The RedBud National featured the second reverse moto schedule of the season which meant a smoother track and higher speeds for the 450 Class qualifying sessions as they took to the course first.
Never shying away from high speeds, the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Jason Anderson and Joey Savatgy put the power of their KX450SR machines on display by qualifying at the front in both timed sessions. When qualification concluded, Anderson had the second-fastest lap of the morning (2:03.505) and Savatgy was hot on his tail with the third-best lap time (2:03.698).
In 450 Class Moto 1, Savatgy was narrowly beaten out for the holeshot as he jockeyed for position with several of the top championship contenders. At the completion of Lap 1, Savatgy had taken a firm hold on second place with his pace in lockstep with the race leader. Unfortunately, Anderson was collected in a first turn crash and the #21 KX450SR rider crossed the green flag in 31st position.
As the race progressed, Savatgy fortified his spot at the front by extending a gap over the riders behind and keeping in close tow of the rider out front. Unphased by the pressure of battling among several premier class champions while maintaining a smooth intensity to his speed, Savatgy held onto second place until Lap 14 when he was overtaken. A brief battle ensued when Savatgy launched himself back into second by skying out Larocco’s Leap but, he soon settled into third for the final laps of the moto.
Savatgy crossed the chequers in third to secure his first 450 Class podium result and proved his recent progress with the Monster Energy Kawasaki team is affirming his place among the best in the world.
Not to be overshadowed, Anderson thrilled fans as he charged through the field for the full 30-minute plus two-lap race, passing over 25 riders, to secure eighth place at the finish.
The second 450 Class moto saw both Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450SR riders emerge from Turn 1 inside the top-10.
Anderson looked to fight toward a podium position as he moved forward from fifth on the opening lap to take control of fourth on Lap 4. A brief crash in the turn prior to the mechanic’s area, however, set the New Mexican back to eighth place and forced him to race his way up the running order again.
A benefactor of Anderson’s crash, Savatgy moved into contention for the overall podium as he pressed forward to sixth by Lap 5. Savatgy continued to push himself forward until a swap through the sand turn after Larocco’s Leap caused him to crash and drop to ninth place on Lap 6. Anderson quickly found his form again as he manoeuvred through the competition to reach fifth place by the chequered flag; his 7-5 moto scores earned him fourth overall. Savatgy finished out Moto 2 in ninth to earn sixth overall (3-9) and, more importantly, proved himself as a legitimate podium contender.
Joey Savatgy: “It’s been almost four years since the last time I was on the podium and there have been plenty of highs and lows along the way. Finally getting myself back up on the box in the first moto felt amazing. Thank you to the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for this opportunity to be racing and improving each weekend. I was set back a bit overall by the crash in Moto 2 but, we took major steps in the right direction today and look forward to more progress ahead.”
Jason Anderson: “Minor crashes in each moto cost me valuable time and positions early so, I felt like I was playing catch up all day. My speed was solid, and the bike felt great but, a couple of miscues are all it takes to put the podium out of reach. Overall, I made a lot of passes out there and managed to salvage a fourth overall so, we’ll just keep moving forward with the goal of getting another win here soon.”