Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson Finishes Second at Anaheim 2 Triple Crown

2023-01-30 03:49
Round 4 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross Championship brought riders and teams back to Anaheim where Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jason Anderson secured a 450SX Main Event win on his way to finishing second overall at the first Triple Crown event of the season with 5-1-3 Main Event finishes. Kawasaki teammate Adam Cianciarulo continued his string of impressive starts to finish ninth overall (6-11-8). In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Cameron McAdoo endured adversity to finish sixth overall (8-7-5).

The Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Anderson and Cianciarulo rode into Angel Stadium ready to take on the first Triple Crown race of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season. The two KX™450SR riders elected for differing strategies in qualifying as the No.9 of Cianciarulo was quick to move towards the front of the group in search of a clear track. Meanwhile, his teammate Anderson patiently studied the forming lines from other riders and didn't set out to record a best lap until later in the sessions. When the qualifying sessions concluded, Anderson placed Kawasaki on the leaderboard with the second-fastest lap (58.283) while Cianciarulo clocked in as ninth fastest (59.295).

The start of the first 450SX Main Event saw the No.9 of Cianciarulo reach the first turn in third with Anderson working his way into the top 10. On the third lap of the race, as Cianciarulo rode steadily in third, Anderson brought the crowd to a roar as he and two-time supercross champion Cooper Webb engaged in a multi-lap battle for sixth. As racing progressed, Cianciarulo moved down to fourth, holding on strong to a top-five position, until a small mistake on Lap 10 shuffled him back to seventh. With the Kawasaki duo running sixth and seventh as the race neared its end, Anderson and Cianciarulo continued racing forward to keep within striking distance of the riders ahead. On the final lap of the race, Anderson executed a valuable pass for fifth, which also allowed Cianciarulo to capitalize on the moment and earn Kawasaki a fifth and sixth-place result.

The second 450SX Main Event saw green up front again as Anderson claimed the holeshot and Cianciarulo followed close behind in second. The No.21 of Anderson utilized the clear track ahead and the power of his KX450SR to build a marginal lead during the opening lap. Similarly, to the first race, Cianciarulo stayed glued to the lead pack early but shuffled back to fifth by the end of Lap 2. The battle over second continued behind Anderson as he comfortably executed the long and technical rhythm section stretching down the third base side of the stadium with surgeon-like precision to continue building his lead. When the checkered flag flew, Anderson claimed the wire to wire 450SX Main Event 2 win with nearly a two second lead and sat in contention for the overall podium. Cianciarulo crossed the finish line in 11th, keeping him in the hunt for an overall top-10 finish.

The final 450SX Main Event of the night began as a near repeat of the second race as Anderson claimed his second holeshot of the night and Cianciarulo emerged from the first turn inside the top five. Anderson commanded the race with the early lead, setting the fastest laps of the race during the opening laps. While dealing with immense pressure from the rider in second, Anderson leapt all the way over the dragon's back obstacle after the finish line for the first time in an effort to maintain his lead. Anderson engaged in a thrilling battle for the lead, answering each pass from the opponent with a pass of his own, ultimately shuffling back to second. As racing progressed, Cianciarulo was racing comfortably in eighth while the battles continued for Anderson, this time for the rights to second place. Anderson and Webb brought the crowd to their feet as they engaged in an intense race for second that favored Anderson until a small mistake in the back rhythm section moved the No.21 back to third. When the checkered flag flew, Anderson finished the race in third and Cianciarulo in eighth. The 5-1-3 finishes by Anderson earned him and Kawasaki their first 450SX podium of the season. Meanwhile, Cianciarulo's 6-11-8 results earned him another strong top-10 finish for ninth overall.

"The first few races this season didn't go as planned so there's a sense of relief to get the first podium out of the way. I feel like the team and I are making great progress throughout the week, but for one reason or another, we weren't getting it done on Saturday nights. We got it done tonight and it goes to show all that extra work on starts was worth it. It felt great getting to lead laps again and getting the win in the second main event. Tonight was a great night for us and I look forward to keeping the momentum rolling next weekend."

- Jason Anderson

"All-in-all it was a good night for us as a team, I had three good starts tonight and got to mix it up front with the lead group once again. It's promising to see that I can consistently start up front and hold my own with them for a good portion of the race. I'd say tonight was another successful night of steady improvement. I'm ready to get back to work this week and put on another good ride for the fans next weekend in Houston."

- Adam Cianciarulo

With back-to-back podium finishes under his belt, McAdoo came into Anaheim carrying notable momentum and eyed his first win of the season. In classic McAdoo fashion, the Iowa native was one of the first to hit the track during timed qualifying as he set out to demonstrate his race-winning speed. The No.48 KX™250 rider looked poised for a pole position, setting the fifth fastest lap time in the session (59.708), until a crash in the whoops resulted in McAdoo being escorted to the on-site medical rig. Once cleared by the medics, McAdoo proved his toughness by participating in the second timed session and still qualifying for the night show as the seventh-fastest rider.

When the gate fell for 250SX Main Event 1, McAdoo emerged from the first turn racing inside the top 10. In the opening laps, McAdoo remained steadily in eighth position. Conserving his energy, he patiently waited for his opportunity to make a move and on Lap 5 McAdoo did just that by taking firm control of seventh place. A late-race push by the competition saw McAdoo do all he could to keep his opponents at bay ultimately finishing the race in eighth.

In 250SX Main Event 2, McAdoo executed an exceptional start, reaching the first turn in second place. Impressively matching the pace of the leader, McAdoo found himself in a battle with the leaders on the opening lap. As the battles ensued, the No.48 tipped over in a turn but quickly remounted his bike to remain inside the top 10. Matching the form he displayed in the first race; McAdoo slowly began advancing. The Iowa native lit up the crowd as he made his way up to seventh. Cheers roared once again as the hard-charging McAdoo moved to sixth late in the race. However, the impressive charge was halted as a last lap pass by the rider behind saw the No.48 finish the second Main in seventh.

In the final 250SX Main Event of the night, McAdoo launched out the gate to another top-10 start and finished the opening lap running in sixth. On Lap 2, McAdoo moved into fifth and quickly separated himself from his opponents. As the track continued to break down, McAdoo began settling into a rhythm and impressively took control of fourth place by Lap 5. A battle for fourth began as the time was winding down and ultimately resulted in McAdoo finishing the race with an impressive fifth place. The determination and consistency of McAdoo's performance were strong enough to move the No.48 rider forward to second place in the championship points standings with an inspiring sixth-place result (8-7-5).

"I came into this round looking to compete for a win but having a big moment in practice forced us to take a different approach towards the race. I knew I was banged up but there was no doubt in my mind I was going to go racing. I toughened out those three main events tonight and managed to move forward in the championship standings. The break for us Western Regional riders comes at a perfect time as I plan to let my body rest and recover before we come back and continue to battle for the championship."

- Cameron McAdoo

Source: Next Level Sports Management

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