Anderson gets his 4th win of the season while Tomac can clinch o/a 450 title in Foxborough; Monster’s Christian Craig 2nd in 250 East/West Atlanta Showdown
CORONA, CA – April 18, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson put on a masterful performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, winning his premier 450cc class heat race then taking the early lead in Monster Energy AMA Supercross’ main event. Anderson then ran it to the checkers – out front of two other Monster Energy-backed flyers in Eli Tomac (Star Racing/Yamaha) and Chase Sexton (Honda) – who placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, to give Monster Energy the Atlanta SX podium sweep.
With the win Anderson moved into a solid 2nd place in the season standings, but still 53 points back of Tomac. Tomac now has the opportunity, with three races remaining on the 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross schedule, to clinch the overall championship next weekend when the series hits the home of the New England Patriots – Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Said Anderson of his victory in Atlanta: “I’ve been riding better than I ever have this year. So to struggle and keep getting podiums and top five finishes is crazy. All in all I still wanted to get another win. And that felt good today.”
And in the support 250cc class racing at Atlanta Monster Energy was led by Christian Craig (Star Racing/Yamaha), the 250cc Western Supercross regional point leader, in 2nd place, 4th place Jo Shimoda (Pro Circuit/Kawasaki), 5th place Nate Thrasher (Star Racing/Yamaha) and 7th place Austin Forkner (Pro Circuit/Kawasaki).
450 Podium Atlanta L to R: Eli Tomac, Jason Anderson & Chase Sexton
450 class qualifying
Monster Energy’s Chase Sexton
- The opening 450 heat race saw Anderson grab the holeshot and get out to the early race lead.
- Tomac would get a good start as well, 3rd place, and quickly moved up to 2nd while Anderson increased his lead.
- Both Anderson and Tomac would separate from the pack on the mile-long course on the infield of Atlanta Motor Speedway, up five seconds on 3rd place Justin Barcia (Gas Gas).
- Tomac would pressure Anderson in the final minutes of Heat 1, eventually passing the Kawasaki racer – only to get passed right back.
- Nearing the final lap of the race Tomac would swap out exiting the tunnel turn, rebounding off a berm and coming thisclose to crashing.
- Anderson would cruise to the heat victory, while Tomac regained his composure and placed 2nd – some 12 seconds up on Barcia.
- Said Anderson following his heat win: “I’m trying to make it hard on him (Tomac). This Kawasaki’s awesome and I’m looking forward to battling in the main event this evening.”
- In the second 450 heat race Sexton, the No. 1 qualifier, was up into the top five after lap one, then passed both Marvin Musquin (KTM) and Alex Martin (Yamaha) with an excellent move to grab 2nd
- At the 3:41 mark of the second 450 heat race Sexton railed into the lead with an impressive pass in the whoop section over defending supercross champion Cooper Webb (KTM).
- Sexton then put the hammer down on his CRF450R, distancing himself from Webb by six seconds at the Heat Race 2 checkers.
- Said Sexton: “I’m feeling good with the bike. This place (Atlanta Motor Speedway) is special. This was my first 450 class podium here and I’m probably having the most fun I’ve ever had racing my dirt bike.”
- Noteworthy: It was reported at Atlanta that Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis has decided to forego the remainder of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season in order to let his shoulder heal for the upcoming MX Nationals. Ferrandis is the defending outdoor 450 class champion.
450 Main Event
Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac
Heat 2 winner (Sexton) and Heat 1 winner (Anderson) rocketed out to 2nd and 3rd place positions off the start of the 450 main. … Tomac, who was in position to challenge for the race lead at the start, played it smart and opened the first lap in 4th place. … Soon into the contest Sexton would get past race leader Barcia, with Anderson following suit with a pass on Barcia in the split sand section. … With Monster Energy racers now in 1st (Sexton) and 2nd (Anderson) places, Tomac slipped back to 5th place at the 16:37 mark of the 450 main event. … Sexton, who’s been hit with moments of bad luck several times this season, would again hit the dirt with the race lead, this time tucking his front end in a turn after exiting the sand whoop section. … With Sexton moving from 1st to 6th, Anderson took over the lead. … As the race continued Barcia would tip over and Tomac got into podium position (3rd), with Webb about two seconds ahead in 2nd place. … Sexton would mount a charge towards the leaders, moving up to 5th and putting up some of the main event’s fastest lap times. … At the 10:29 mark it was Anderson (1st), Tomac (3rd) and Sexton (5th) for Monster Energy. … With 6:47 to go Tomac would catch Webb and pass the defending champion coming out of the tunnel, taking 2nd place with authority. … Sexton, who’d moved into 4th, was then on Webb with less than five minutes remaining. … With a minute to go before the white flag came out, signifying one lap remaining, Sexton passed Webb for the third and final podium position. … With Monster Energy racers now running 1st/2nd/3rd, the checkers flew with Anderson 7.9 seconds up on Tomac.
