Photos | Emery
After months of international travel, the 2016 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship has reached its end with round eighteen taking place at the famed Glen Helen Raceway. The second round in the United States in just as many weeks, everything in Southern California is far different than North Carolina. The weather is warm and dry, while the track is massive and rough. On Saturday afternoon the two classes completed their first races of the weekend, and the qualifying motos set the tone for Sunday’s finale.
MX2 Qualifying Moto
– Austin Forkner flew down the long start straightaway ahead of the field and claimed the holeshot in the qualifying moto. The teenager racer made one small mistake in the early minutes of the moto and had to paddle his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki machine through the deep ruts at the bottom of the big hill.
– Newly crowned MX2 champion Jeffrey Herlings was buried in the field during the long run down the start, but smart line choices in the first lanes of track helped the Red Bull KTM rider make a number of key passes.
– With Forkner’s mistake, Herlings was able to slip into the lead on the opening lap.
– Forkner followed Herlings closely in the first laps of the race, and then used a daring pass in a slight downhill to retake the lead.
– Forkner ran a fast pace in the middle of the moto, which Herlings managed to match and even picked up on the young rider’s lines. A botched pass attempt by Herlings in the middle of the moto kept him from making the move, but one lap later he forced his way into the lead.
– Once up front, Herlings sped away from the pack and turned some of his best laps in the closing minutes of the moto.
– The battle for the lead allowed GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin the opportunity to reel in the leaders and at certain points, he was the fastest rider on the track. Because it took so long for Martin to find his stride, he ran out of time and was unable to make pass attempts on either Forkner or Herlings.
– Max Anstie is in the final weekend of his MX2 career and the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider quietly pushed to the front of the pack in the closing stages of the moto with stellar lap times.
– Total Race Time | 26:01.158 minutes, 11 laps
– Fastest Lap Time | Austin Forkner – 2:09.926 minutes
– Margin of Victory | 10.970 seconds