Salt Lake City, Utah, (April 24, 2021) – The Eastern Regional 250SX Class racers returned to racing after a 10-week break and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda earned his first-ever win with a display of speed and composure under pressure to take the championship battle to the final round.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class delivered a history-making nail-biter. Jo Shimoda, a late add to the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team this year, grabbed the holeshot and held the top spot despite repeated attacks by two separate riders throughout the 15-minute plus one lap race. First it was Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Mosiman who tucked a wheel under Shimoda several times, and in fact pulled alongside through one rhythm section, but Shimoda would not be denied the front spot and bumped his way right back into the lead in the next bowl turn.
With under four minutes on the race clock Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence caught and passed Mosiman and set his sights on Shimoda. The Honda rider pressured the Kawasaki rider right down to the checkered flag, but Shimoda had ice water in his veins and never made more than the smallest mistakes as he weaved through lapped riders on the tight Utah track. Shimoda earned his first Monster Energy Supercross win, making him the fourth winner in the division this year and also making history as the first Japanese racer to step atop the podium. Sweeter still, his family was in Utah, visiting from Japan, and able to witness the race thanks to the efforts made to allow fans in the seats in 2021. The win adds Japan to the list now of nine countries to have won a Monster Energy Supercross race.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols, the red plate holder, needed to only gain two points on Shimoda going into the Main Event to wrap up the title one round early. Nichols crossed the holeshot stripe outside the top five and although the fastest rider on the track at several points, was slow to climb through the pack. Nichols managed a third-place finish, taking the title to the final race, the always unpredictable Dave Combs Sr. 250SX East/West Showdown.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig, who sat eight points out of first at the start of the day, injured his left ankle in qualifying. He lined up for Heat Race two but after one rhythm section it was evident he would not be able to compete and rode off the track and back to the pits. Craig’s departure meant his teammate Colt Nichols would start the Main Event with a 28-point lead over Shimoda and the realistic chance to claim the title at the race.
Tickets are on sale for the season finale on Saturday May 1 in a limited-capacity, pod-seating format. Fans can also catch the action live on Peacock and NBCSN or watch the re-broadcast on NBC on Sunday May 2. For more race information, video highlights, race stories, and more please visit SupercrossLIVE.com.
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
- Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
- Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS
- Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
- Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM
- Logan Karnow, Amherst, Ohio, Kawasaki
- Geran Stapleton, Cape Schanck, VIC, Honda
- Hunter Schlosser, El Paso, Tex., Yamaha
- John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Suzuki
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (187)
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (164)
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (158)
- Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (151)
- Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (116)
- Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (104)
- Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM (98)
- Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (92)
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (91)
- Logan Karnow, Amherst, Ohio, Kawasaki (77)
Cover photo by Feld Entertainment, Inc.