Jo Shimoda and Levi Kitchen Go 1-2 at Denver Supercross

Published On: 5/6/2024

Monster Energy racers capture four of top five 250 WSX spots at Denver (Thrasher 4th, Smith 5th); Anderson podiums in 450 main event.

The Monster AMA Supercross 250 Western Region supercross (WSX) main event at Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High on Saturday was dominated by Monster Energy racers, with Joe Shimoda (Honda) racing to his first class victory of the season and Levi Kitchen (Star Racing/Yamaha) taking 2nd place, which ties him (Kitchen) with Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire for the overall WSX points lead heading into the season’s final round in Salt Lake City this Saturday.

And joining Shimoda and Kitchen in the top five, giving Monster Energy four of the top five 250 WSX positions in Denver, were teammates Nate Thrasher (Star Racing/Yamaha) in 4th and Jordon Smith in 5th.

Right out of the start gate in the 250 main it’d be the No. 30 of Shimoda grabbing the holeshot and the early race lead, something he’s been working to dial in all season long in his first year with Honda.

“On a new team and finally got a win for me and for them,” said Shimoda. “Definitely progress on the start, but getting the holeshot and leading the first laps you can get a pretty good gap. So that (the start) helped me a lot. Probably the biggest thing.”

And getting out of the start gate in good shape and aggressively moving into the No. 2 position was Kitchen. 

“It should be fun. For me and RJ,” said Kitchen, who is tied with Hampshire at 186-186. And when a reporter asked at the Denver post-race press conference if he (Kitchen) felt he might receive some help from Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki ESX racers next week, in his quest for the 250 WSX title, Kitchen added: “Nobody’s going to help us on the East Coast. If anything, they’ll hurt us. We (Kitchen and Hampshire) just have to try and stay away from them.”

In 450 class action at Denver Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson would be the lone podium placer for the glowing green marque, racing to a solid 3rd place finish – his second-straight podium and fourth of the season.

Said Anderson on getting the newly designed KX450F, in its first supercross season, dialed in: “After the break the team came down to Club MX in South Carolina and helped me with the motorcycle and I think we gave our motorcycle (KX450F) a better chance being able to test it on some of those softer tracks. We still have some room to improve, and hopefully we can continue that the next round here and take it into next season.”

Noteworthy in the 450 main was Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb, the only racer with a mathematical shot at overall 450 class leader Jett Lawrence, dropped his bike in a corner on Lap 3 while pursuing Jett and his brother (Hunter) and dropped from 3rd place to 8th – eventually racing back to 5th. Webb now trails Jett Lawrence by 20 points, 336-316, for the championship with one race remaining on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross schedule.



Denver 450 class results250 WSX class results
3rd - Anderson (Monster/Kawasaki)1st - Shimoda (Monster/Honda)
5th - Webb (Monster/Star/Yamaha)2nd - Kitchen (Monster/PC/Kawasaki)
6th - Cooper (Monster/Star/Yamaha)4th - Thrasher (Monster/Star/Yamaha)
Overall Standings (16 of 17 rounds) 
450 class250 WSX overall
2nd - Webb, 316 points1st - Kitchen, 186 points (tie)
3rd - Tomac,  282 points3rd - Smith, 165 points
5th - Anderson, 264 points4th - Shimoda, 163 points

Notes & Quotes

  • Get your popcorn for Salt Lake City’s 450 main for the third and final podium spot. Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Eli Tomac and Honda’s Chase Sexton are all tied up at 282 points after 16 (of 17) Monster Energy AMA Supercross rounds.
  • Tomac added at Denver that he will contest the full MX Nationals season and contest the SuperMotocross playoffs this fall.
  • Good battle for the third and final 250 WSX overall podium spot between Monster Energy’s Smith and Shimoda. A mere two points separates the two, with Smith holding a 165-163 edge over the Denver WSX winner heading into SLC.
  • “These boys are getting good starts these last few rounds and that’s what I need to make it a little harder on them,” said Anderson of the Lawrence brothers, who went 1-2 @ Denver.
  • “It’s cool to do it (podium) here in Denver. This is the closest one for me and I have a lot of family here,” added Anderson, who hails from (fairly) nearby New Mexico.
  • “This could have turned out to be very, very bad.” – NBC announcer Ricky Carmichael on Kitchen’s left MX boot, which was hit during the start of the race and had the buckles popped open, leaving Thrasher with a loose boot for the entire race.
  • “I don’t think it would have come off, but it did feel pretty crazy,” said Kitchen. “After four or five laps I pretty much forgot about it.”
  • Definitely sore, but when I’m on the bike I don’t feel it because of the adrenaline and stuff,” said Kitchen regarding his gnarly crash at the previous round (Philadelphia) and how he dealt with the lingering pain from the wreck at Denver.