Jason Anderson on his Oakland win: I never stopped believing in myself

Round 2 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship brought riders up the western coastline to RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California where Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson earned the 450SX Class victory aboard his KX™450SR. Stablemate Adam Cianciarulo managed to persevere through adversity for a respectable 12th place finish. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker backed up his season opening podium result with a third-place finish and teammate Jo Shimoda followed in seventh. In the Supercross Futures Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green™ pilot Ryder DiFrancesco claimed a convincing Main Event win aboard his KX™250.

Monster Energy Kawasaki riders Anderson and Cianciarulo started their day with a tactful approach to the historically soft conditions of the Oakland SX track. At a venue that is known to break down throughout the night, the KX450SR mounted riders elected to patiently explore different lines before increasing their speed in the second qualifying session. This approach gave both riders critical insight into the track’s development and the potential for different rhythms before the racing program began. At the conclusion of timed qualifying, Anderson was fourth with a 59.380 and Cianciarulo qualified seventh with a best lap time of 59.932.

When the first 450SX heat race got underway, Anderson emerged from Turn 1 in second place. The No.21 Monster Energy Kawasaki rider raced forward with notably impressive speed through the track’s two particularly challenging whoop sections. Anderson sustained pressure from behind at the mid-point of the race but, proved his composure as he continued hitting his marks and gapped away from the challengers to finish the race with a second place result.

The second 450SX heat race would see another strong Kawasaki start as Cianciarulo rounded the first corner in the lead. Cianciarulo attacked the track with precision in the opening laps to pull away from the competition. As the race progressed however, the front of the field shuffled and a couple of mistakes from Cianciarulo led to him surrendering several positions. The Florida-native closed out the race in fourth position with a direct transfer to the Main Event.

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The start of the 450SX Main Event saw Cianciarulo once again grab the holeshot and take command of the lead early while Anderson followed close behind in third. Anderson made his way quickly into second position and the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo led the field in the top two spots for the opening laps. On Lap 3, Anderson made his move to take control of the lead from Cianciarulo with a well maneuvered inside line entering a 180-degree bowl turn. Once Anderson took command of the lead, he never looked back. The notoriously free-spirited rider showed his grit as he outmatched the competition lap after lap on the progressively deteriorating racetrack. Anderson went on to bring home his first Main Event victory since 2018 in only his second start with the Monster Energy Kawasaki racing team. Meanwhile, teammate Cianciarulo rode with admirable effort to challenge for podium contention well into the mid-stage of the race before the difficult track conditions and the effects of his on-going shoulder ailment resulted in a hard-earned 12th place finish.

Jason Anderson: “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a win, but I never stopped believing in myself. I always knew I could be back up here on the top step, I just needed to put it all together. The track was tricky tonight with how beat up it got, but I feel super comfortable on the KX450SR and that was a huge factor in getting across the finish first. There are a lot of races left and I hope to stay here fighting for wins throughout the season.”

Adam Cianciarulo: This was another challenging weekend for us, but we have a number of positives to take away from it. I got out to two holeshots and was feeling comfortable up front early in the Heat Race and again in the Main Event. I did the best I could with my situation tonight and that’s what I’ll continue to do each day going forward. We are still on track with our goal of getting healthier every week and progressing back to full form as the condition of my shoulder improves.

Words and pic: Kawasaki