Cianciarulo injury update and Anderson on disappointment
Eager to back up his first win of the season, Anderson was first out on the track for timed practice. Both Monster Energy Kawasaki riders were quick to learn the layout of Petco Park as Cianciarulo and Anderson traded fastest lap times back and forth until time ran out and it was the No.21 sitting in first position with Cianciarulo close behind in fourth. With the track quickly drying out before the second session, both Kawasaki mounted riders elected to make slight bike adjustments. These changes proved to be of benefit as Anderson recorded the fastest lap of the session on his final sprint lap to give him overall pole position. Meanwhile, Cianciarulo qualified seventh overall after returning to the pits midway through the final timed practice due to a lingering injury.
The second 450SX Heat Race hosted both Kawasaki factory riders. When the gate dropped, it was the No.21 of Anderson out front with a third-place start. Anderson capitalized on a mistake from the rider ahead to advance into second on the opening lap. At the beginning of Lap 2, Anderson used his standout speed in the whoops to close the gap out front and make the pass for first stick in the following turn. Once in the lead, the rider out of New Mexico cruised ahead of the pack and went on to win the race by nearly six seconds. For Cianciarulo, a midpack start off the gate forced the No.9 into close contact with the competition. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider decided to pull off after one too many close calls and returned to the paddock to regroup. After discussing with the team, it was determined the best course of action was for Cianciarulo to sit out the rest of the night.
Jason Anderson: “Man, I was feeling really good on my KX450SR out there today. I really think I had the speed to battle for the lead, but these things happen. The track was tricky tonight, lots of tight corners and a long whoop section that caused a lot of problems, but I think these difficult types of tracks kind of fit my style and I’m happy I got a chance to showcase that tonight. There are still some small things I want to clean up before next weekend, so it’s back to work on Monday.”
Adam Cianciarulo: “Obviously not how I wanted my weekend to go but I’m trying to remain positive. I was feeling good early in the day and even set the fastest lap in qualifying for a moment. However, my start in the heat set me back in the pack and put me in some very close battles which forced a lot of strain on my body so I went back to the truck to talk to the team. We’re still focusing long term and collectively decided it was best to take more time to heal.”
Words and image: Kawasaki
Podcast! Jonathan McCready and Andy McKinstry talk about the craziness of the 450 class in supercross, Sexton’s first win and Tomac taking the red plate. Get it on iTunes here or Spotify or YouTube below: