Round seven of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship turned a cold shoulder to the sunny skies of the California coast as race fans were met with snowy air and subzero temperatures in Minneapolis, where Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson earned the 450SX Class victory, making him the first three-time winner in the class this season.
With a veteran understanding of the unique Minnesota dirt, Anderson started his day with a clear intention of letting the track come to him. While the riders’ morning track walk daunted many as they recognised peakier jump faces and softer dirt than have been faced so far in 2022, Anderson expressed to the team his game plan of patiently allowing the track to develop and the transitions to wear in before pushing to race pace.
The qualifying sessions went according to plan as Anderson tactfully waited until the final laps of the final session to jump to the top of the leader board. When qualifying concluded, Anderson’s 47.94 lap time earned him third position heading into the race program.
When the second 450SX heat race got underway, Anderson emerged from the first turn in 10th position. The Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450SR rider had his work cut out for him as the track proved to have few viable passing areas during the short heat races lasting only eight minutes plus one lap.
On par with what has come to be expected of him, Anderson paired fast laps with quick passes to set the best lap time of the race (48.69) to charge his way up the running order. When the chequered flag flew, Anderson crossed the finish within a bike length of third position, securing a fourth-place result and a direct transfer to the Main Event.
The start of the 450SX Main Event saw Anderson jockey for position at the front of the pack, settling into third place by the time the green flag waved. The #21 Monster Energy Kawasaki pilot matched the pace of the leaders while enduring pressure from behind and allowing the race to unfold around him.
On Lap 10, Anderson made a pass through the flat corner neighbouring the mechanic’s area to take control of second place. For the latter half of the race, Anderson held close in tow of the lead as the two riders ran at a speed that would separate them from the field. With only two laps remaining, Anderson’s tactful measure proved key when the leader crashed, and he took control of the lead. Anderson went on to claim his third win of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Championship and now stands only three points shy of the championship lead.
“The track broke down a lot by the Main Event tonight, but that’s something we kind of expect with some of the East Coast tracks,” said Anderson.
“I’ve been doing my best to prepare for it while practising in California by riding with the Pro Circuit team every Thursday to sort of simulate race conditions. That helped tonight but, this was still a tough track for pushing the pace and you kind of just had to let the race come to you.
“It’s awesome to have three wins already in the season, but we will keep taking it one race at a time as we go forward from here.”
What’s next for Anderson?
Anderson heads to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this coming Saturday (February 26), for the second Triple Crown of the season and round eight of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.