Vurb’s 2023 Team Previews: Monster Energy Kawasaki

Welcome to the offseason and our new ongoing “Team Previews” column. Every week from now until the Monster Energy Supercross season starts in January we will be profiling a big team in the sport. We’ll go through the changes that have been made, analyze results, and give each team a grade on all of their offseason moves. This week we have Monster Energy Kawasaki and you will find the full schedule below.

Who’s In:
#9 Adam Cianciarulo
#21 Jason Anderson

Who’s Out:
Monster Energy Kawasaki will have the same roster they had in 2022.

Last season’s Supercross Results:
Adam Cianciarulo – 29th 450SX
Jason Anderson – 2nd 450SX

Last Season’s Motocross Results:
Adam Cianciarulo – Did not race.
Jason Anderson – 3rd 450MX

Offseason Grade:  B

The Rundown:
Had Jason Anderson not finished second overall in Supercross and third overall in Pro Motocross I would have given this team a harsher grade. Last offseason I would have given them a C. You know, with the departure of Eli Tomac, the team obviously needed to fill the all-time great’s shoes. Picking up Anderson turned out to be a godsend for the team, but going into the year I wasn’t really sure how Anderson would respond to a team switch and he proved me wrong. I don’t think anyone had Anderson down for winning seven main events and coming in second place in the standings. Outdoors he was the third best guy at all times and was the only rider to steal a win away from Chase Sexton and Eli Tomac. That’s incredible because no one else was even close to those two all summer. He won the overall at Hangtown and Budds Creek while also finishing his best outdoor series of his career. I’m not worried about Anderson in 2023 as I think he will build on this season and possibly be better than he was in 22. 

My worry for this team is with Adam Cianciarulo. AC only finished two races in 2022 before the injury bug hit him again. I’m not going to sit here and bad mouth AC because he obviously doesn’t want to be hurt. He wants to be out there and winning just like he gets paid to do. When AC is truly healthy he can run with and beat anyone in the 450 class. It’s just the consistency factor on staying healthy that is the issue. I hope he makes me eat crow this season and stays healthy for both series. If he can’t, I think Kawasaki and Adam will both want to start looking for other options for 2024 and beyond. 

From a team perspective I’m hoping that both of my riders can start and finish the year strong because only having two riders on the team is a dangerous choice these days. If AC can stay healthy he can win and Anderson will win a lot this season as well. Kawasaki has two heavy hitters and if healthy they both are bad news for the other riders in the class. Thanks for reading my series of team previews for the coming season. If you’d like to talk about these or any of the other stories that I’ve written you can email me at [email protected] You can also reach me on Twitter/Instagram: @troydogvurb.

Team Preview Schedule:
10/27 – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/ GASGAS Factory Race Team

11/3 – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

11/9 – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team

11/16 – Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing

11/23 – HRC Honda

11/30 – Bar X Suzuki

12/7 – Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki

12/14 – H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki

12/21 – Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha

12/28- Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

1/3 – Team Solitaire

Main image: Kawasaki

Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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