Monster Energy® Kawasaki Riders Finish the 2023 Monster Energy® Supercross Championship Inside the Top Five
Foothill Ranch, Calif. (May 14, 2023) – At just over 4000 ft. above sea level and backdropped by snow-capped mountains and aspen trees, Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah hosted the final round of the Monster Energy® Supercross Championship. In the 450SX Class, Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo rivaled for podium contention throughout the race before securing a fourth-place finish. In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Jo Shimoda earned an impressive fourth-place result while his teammates Carson Mumford and Chris Blose followed in 10th and 12th, respectively.
Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo arrived at the Monster Energy® Supercross Finale with podium momentum at his back. The No.9 KX™450SR rider matched the impressive pace he has displayed in recent weeks as he attacked the track from the time his tires touched the dirt. Through the opening sessions, Cianciarulo quickly found his rhythm and asserted himself near the top of the leaderboard. While challenging for the top spots in qualification and adjusting to the hard-packed soil conditions, Cianciarulo made minimal alterations to his bike setup and kept his focus on logging consistent laps. When the 450SX Class qualifying sessions ended, Cianciarulo had recorded the fifth-fastest lap of the morning (47.805).
Prior to the start of 450SX Heat 2, a cluster of looming dark clouds turned into outright rain showers quickly producing a slippery racing surface. When the gate dropped, Cianciarulo rocketed toward the first turn before braking early and diving to the inside of his competition. The savvy move positioned Cianciarulo in second place on the opening lap, though he quickly found himself battling for the position. After briefly withstanding pressure from the championship points leader, Cianciarulo slipped back to third on Lap 2. With two laps remaining, Cianciarulo capitalized on a mistake from a rider ahead to regain control of second position and he held the spot through to the checkered flag.
As the 450SX Class prepared for the Main Event, the rain subsided and the track conditions rapidly improved. Cianciarulo again launched himself out to an excellent start and entered the first turn inside the top five. With another display of sharp tact early in the race, Cianciarulo advanced into second place with a tight inside line through the first corner. The Florida native went on to prove his excellence in the deep ruts and wet dirt as he commanded second place for the first half of the race. On Lap 10, Cianciarulo was overtaken at the end of a rutted rhythm lane and was soon under attack from the rider in fourth. Despite waging a several-lap battle for the final podium spot, Cianciarulo ultimately settled into fourth position and held his place through to the finish.
“All in all, this weekend was another step in the right direction for me and the whole Monster Energy® Kawasaki team. I’ve been focused on putting the building blocks in place throughout this season and it’s great to have these strong results in the final rounds. Of course, it would have been awesome to close out with back-to-back podiums, but we were in the battle and still had a solid night. Now, we’ll shift focus to Pro Motocross and look to keep the fight going.” – Adam Cianciarulo
The Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki trio of Shimoda, Mumford and Blose were early standouts in the 250SX Class qualifying sessions as they paced at the front of the field. With all three riders appearing on the leaderboard at various times throughout the morning, it was clear that the KX™250 mounted team was prepared for a strong finish to the season. When the regionally divided qualifying sessions concluded, Shimoda was fourth fastest (47.123) of the 250SX Eastern Regional Class with Blose in seventh (48.234) and Mumford matched with seventh in the 250SX Western Regional Class (48.337).
In the 250SX East Heat, a quick jump out of the gate placed Shimoda in fourth exiting Turn 1 while Blose trailed behind in sixth. The Japanese-born rider charged after the group ahead and took control of third place on Lap 2. Meanwhile, Blose kept pressure on the riders ahead until he was the benefactor of a mistake from his competition on Lap 4 and inherited fifth position. With open track and ideal conditions, Shimoda and Blose maintained a steady pace through to the checkered flag to secure third place and fifth place, respectively.
The 250SX West Heat again hosted Team Green near the front when Mumford maneuvered his way into third place through the first rhythm lane. The No.52 KX™250 rider held true to form with attention-grabbing speed through the opening laps of the heat. By the end of Lap 1, Mumford had the 250SX West champion hot on his tail. Mumford maintained his composure and kept his pace high to defend the position for the bulk of the race. In a crowd-thrilling display of tenacity, Mumford was overtaken on Lap 6 before he quickly dove to the inside and regained the position for a moment. While the battle ensued, Mumford was ultimately relegated to a fourth-place finish.
The last 250SX Class Main Event of the season brought the crowd to their feet as the best of the best were pitted against each other for a final East/West Showdown. Shimoda started the race in fourth place with Blose right behind him in sixth while Mumford looked to move forward from a 12th place start. The mud from earlier rain showers complicated line selection, rider’s vision, and the availability of traction as the Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team fought to overcome the elements and better their positions. While Mumford worked his way up the running order, Shimoda held strong in fourth and Blose began to slip backward. Although the track continued to break down, Shimoda and Mumford managed to improve their speed as the race progressed; both riders logged several of their fastest laps in the latter half of the race. Mumford was able to make several passes in the closing stages, but Shimoda’s pace would not be enough to close the distance to the podium position ahead. When the checkered flag came out, Shimoda earned fourth, Mumford made his way to 10th and Blose brought home a respectable 12th.
“We have made a lot of progress since I came back to racing from my shoulder injury earlier this year and we almost earned another podium tonight. It’s tough when you don’t get a start at the very front in the East/West Showdown races because it’s so competitive in the class. I had good speed and kept pushing to the end but couldn’t quite close the gap. Next we go to the Pro Motocross season and will be ready to fight for the championship.” – Jo Shimoda
“I was unfortunately toward the back from the start and really had my work cut out for me to earn a top-10. With the East/West Showdown format, there are just so many good guys out there that you have to be on point the whole way through. I think we’ve made good progress as a group and, even though I joined the team a little behind the eight ball, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this short time. I’m super grateful to the whole Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad and, as my butt patch said, this has been a ‘Dream Job’ for me.” – Carson Mumford
“I was in the mix for the early portion of the race but just fell back toward the end. It wasn’t my best night of the season, but there are still plenty of positives to highlight from this year as a whole. It’s been great to race with the support of the Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team and I’m really thankful to Mitch [Payton] for this opportunity. I only had a few days on the bike before we started racing and still, we managed to finish in the top-five of 250SX East points. That sort of progress doesn’t come without a lot of effort and sacrifice so, a big shoutout to the whole crew for always going the extra mile and backing me completely.” – Chris Blose
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