Said Tomac: “I was slow at the beginning, then I made a couple mistakes in the middle of the rhythm section there. It was tough track and it can come up on you, grab your tires and make you make a mistake. (I) fought hard, forward on the last half of the race. But Jason had gotten away early, obviously. So that’s all I had in me was 2nd place.” And regarding the chance to secure the overall 450 class Monster Energy AMA Supercross title early (Foxborough), Tomac said: “I have it in my mind that we can clinch the title next week. So I’ll go and push and do the best I can.”
Said Sexton: “Today’s probably the best I’ve felt on my bike all year. And you know what? When things don’t quite go your way you just have to keep on digging. I had a blast today. I’m thankful for that and ready to go in Foxborough.”
250 class qualifying
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner
- The first of two East/West 250 Showdown events saw the return of Forkner. The veteran racer was held up at the start of ESX Heat 1 when ESX point leader Jett Lawrence (Honda), who was the cause of Forkner’s shoulder injury at the Arlington (Texas) round, went down in front of Forkner.
- Forkner would move up to 8th place, then 4th place with 1:00 and one lap remaining.
- Then, in a spirited charge to the front, Forkner passed RJ Hampshire (Husqvarna) just a couple turns before the finish – Forkner’s first heat win of the season.
- Said Forkner: “I started behind Jett (Lawrence) and got held up when he fell. After that I gave it everything I had, and it went real smooth. I was planning on getting a better start, but I didn’t want to wasted energy. Definitely got my heart rate up (racing from 8th to 1st).”
- WSX Heat 2 featured Craig, who at this point was 6-for-6 in heat race wins on the season.
- Shimoda would grab a big holeshot and the race lead, with Craig in 3rd and Thrasher in 7th after the opening lap.
- Shimoda would give up the lead to Michael Mosiman (Gas Gas), after which Craig got by Shimoda for 2nd.
- Defending Atlanta 250 champ Thrasher would continue to climb in the race standings, moving up to 5th place with a minute remaining.
- With two laps to go Mosiman went down after the whoop section and Craig sped into the lead, bringing home the win and extending his WSX heat race win streak to 7-for-7. Shimoda would place 4th and Thrasher 5th.
- Said Craig: “I was a little cautious at the beginning because of how sloppy it was. Should be a lot better (conditions) for the main event.”
250 Main Event
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Christian Craig
Shimoda pulled another massive start, getting the holeshot in the 250 main and leading early. … Forkner would get out in 6th place, with Craig, the WSX overall point leader, starting cautiously in 10th and Thrasher in 13th. … As Craig moved up, Jett Lawrence would go down, which allowed Forkner to move into 3rd place. Early in the race Shimoda (1st), Forkner (3rd) and Craig (4th) led the Monster Energy racers. … At the 10:16 mark Craig was on to Forkner and moved past, into 3rd place, by driving hard out of a whoop section and winning the ensuing corner battle. … As Shimoda and Hunter Lawrence battled, with Lawrence eventually taking over 1st place, Craig made his move and got past Shimoda for 2nd at the 8:28 mark, 1.2 seconds back of Hunter Lawrence. … As the lead riders settled in, Thrasher was making a mad dash towards the front – moving all the way up to 5th with 6:12 remaining. … A Forkner bobble would move him back to 6th, allowing Thrasher 5th place. … Hunter Lawrence was 1.6 seconds up on Craig with 3:40 remaining, and Jett Lawrence got past Thrasher for 5th. … A Mosiman crash would allow Thrasher back into the top five (5th), with Craig taking 2nd, Shimoda a well-earned 4th and Forkner 7th.
Said Craig: “I zoned out a bit at the start of the race, then got back up to the leaders and yo-yoed a bit for the lead. But a mistake near the end ruined my momentum. Props to Jett and Hunter for a great race.”
Overall 2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Points (through four rounds)
1st – Tomac
2nd – Anderson
6th – Sexton
9th – Ferrandis
250 class (SX West)
1st – Craig
5th – Shimoda
6th – Thrasher
250 class (SX East)
3rd – Cameron McAdoo
2022 Monster Energy AMA Supercross rolls into Foxborough, Mass., for Round 15 at Gillette Stadium, Saturday, April 23. Tickets are available online at www.supercrosslive.com
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