes to racing a bike on the weekends, they can’t really be personalized to our individual tastes and needs until around September or October. The two exceptions? The Husqvarna FC 350 and KTM 350 SX-F! I’ve been spending lots of time on the Husky 350 and man is it a blast! I’ve already ordered a few parts to dial it in better for my old-guy pace, and Jared at Backyard Design knocked it out of the park when I asked him to whip up a quick SML graphic kit for me. The design took literally a day and a half from the time I e-mailed him, and it was perfect the very first time. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

Don’t need something this wild? Backyard Design USA’s web site has a wide selection of baseline designs to start with for all brands, which can be customized with your sponsor logos, etc.

Visit www.backyarddesignusa.com to see more!

Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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  1. Tonic July 27, 2019

    That’s an awesome J-Law story. Hadn’t heard his name in forever. What’s really cool is the number of outside sponsors on his jersey! Weird how some riders (agents!?) have been able to pull outside money into the sport.

  2. MX Updates July 29, 2019

    another cool article is on readmeta, ill advised