Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda Secures Fifth Career Supercross Podium at Nashville SX2023-05-11 06:06
The upbeat tunes of Music City echoed through the early morning sky of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, for Round 15 of the Monster Energy® Supercross Championship where Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda reached another career milestone after clinching his fifth career Supercross podium with a second-place finish. Teammate Chris Blose continued his string of top-10 finishes with a consistent eighth-place result. In the 450SX Class, Monster Energy® Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson rebounded from crashes early in the day to earn sixth place while his teammate Adam Cianciarulo put on a come from behind performance to finish in eighth.
With showers early in the week soaking the Nashville track and an early start time, Saturday morning track conditions presented riders with a tacky top layer combined with a slick base. When 250SX Class qualifying sessions began, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo of Shimoda and Blose were quick to experiment with a variety of different lines and rhythm lane runs. Shimoda placed green on top of the leaderboard during the first qualifying session as he set the fastest time of the morning with a 54.092 lap time. When the timed qualifying practices concluded, Shimoda was third fastest (53.407) with Blose recording the sixth-fastest lap time (53.976).
In the first 250SX heat race, Blose emerged from Turn 1 running in third and quickly distanced himself with the leaders from the rest of the field. The No.57 showed consistency and speed as he managed to stay competitive against the top-two riders. With no real threat from behind, and a comfortable gap to the riders ahead, Blose rode a steady and controlled race, crossing the finish line in third and securing his spot in the main event.
At the start of 250SX Heat 2, Shimoda was fifth heading into the first turn. Buried in the pack, the young Japanese-born rider displayed impressive race craft as he kept the opposition behind and moved into fourth place during the opening laps. As racing progressed, the No.30 closed in on a top-three position and began to apply immense pressure in efforts to take over third place. The crowd inside Nissan Stadium roared as Shimoda and former 250 Class champion Alex Martin engaged in a multi-lap battle until Shimoda made a mistake due to the slick track conditions, ending his run for a third-place finish. The No.30 tried to close the gap to third once more but with little time remaining, he settled for fourth.
When the gate dropped on the 250SX Main Event, Shimoda and Blose launched their KX™250 race machines to strong fourth and fifth place starts. Running in fourth, Shimoda wasted no time in making his way forward by skillfully passing Martin in the opening rhythm section to take third place. Blose on the other hand, shuffled back to eighth place. Keen on returning to his podium ways, Shimoda deployed an impressive charge, gradually closing in on the leaders with each lap. Once he was within a few bike lengths of the lead group, the No.30 put on a masterclass in technique and race strategy as he capitalized on the back and forth racing ahead to maneuver into second place. Meanwhile, Blose engaged in a fierce battle with Tom Vialle for seventh place, fighting tooth and nail to gain ground. Despite his best efforts, Blose crossed the finish line in eighth place, while Shimoda finished in second. With his fifth career 250SX Class podium, Shimoda proved once again that he's still a force to be reckoned with.
“My jump out of the gate wasn’t the best, but I stayed focused and kept pushing forward. I made some great passes and was able to work my way up to second place. It feels amazing to have fought my way back to the front of the pack and earn a podium finish. I couldn't have done it without the support of my team and my fans. I'm mostly happy to be back on the podium where I know I belong and I'm excited to carry this momentum into the final round.”
- Jo Shimoda
“I got a decent start in the Main Event, but some silly mistakes during the opening lap shuffled me back. I did my best to regain some positions once the race settled down, but I couldn’t find the right opportunity to attempt a pass. I'm proud of the effort I put in and that I was able to keep my consistent run of top-10 finishes intact. The team and I will do some extra work on the starts this week so we’re better prepared to battle up front during the final round in two weeks.”
- Chris Blose
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Monster Energy Kawasaki riders Anderson and Cianciarulo continued their recent success in qualifying sessions as both KX™450SR riders quickly adapted to the track’s challenging conditions. During the first timed session of the morning, the Kawasaki duo made their mark with times inside the top-10 and turned up the speed for the second session as Cianciarulo placed his Kawasaki near the top spot of the leaderboard with the second fastest lap time (52.889). Anderson wasn’t far behind, and although a mistake in the whoops momentarily threw him off course, the No.21 still managed to claim the seventh quickest lap with a 53.490.
The No.9 of Cianciarulo utilized the power of his KX450SR at the start of 450SX Heat 1 to rocket out to a third-place start and quickly began pressuring the riders ahead. With the front three riders jockeying for the lead during the opening lap, a mistake from the leaders ahead allowed Cianciarulo to move into second and build a comfortable gap in front of the competition. The No.9 continued to log consistent laps through to the checkered flag, securing a second-place finish.
When the gate dropped on 450SX Heat 2, Anderson placed green towards the front once more as he reached the first turn in third. Narrowly escaping chaos behind him, Anderson set his sights forward and began to close the gap to second during the opening lap. Unfortunately, the quickly deteriorating track conditions saw Anderson get cross-rutted in the middle of the opening rhythm section and fall off the side of the track. Battered and bruised, the New Mexico native left the heat race early to recover and prepare for the 450SX LCQ.
When the 450SX LCQ gate dropped, Anderson again rocketed out to a superb start, this time reaching the first turn in second. A determined Anderson quickly moved into the lead before the end of the opening lap and immediately built a decent gap from the riders behind. Looking to put the mistakes from earlier in the day behind him, the No.21 rode a smooth and consistent race through to the checkered flag to take the race win and transfer into the Main Event.
In the 450SX Main Event, the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo faced early adversity with Anderson starting in 11th and Cianciarulo tipping over in the first turn. Unfazed by the daunting task at hand, Cianciarulo quickly gained ground to move from 22nd to 12th place, behind his teammate, by the second lap. As they worked their way up the field, the Kawasaki teammates engaged in an exciting multi-lap battle that culminated in Cianciarulo passing Anderson for ninth just before the long whoop section. Despite the intense competition, Anderson mounted his own charge and eventually overtook Cianciarulo to finish in a respectable sixth place, while Cianciarulo finished in a solid eighth place, earning Monster Energy Kawasaki two top-10 results.
“Today was a tough day, but I didn't let the earlier setbacks get to me and I knew I had to give it my all in the Main Event. My body was sore heading into the Main Event, but I raced with everything I had, and I'm happy to have salvaged a top-10 finish for the team. It's not the result I wanted, but sometimes it's just about picking yourself up and pushing through no matter what. I'm proud of the effort we put in, and we'll come back stronger next race.”
- Jason Anderson
“I was feeling great in qualifying and happy with how I was riding, but unfortunately I made a small mistake entering the first turn during the Main Event and had to battle my way through the pack. I found a good flow early in the race and managed to get into the top-10 and put on a good battle for the fans against my teammate. As the track continued to deteriorate, I made a couple of mistakes that cost me some time. Overall, I'm proud of how I was able to fight back and salvage some points with an eighth-place finish. We'll regroup and come back stronger next race.”
- Adam Cianciarulo
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