Yes, he's out of jail and going to be racing this weekend. Jason Lawrence has paid his debt to society and is back on the track, training on his YZ450F for the opening round of the AMA Supercross season this weekend.
During the press conference at Angel Stadium today, Lawrence was out at the Yamaha practice track, but we caught up with Scott Sepkovic who gave us some details on the Boost Mobile AM/PM Troy Racing team and J-Law's return to racing.
It hasn't been a year yet, but Jason is already out of jail?
He got out on good behavior. He got released the day before Christmas.
How’s he been?
He’s good. He’s at Yamaha track right now and he’s trying to get ready for this weekend. After riding four times, he’s going to do the best he can.
What kind of shape is he in?
He’s in lack of a little cardio, but he’s actually gotten a little bit stronger, upper body, because he did some working out in there. But overall, he just needs some cardio work.
So the team has been moving along in the meantime preparing for the season?
Yeah, we had things in place. Grant Langston is actually on the team and we were keeping things progressing forward so that once Jason did get out we were looking to have everything ready to go for him. We also have Ryan Newton on the team in the Lites class. So we were still going full speed ahead. We were waiting for him to get out.
Were you expecting an early release?
It was a surprise. It was a surprise as soon as it came. I think we were expecting that maybe something was going to happen in January, but it came much sooner. So it was a big surprise and I think it’s a big surprise that he’s actually going to race this weekend and ride.
The following is a press release issued today from No Fear...
No Fear announced today that Jason Lawrence has confirmed he will be racing this Saturday, January 9th in the 2010 Monster Energy® AMA Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
“The fact that Jason is putting himself out there, at the highest level of competition, just a little more than two weeks after a several-month break from racing is a testament to his new positive outlook on life and his loyalty to those who’ve stuck by him,” said Brent Calliger, Vice President of No Fear MX.
"I'm pumped to be back with No Fear, ” Lawrence said. “I've done a full circle with gear companies. I know what's best and now I'm back where I'm supposed to be."
In a recent interview with TransWorld Motocross, Jason said he felt pretty good the first time he got on a bike — after serving four months in Riverside County Jail as the result of an incident in 2008. “I got on a new 2010 Yamaha and rode for about 40 minutes straight,” Lawrence said. “I only stopped because I thought I was about to run out of gas.”
Lawrence compared his time away from riding to a typical break that riders often have as a result of an injury. “It was really like coming back after an injury, but I didn’t have to do any physical therapy or anything…just had to get my mind re-focused.”
While he admits that he may be a little rusty to start the season, Lawrence felt that he “needed to get out and race for myself, my team and my sponsors as soon as possible. My goal for Anaheim one is just to go out there and try to be competitive. Compared to everyone else, I’ll be fresh and rested.”