Monster Energy athletes dominate Oakland Supercross – Jason Anderson & Christian Craig sweep top spots

Jason Anderson (678)

Anderson (Yamaha) wins 450 class for the first time since ’18; Craig (Yamaha) makes it two-in-a-row in the 250cc class; Seth Hammaker (Kawasaki) 3rd on 250s

CORONA, CA – January 17, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Round Two of Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Oakland’s (Calif.) RingCentral Coliseum had a decided green glow atop the podium as Monster Energy-back athletes Jason Anderson (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) and Christian Craig (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) swept main event victories in the 450cc and 250cc classes, respectively, on Saturday night. And Craig would be joined on the podium by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker who placed 3rd.

The storyline at Oakland for Anderson, a first-year racer with the factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki program, couldn’t have been any better. Not since 2018 – a total of 47 races – had Anderson seen the top rung on the rostrum. The previous week in Anaheim (Calif.) Anderson crashed in his heat race and was taken out by another racer in the main. At Oakland there’d be none of that as Anderson blazed to the third-fastest qualifying time (behind Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton (Honda) and Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha). And in the main he’d take the race lead early (lap three) over Monster Energy/Kawasaki teammate Adam Cianciarulo, running mistake-free through the checkers in a 3.8 second win over Aaron Plessinger (KTM).

“Man, it’s been a while,” said Anderson at the post-race press conference. “I’ve had some close ones, but last time I won I felt like I was on top of the world. At 28-years old to be able to still know I’ve got it, still able to win, feels amazing.”

Added all-time SX/MX victory leader and race announcer Ricky Carmichael on Anderson’s winning performance at Oakland: “He puts the bike where he needs to. He’s riding aggressive. And it really reminded me of the year he won his championship (2018).”

450 class qualifying

Adam Cianciarulo action shot. Cutline- Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo

Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo

  • The opening heat race saw Sexton pull the holeshot with Anderson right behind in 2nd. Sexton cruised to the win, his second-straight heat race win of the season. Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis would also make the main with a 5th place finish.
  • Heat Two featured Tomac as the fast qualifier, with Cianciarulo 4th. Cianciarulo, still battling an ailing shoulder, would pull the heat holeshot and lead early on. Tomac would come back from a 3rd place start to pass Shane McElrath (KTM), then Cianciarulo for the heat win. Noteworthy: Tomac won the last supercross 450 main event held at Oakland (2020).
  • In the 450 class LCQ Josh Hill (Team Tedder/Monster Energy/Lucas Oil/KTM Racing) would make the main with a strong 2nd place finish behind Alex Martin (Yamaha).
  • Monster Energy-backed racers – Sexton (1st), Tomac (2nd) and Anderson (3rd) would sweep the top three 450 main event gate picks at Oakland.

450 Main Event

Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Eli Tomac

Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Eli Tomac

Cianciarulo continued to pull rocket ship starts on his KX450F as he nailed the holeshot and took the early lead with Anderson (4th), Sexton (8th) and Tomac (11th) in pursuit. Anderson would catch and pass Cianciarulo on lap four and lead – uncontested – through the checkers (lap 21). Tomac ran strong, moving up through the pack to and passing Cianciarulo for 4th at the halfway point of the main. The former champion would stay within striking range of Justin Barcia (Gas-Gas) for 3rd, but wasn’t able to overcome his start deficit and finished with a very respectable 4th. Ferrandis, who got out of the start in 13th place, also rode a fast race – at one point passing defending champ Cooper Webb (KTM) – and finished a solid 6th. Sexton would make the top ten (9th) with Cianciarulo (12th) and Hill (20th) rounding out the Monster Energy-backed placers in Oakland’s 450 main.

250 class qualifying

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda

  • Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) pulled the holeshot and led the opening 250 heat race, with Hammaker in 3rd. Shimoda and Michael Mosiman (Gas-Gas) would swap leads before Mosiman pulled of the win. Shimoda (2nd) and Hammaker (3rd) would round out the podium.
  • Heat Two was all Craig as the eventual main event winner won his heat race going away by an impressive seven seconds over Hunter Lawrence (Honda). Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) also ran well, transferring in 5th place in the second 250 heat and foreshadowing what would be a strong main event for the Tennessean.

250 Main Event

Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig

Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Christian Craig

Out of the start it was Shimoda with the holeshot and early race lead. This effort was 180-degree change from Shimoda’s Anaheim 1 start where Craig caused him to flinch and barge on the start gate, starting the race in dead last. With Shimoda leading Craig, who also pulled a really good start, took hold of 3rd place and set his sights on the race leaders – which would come quickly as Craig moved into 1st place on lap two when Shimoda stalled his bike coming out of a corner. Shimoda would re-fire his KX250F immediately and got himself right back into 2nd place by the end of the lap. Hammaker would run it past Vince Friese (Honda) and for the next two laps Monster Energy athletes would be running 1-2-3. … As Craig would continue to click off fast lap after fast lap, Shimoda would make a mistake, dropping the front end of his bike in the whoops and blowing up – nearly completing a front flip worthy of something you’d see at Monster Energy FMX star Axell Hodges’ track. Shimoda would gallantly remount and finish the race in 7th. On lap 11 Hammaker would go down, quickly get back up, but yield 2nd place to   Lawrence. By the halfway mark Thrasher would move up to 5th … Craig would win going away, with Hammaker holding on to the 3rd and final podium spot. Thrasher finished solidly in 5th and Shimoda 7th.

Carmichael on Craig: “This is the second year he’s on that bike (YZ250F) and he’s really jelling well. He’s (Craig) stamped it that he’s the guy to beat, and all the other guys need to be shooting for him.”

Overall 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Points

450 class

Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

2ndAnderson

6th Tomac

9th Sexton

11th Ferrandis

13th – Cianciarulo

250 class (SX West)

Chrstian Craig

Christian Craig

1st Craig

3rd Hammaker

7th Shimoda

8th Thrasher

Up Next

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series drops back down to San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 22, with Round Three of the series at PetCo Park. Gates open at noon (FanFest) with qualifying rounds beginning shortly thereafter. Opening Ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. with the gate dropping on the first moto at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.supercrosslive.com

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