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Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Rider Jo Shimoda Brings Home Second Overall At The SuperMotocross World Championship™
Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda clinched a second-place overall finish at the final round of the SuperMotocross World Championship™ at the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Ryder DiFrancesco overcame adversity to finish 16th (21-12). Monster Energy® Kawasaki riders Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson endured challenges battling the premier class riders finishing fourth (7-4) and 11th (4-21). Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green™ riders dominated the 250 World All-Stars as Drew Adams finished first, Slade Varola in third, Krystian Janik fourth and Enzo Temmerman in eighth.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is famous for its rich history: a living memorial to the U.S. Armed Forces who served during World War 1, one of the few stadiums to host two Summer Olympics (1932 and 1984), numerous Los Angeles sporting teams, iconic events and concerts, and has been the cherished home of the USC Trojans football team since its beginning.
Kawasaki took advantage of this prestigious venue to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the KX™ brand inviting past champions and factory riders over the decades together to bench race and debut the 2024 KX™450 50th Anniversary Edition. Kawasaki riders sported special livery including graphics, gear, and team shirts to throwback to the Kawasaki’s successful heritage.
During the slick 250 class qualifying sessions, Shimoda and DiFrancesco were neck-and-neck finishing seventh and ninth, with less than a second difference. Teammate Seth Hammaker unfortunately withdrew from the event after he crashed in the second practice session on Friday.
In the initial moments of 250 Moto 1, riders No. 30 Shimoda and No. 75 DiFrancesco catapulted off the starting line, securing positions within the Top 10. However, as the opening lap unfolded, DiFrancesco swiftly advanced to third place, while Shimoda residing in eighth position faced a challenging climb. Further into the race, an unfortunate error by rider No. 75 in the sand section forced him to go down, making a rapid recovery to rejoin the race in the 21st position. Shimoda executed a remarkable late surge, rapidly gaining ground and engaging in an intense battle with the third place rider. As the race concluded, Shimoda secured a commendable fourth-place finish, while DiFrancesco crossed the finish line in the 20th position.
In the second Moto, Shimoda wasted no time, aggressively navigating his KX™250 to secure fourth place as he crossed the holeshot line. Meanwhile, DiFrancesco faced a tougher challenge, finding himself buried deep in the pack, in 13th position. As the race unfolded, minor errors by DiFrancesco forced him to battle through the field from 19th place. As the track conditions deteriorated, DiFrancesco's precision improved, leading to a 12th-place finish. After several laps of consistent laps and spacing between the top four riders and with only a handful of laps remaining, rider No. 30 had to give it his all in pursuit of the SMX title. However, Shimoda would finish fourth again, finishing second overall in the points championship.
The inaugural 250 World All-Stars race unfolded just prior to the evening spectacle, with Drew Adams representing Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green™ emerging as the victor. Adams commenced the race from the fifth position, navigating through a chaotic field marked by frequent crashes. Once he hit his stride, Adams surged to the forefront and executed his race strategy with precision. As the checkered flag unfurled, Adams was bestowed with the title of champion in the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Teammates from Monster Energy® Kawasaki, Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo, tackled the demanding SMX track and clinched the afternoon's 450 class second and fifth fastest qualifying spots, respectively.
In the opening Moto of the 450 Class, Cianciarulo and Anderson initiated their races impressively, with Cianciarulo grabbing the holeshot on his KX™450SR and taking the lead with Anderson close behind. A four-rider battled ensued coming out of the sand section that allowed Anderson to slip by and take the lead. Unfortunately amongst the battle, Justin Barcia crashed which brought out a red flag that necessitated a restart. As the flag dropped for the restart, Anderson surged into the lead and built a gap, while Cianciarulo commenced from 16th place due to a tip-over just before the red flag was thrown. Anderson engaged in fierce battles with the leading trio and ultimately secured a commendable fourth-place finish. Meanwhile, Cianciarulo embarked on a relentless pursuit, meticulously gaining ground with each lap, ultimately concluding the race in seventh place.
During the second Moto of the 450 Class, Cianciarulo and Anderson launched from the starting gate with determination, securing third and sixth positions, respectively. On the first lap, rider No. 9 faced pressure from competitors behind, slipping to fourth place. Meanwhile, Anderson embarked on a forward charge, climbing into fifth position. However, as he attempted to pass his teammate, he went down resulting in damage to his controls and his hand that forced him to withdraw from the race. Cianciarulo continued to run the pace with the world’s best and crossed in fourth place for in the moto as well as overall.