Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green's Austin Forkner Finishes Second at FIM Junior MX World Championship
Irvine, Calif. (August 28, 2012) – The 2012 Monster Energy FIM Junior Motocross World Championship took place last weekend in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, where Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green's Austin Forkner represented Team USA. Forkner was the fastest rider in his class during qualifying practice on his KX™85 and was the instant favorite to win. On Sunday, he won the first moto and finished on the podium in the second moto after coming from the back of the pack. Forkner's 1-3 moto score gave him second overall in the 85cc class and led Team USA to third overall in the team standings.
Carrying the Flag
After a strong season in the amateur nationals, Forkner was slated as the top 85cc rider to represent Team USA in Bulgaria. He did not disappoint as he was the fastest in qualifying practice and went on to win the first moto. In the second moto, Forkner did not get the greatest start and was forced to battle through a field stacked with the best 85cc riders from around the world. Lap after lap he made his way toward the front and with two laps remaining, Forkner made a move on second. He came together with the other rider, damaging Forkner's bike. He was forced to relinquish the position to ensure a podium finish. His 1-3 moto score tied him for the overall win, but he was awarded second place on the tie-breaker. Forkner's performance led Team USA to third overall in the Nation standings.
"In the first moto, myself and another rider were able to run away from everyone," said Forkner. "It was awesome to get the win and I was looking forward to the second moto. I was a little late coming off the gate in the second moto and came around the first corner near the back. I made some quick passes the first lap and just tried to get to the front. My dad put on the pit board that I needed second place to win the overall. I put a pretty gnarly pass on second place and pushed him wide, but he didn't check up and we hit hard. I thought I had second wrapped up on the last lap and that's when I realized that when we hit, he put a hole in my radiator. Luckily the finish was on a downhill and I was able to coast across the line in third. I know I was the fastest 85 rider so I'm still happy with how it went."
European racing has many differences than racing in the United States. Although the racing format is the same, small things can hold a rider back from his usual race routine. Forkner expected the race to be different from anything he's done in the past and was able to adapt to the elements quickly.
"It was a lot different in Bulgaria," said Forkner. "The track was really cool and went up and down big hills, but things like how you pick your gate and how the rider had to prep their own gate was different. I had never packed my gate before without my dad's help so that was weird and the rider's meeting and pits were different as well. Aside from some bad luck, we still all rode well and I'm happy Team USA was on the podium."
Forkner will now concentrate on preparing for the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, Nev., where he will race the KX™100 for the first time. Forkner hopes to transition his success from this year to the Supermini class leading into 2013.
Monster Energy FIM Junior Motocross World Championship
Gorna Rositza – Sevlievo, Bulgaria
August 25-26, 2012
85cc Class Overall
1. Brian Hsu, Germany, Suzuki (3-1)
2. AUSTIN FORKNER, USA, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN (1-3)
3. Davy Pootjes, Netherlands, KTM (2-5)
1. The Netherlands, 17 pts.
2. Italy, 21 pts.
3. TEAM USA, 24 pts.