Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo on A1

The Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Cianciarulo and Anderson came into the day eager to begin the 2022 season after a productive off-season helped both riders familiarize themselves with the Kawasaki KX™450SR. From the start of qualifying, it was clear Anderson had the speed to run with the front group. The No. 21 clocked in a fast lap time of 58.381 before improving on that the second time out with a 57.365, briefly holding pole, before giving him the third fastest lap of the day. Nursing a shoulder injury sustained late in the off-season, Cianciarulo set a respectable fast lap of 58.666 placing him 11th fastest overall heading into the heat races. 

Anderson and Cianciarulo both lined up for the season’s second 450SX heat race and as the gate dropped both riders were jockeying for positions inside the top-three. Cianciarulo showed his true toughness in the race by pushing through the pain and wasting no time in building himself a comfortable gap ahead of third. The No. 9 rode with all he had throughout the race, trying to hold off the competition, but was forced to settle for a seventh-place finish. Anderson, caught in an intense battle for third, would get knocked down on the first lap and was forced to work his way through the field to finish in eighth, securing his ticket to the main event. 

As the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, both Cianciarulo and Anderson were off to decent starts with Cianciarulo in third and Anderson in sixth. Anderson would instantly find himself in a mid-pack battle with last year’s supercross champion and made quick work moving into sixth position. The No. 21 began hunting down the riders ahead, making stealthy passes and working his way up into third. With less than five minutes left in the race, Anderson carefully maneuvered into second position through the second tricky set of whoops before getting run high in the next corner and falling. Now outside the top-10, Anderson went on to charge through the final laps of the race to salvage 10th place. Another great start by Cianciarulo allowed him to begin the race with a comfortable gap between him and the riders battling behind. The No. 9 was determined to make the most of his night and remained in third for most of the race, despite nagging injury. However, as the race progressed, pressure from the competition would prove to be too much and the Florida native finished the race in 11th.

Anderson: “I definitely think today could have gone better. My speed was right there with the top guys, and I felt like my KX450SR was handling so well. In the main, I spent a few laps planning my pass for second and did the best I could to make a clean move and ride away. Unfortunately, I can’t control how other riders respond, but that’s racing. It was a tough one, but we live to fight another day. Time to switch gears and focus on Oakland.”


Adam Cianciarulo: It was a challenging day for us. Obviously, coming in with a grade three AC shoulder separation isn’t ideal but I did the best I could all day. I can honestly say I exceeded my expectations by a lot. I wasn’t sure if I’d even make the full 20 minutes going into the main event, but the team and I had a quick chat before the race which helped me get into the right mindset and deliver a rather impressive result. The goal is to keep getting healthier each week and start fighting for wins as soon as possible.” 

Words: Kawasaki

Images: Kawasaki and Feld Entertainment Inc.