Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda Continues Podium Streak

2022-09-13 02:40
About an hour west of the motorsports mecca of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in rural Crawfordsville, Indiana, Ironman Raceway hosted the best motocross athletes from around the world for the penultimate round of the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda claimed his eighth 250 Class overall podium of the season with an impressive Moto 2 win to secure second overall. Teammate Cameron McAdoo earned ninth overall (10-9) with Seth Hammaker close behind in 10th overall (12-10), and Ryder DiFrancesco raced to a respectable 14th overall (17-14). In the 450 Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson charged through the field in both motos for a hard-fought fourth overall (6-4), while Joey Savatgy was sidelined from racing after aggravating an injury during timed qualifying.

Paired with clear skies and warm morning weather, the wet track preparation of Ironman Raceway provided the riders with a challenging variety of traction rich loam and a slippery mulch underlayer. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team rolled into the day with a four-man roster, welcoming back Hammaker and DiFrancesco from a one-week hiatus. The Team Green™ riders proved they hadn’t missed a beat as they rivaled inside the top-10 throughout timed qualifying. When the qualifying sessions concluded, Shimoda led the team with the fourth fastest lap (2:01.998), while Hammaker qualified ninth (2:02.550) and DiFrancesco qualified 10th (2:03.116). McAdoo was focused on building pace throughout the day and had the 19th fastest lap with a 2:05.552.

When the first 250 Class moto got underway, Hammaker came through Lap 1 in fifth with McAdoo in ninth, while Shimoda and DiFrancesco followed in 13th and 15th, respectively. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders progressively moved closer to each other through the opening laps as Shimoda and DiFrancesco pressed their way forward. On Lap 3, Shimoda and McAdoo began a multi-lap race for eighth place. Shimoda secured the position from McAdoo on Lap 5 before passing into seventh on the following lap. Meanwhile, McAdoo held strong in ninth as Hammaker slipped back to 12th and DiFrancesco maintained position in 15th. Shimoda’s charge forward culminated in a late race effort for the podium position as he reeled right up to the rear tire of third and fourth place with all three riders blanketed by only a few seconds. A small crash while looking for an opportunity to pass relegated Shimoda to a fifth-place finish but, the Japanese-born rider showed he had the pace to run with the leaders. McAdoo came across the line in 10th, Hammaker finished in 12th, and DiFrancesco ended up 17th.

From the gate drop of 250 Class Moto 2, Shimoda rocketed out to the front of the pack. In second place after the opening turns, Shimoda proved his urgency by taking control of the lead halfway through Lap 1. The front of the race was highlighted with green as all four Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders raced inside the top-10 through the green flag lap. During the first three laps, McAdoo made quick work to move from eighth to sixth while an error from DiFrancesco caused him to slip from seventh to 14th and Hammaker fell from sixth to 20th position. While his teammates looked to battle their way back into contention, the No.30 KX™250 of Shimoda set sail away from the competition, logging the fastest laps of the race in succession to extend a lead of more than seven seconds. In the second half of the race, McAdoo was shuffled back to ninth as Hammaker climbed his way up the running order to 10th position. When the race came to an end, it was Shimoda who crossed the checkers first with a decisive moto win securing second overall (5-1). McAdoo and Hammaker finished in ninth and 10th in the moto to secure ninth and 10th overall while DiFrancesco raced his way back to 14th for 14th overall (17-14).

“In Moto 1, I didn’t have the best start, so I had to make a lot of passes to get up into the lead battle. Unfortunately, I had a small crash late in the race while trying to fight for the podium and that dropped me back to fifth. In the second moto, my start was much better, and I quickly moved into the lead. I sprinted for a few laps to get a gap ahead of the field and I focused on hitting my marks each lap from there. Without the mistake in Moto 1, I think I could have had another overall win today but, I’m happy to win Moto 2 and I’ll try again next weekend.”

- Jo Shimoda

“I definitely had to grit through it today with some lingering soreness from last weekend but, we made some solid progress to come away with an overall top-10. I’m looking forward to getting more seat time this week and coming out swinging next weekend at Fox Raceway.”

- Cameron McAdoo

“I placed myself in decent position early in both motos but, mistakes really cost me from having a great day today. I have another top-10 under my belt now but, feel like I left some positions on the table today. I’ll do my best to clean up the mistakes and hope to be battling in the top-five at the final round.”

- Seth Hammaker

“I’m keeping perspective that this has been a really big learning experience for me to race these final few rounds of the Pro Motocross Championship. I know I can be up there in the top-10 and definitely want to be further up the running order than I was today but, I have another race of experience now and will look to finish it out strong at Fox Raceway.”

- Ryder DiFrancesco

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