Monster Energy Kawasaki Riders Collect Podium Finishes at Round 4 of the Pro Motocross Championship

2022-06-24 08:57
The fourth round of the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship brought teams and riders toward the East Coast for the High Point National in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. In the 450 Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson secured third place in Moto 1 en route to earning his second overall podium of the season with 3-5 moto scores, while Joey Savatgy followed up last week’s performance with an impressive seventh overall (5-8). In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racer Jo Shimoda brought home third overall and Seth Hammaker capitalized on two impressive holeshots to claim sixth (4-6).

With early overcast clouds expected to make way for warmer temperatures throughout the day, riders were quick to learn the track and utilize the prime conditions to log their fastest laps of qualifying. The Monster Energy Kawasaki duo showed they were ready to take on all circumstances as both riders improved their qualification times during the second session with Anderson securing pole with a 2:02.662 lap time and Savatgy recording a 2:04.293 lap time for sixth fastest overall.

The first 450 Class moto of the day saw Savatgy launch his KX™450SR race bike out of the gate to an excellent start and nearly secured the holeshot. Anderson, who started right behind Savatgy, emerged from the second turn in sixth and made quick work of the two riders ahead to move into fourth before the end of the opening lap. On Lap 4, Anderson made a daring pass on the inside of Turn 2 to move into a podium position while his teammate Savatgy raced comfortably in second. The New Mexico native continued pushing forward until he finally edged out his fellow Kawasaki teammate on the following lap to take over second and set his sights on the leader. Shortly after the pass, Savatgy fell under intense pressure from the riders behind. However, the No.17 showed impressive defense as he held off the charge for two laps before settling for fourth. On Lap 9, while fending off pressure from behind, Anderson cross-rutted two turns before the finish, handing over his podium position. The No.21 rider quickly remounted his bike just behind his teammate Savatgy. The Kawasaki duo spent a lap jockeying for third place before Anderson regained the podium spot. With a clear track ahead, Anderson mounted a late-race charge to reclaim second place but, despite his best efforts, the No.21 ran out of time and crossed the line in third with Savatgy finishing fifth.

The second 450 Class moto saw Team Green out front again this time with Anderson emerging from the first turn in third and Savatgy just inside the top-10. On Lap 3, Anderson brought the fans to a roar as he made his way around a former two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion to retain a podium position in the early battle. Hungry for more, Anderson continued his charge through the field until another small mistake paused his plan of attack and moved him back to fifth. As the race reached the halfway mark, Anderson did his best to push forward but further troubles resulted in the No.21 dropping to sixth. Meanwhile, Savatgy ran comfortably in ninth most of the race until taking over eighth place momentarily. When the checkered flag waved, Anderson finished fifth in the moto to secure third overall, his second overall podium this Pro Motocross season, and Savatgy claimed seventh overall with 5-8 moto scores.

“My day started great. I was able to lay down the fastest lap in qualifying and got a podium finish in the first moto. I struggled to find the right lines in the second moto and had a small tip over, but I still salvaged a third on the day. Overall it was a decent day for us, but I think I can still work on getting better and more comfortable with the bike during this weekend off to be challenging for another win at Redbud.”

- Jason Anderson

“I ended up finishing seventh overall today and got the chance to race with the lead pack early in Moto 1, which was a big confidence booster. I know I have the speed and the skill to mix it up with those guys so it’s nice to see we’re trending in the right direction and getting better each week. We’re going to do some extra bike testing this week and enjoy the weekend off before we head to RedBud for Round 5.”

- Joey Savatgy
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The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo came into Round 4 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship eager to prove their strength against the best 250 Class motocross racers in the world. When 250 Class qualifying sessions finished, Hammaker recorded the fifth-fastest lap with a 2:03.470 while his teammate Shimoda fought off cold symptoms to log the sixth fastest lap (2:03.791).

When the gate dropped on 250 Moto 1, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racers were immediately out front with Hammaker snagging the holeshot and Shimoda close behind in second. With a clear track ahead, Hammaker put together clean laps to establish a comfortable five-second lead by Lap 3. Meanwhile, Shimoda fell victim to the pressures from behind and lost two positions, moving him to fourth. As the race neared the halfway mark, Hammaker’s lead began to diminish but the No.47 KX™250 rode strong, holding his competitors at bay for as long as he possibly could before being overtaken. Now sitting in third, Hammaker continued to race strong and keep the top-two riders within striking distance. After falling back to fifth early in the race, Shimoda followed closely behind the rider in fourth, studying the fast lines and planning his attack. Shimoda’s opportunity for a podium presented itself with just four laps left when his teammate Hammaker lost valuable time in a battle to hold on to second, allowing the Japanese sensation to close within a second of him. Through a combination of sheer determination and raw speed, Shimoda asserted himself into third by blitzing the inside rut of the second corner and moving ahead of Hammaker before the “Carmichael Catapult.” At the checkered flag, it was both Kawasaki riders in the top-5 with Shimoda securing third place and Hammaker finishing fourth.

At the start of 250 Moto 2, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Hammaker again rocketed out to an impressive lead on his way to claiming a second holeshot on the day on his KX250. His teammate Shimoda had a slower jump off the start and rounded the first turn in eighth. Hammaker found himself under heavy pressure early on in Lap 1 and tipped over in the back half of the track. The No.47 quickly remounted his bike in 10th place and proceeded to pass a rider each lap for four laps, moving him up to sixth. Meanwhile, Shimoda carved his way through the field early on advancing from eighth to fifth within three laps. As racing continued the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates once again found themselves battling each other on the track. Hammaker, looking to get the better of his teammate this time around, upped his pace to close the gap to the No.30 of Shimoda. However, Shimoda’s determination for an overall podium would not be phased, as he held off every attack Hammaker threw his way. When the checkered flag came out, Shimoda secured third overall with 3-5 moto scores, and Hammaker claimed sixth (4-6).

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