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Monster Energy® Kawasaki Rider Jason Anderson Dominates in Denver for Third Win in a Row
Round 16 of the Monster Energy® AMA Supercross Championship hosted the world’s elite racers at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson prevailed over the competition to secure his third consecutive 450SX Main Event victory; his sixth so far in the season. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda rivaled for a podium position on his way to earning an impressive fourth-place result.
Empower Field at Mile High presents a distinct set of challenges for the Monster Energy Supercross racers as the venue sits at over 5,200 feet in elevation and offers a terrain of loose dirt comparable to dried kitty litter. Additionally this event would be one of the few day races which provides a different visual aesthetic and presents challenges to keep moisture in the dirt. Despite the event’s original scheduling as a two-day affair, with Friday practice sessions and Saturday racing, high winds on Friday morning led to the cancellation of all free practices, and riders were delayed from riding the track prior to Saturday morning’s first timed qualifier. When Anderson arrived at the stadium on race day, he expressed a decidedly positive attitude about his readiness for whatever new challenges the day may hold. His positivity came to fruition as Anderson soon asserted himself as a top contender of the day by logging fast laps in both qualifying sessions. When timed qualifying came to an end, Anderson’s lap time of 44.711 was enough to rank him third heading into the race program.
Anderson launched out of the gate for the start of 450SX Heat 2, emerging from Turn 1 in fourth position. Anderson made swift work to maneuver his KX™450SR up into second place by the end of Lap 2. The No.21 Monster Energy Kawasaki rider then proved himself as the fastest rider on track by quickly reducing the distance between himself and the leader. On Lap 7, Anderson logged the fastest lap of the race with a blistering 45.584. In the closing laps, Anderson explored a variety of potential passing lines while patiently seeking an opportunity to make his way into the top spot. When the checkered flag flew, Anderson earned second position in the heat and, in the process, displayed his aptitude for navigating the dried-out Denver soil.
Anderson charged off the start of the 450SX Main Event and emerged from the first rhythm section inside the top five. Swift passes from the New-Mexico native were once again a highlight of his race as he made his way into a contest for the lead before the first three laps were completed. On Lap 6, Anderson made a decisive pass in the corner before the whoop section to take command of the first position. On Lap 8, Anderson took advantage of the clear track ahead to log the fastest lap of the race and extend a comfortable gap over the competition. While the combination of dry air and persistent winds made for an exceptionally slippery racing surface, Anderson found traction in the late stages of the race to consistently set the pace from the front. Anderson put on a masterclass of racing on dry conditions as he amassed a nearly 15-second lead en route to claiming his third consecutive 450SX Main Event victory.
Anderson’s dominating performance in Denver earned him enough points to secure a second overall result in the 450SX Monster Energy Supercross Championship.
“I started the day confident about my experience on these conditions and ready to fight for the win. Although the championship is coming to a close, I’m still eager for more race wins. The track was tricky today and demanded a lot of patience so, once I got out front in the Main, I really focused on hitting my marks each lap. While the hard packed sections worsened throughout the race, I stayed locked in and had a lot of fun setting the pace from the lead. This was my sixth win of the season and I’m ready to go end it with another one in Salt Lake City.”
- Jason Anderson
With the return to 250SX Western Regional racing, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Shimoda set his sights on a return to the podium. When the first qualifying session took to the course, Shimoda braved the wet morning conditions to battle at the top of the leader board. Having utilized the recent one-week hiatus of 250SX West racing to work on improving his whoop speed and intensity, Shimoda attacked the track with increasing speed through each of the two timed sessions. When morning qualifying concluded, Shimoda ranked fourth with a fastest lap time of 46.395.
Quick off the start of 250SX Heat 1, and sparing no time in racing to the front of the field, Shimoda came through the green flag lap in third position. The Japanese-born rider battled over the hotly contested podium spot for the opening laps of the race until he made a pass into second place on Lap 3. Once in second, Shimoda only looked forward as he stretched out an eight-second gap over the next rider behind. When the checkered flag flew, Shimoda finished in second place with a direct transfer to the 250SX Main Event.
When the gate dropped for the 250SX Main Event, the No.30 KX™250 rider Shimoda emerged from the first turn just inside the top 10. Shimoda matched his intensity with outstanding race craft to consistently overtake riders through the opening laps of the race. Moving forward from seventh at the green flag, Shimoda passed his way into a podium position by Lap 6. The gap between Shimoda and second place fluctuated for several laps until the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider began to steadily click off faster laps than the rider ahead through the late stages of the race. While Shimoda continued to shrink the distance ahead, he also began to feel pressure from the rider in fourth. A mistake through the whoops from Shimoda on Lap 16 would cause him to relinquish the podium position. A close battle ensued as Shimoda made a quick pass back into third before eventually surrendering the position to the current Western Regional points leader and finishing the race with an impressive fourth-place result.
Shimoda’s fourth place finish in Denver marks his fifth top-five result of the season and moves him into a tie for fourth in the 250SX Western Regional Championship points standings with just one race remaining.
"The early part of my Main Event was really good with all of the passes I was making to get up into third place. A better start would have made it much easier to get into the battle at the front but, I still had a chance at second or at least a podium finish. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and lost third pretty close to the end and that never feels good but, I fought back for the spot and I feel my racing was strong. I will aim for a podium finish next weekend in the Showdown at Salt Lake.”
- Jo Shimoda