Foothill Ranch, Calif. (June 6, 2021) – The second round of the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship kicked off Saturday at Thunder Valley MX in Lakewood, Colorado as Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo earned his first 450 class podium of the season for third overall with 3-6 moto scores, while teammate Eli Tomac finished 10th overall on the day. In the 250 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki took on the day with a two-rider team featuring Jo Shimoda and Austin Forkner, who finished fourth and 11th overall, respectively.
Warm temperatures, gorgeous green hillsides and passionate fans greeted the riders at Thunder Valley MX for Round 2. Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Cianciarulo began the day on a high note qualifying second fastest overall in the 450 class with a lap time of 2:06.755, while Tomac qualified close behind in third after setting a 2:07.095 lap time.
The first 450 class moto began with the No.9 KX™450 of Cianciarulo rocketing out of the gate ahead of the field to grab the holeshot. Cianciarulo immediately found himself in an intense battle for the lead during the opening laps of the race. Cianciarulo remained close behind the leader, studying his lines before charging his way into first place on Lap 5 and building a respectable gap ahead of second place. With seven minutes left in the moto, the Florida native was again caught in a battle for the lead. Despite his best efforts, Cianciarulo would be outpaced and passed by two competitors to cross the finish line in third place. Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Tomac started the race inside the top-10 and was able to battle his way as far up as sixth before losing his rhythm and finishing the moto in 11th.
Moto 2 saw both Cianciarulo and Tomac launch their KX450 machines to a top-10 start off the gate. A small tip over by Cianciarulo on Lap 1 dropped the No.9 back to eighth, forcing the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider to remount quickly or risk losing more valuable positions. Never one to give up, Cianciarulo swiftly made his way all the way up to fourth before crossing the finish line in sixth place, good for third overall on the day (3-6). After starting with the leaders, Tomac was in a battle for the entire 30-minute moto, but ultimately could not make up enough time to move forward, leading the hometown rider to finish the race in 10th-place overall (11-10).
The Pro Motocross series takes a weekend off this coming week before returning to action on June 19 at Hight Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.
“It feels really good to put together two solid motos and be up here on the podium. That little tip over in the corner wasn’t ideal, but today was still a good day overall. I know I have the speed to run with the guys up front, I just need to work on my strength late in the motos. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team for getting my bike dialed this weekend. I’m looking forward to the weekend off and letting my body recover so I can come back stronger for High Point.”
- Adam Cianciarulo
“Today didn’t really go the way I expected it to. This is my hometown race and I really wanted to give the local fans something to cheer about, but I’m having some trouble finding my rhythm right now. My fitness is where it needs to be, and I feel comfortable on my KX450. It’s only a matter of time before I start finding my rhythm again and battling at the front of the pack. This next weekend off is going to be all about rest and recovery as we prepare to come back swinging for the next round.”
- Eli Tomac
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team was limited to two riders this weekend as Cameron McAdoo recovers from injury and Seth Hammaker from illness. Looking to carry the momentum from their opening round performances, Forkner and Shimoda qualified in 10th and 22nd, respectively.
The first moto in the 250 class for Shimoda and Forkner began with a mid-pack start before a red flag on Lap 1 forced a restart. On the restart, Shimoda found himself sitting in 13th place as he rounded the first corner. With his work cut out for him, the Japanese native did what he does best and rode a smart and consistent race, which resulted in the No.30 KX™250 race machine crossing the line in sixth. The No.38 machine of Forkner got off to a rough start in Moto 1, coming around the first corner in 18th place. Forkner attacked the rough Thunder Valley track and put together a solid effort, which saw him advance to 13th, where he would finish the race.
In Moto 2, Shimoda launched out of the gate in sixth while his teammate Forkner was sitting mid-pack off the start. Shimoda remained in sixth place for most of the race before putting on a late-race charge to pass a pair of riders to finish the moto in fourth place and fourth overall (6-4) on the day. Challenged with another poor start, Forkner was forced to dig deep all race to salvage as many points as possible. The Missouri-born rider managed to pass five competitors before crossing the finish line in eighth, earning Forkner 11th place overall (13-8).
“Today was much better than last week. Fourth overall is a career best for me outdoors and I’m pumped on that, but I want to go after that podium finish. I have the speed to move up through the field and catch the lead pack. All I need is a good start so I can be there battling with the leaders from the beginning. We’re in a good place right now and we’ll build off this milestone come High Point. I can’t thank the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team enough for all their hard work this weekend.”
- Jo Shimoda
“I didn’t ride that great today, but I know I can do better than what my results are showing. My KX250 is like a rocket out there, my fitness is good and I’m confident I can get the job done. Now it’s up to me to prove it. This off weekend will be a nice break, but I’m already looking forward to the next round and hopefully battling with the lead group.”
- Austin Forkner