Austin Forkner Repeats Perfect Day With Eastern Regional 250SX Class Win
Arlington, Tex., (February 17, 2019) Round seven of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship will go down as the closest 450SX Class finish in history after an inspired ride by Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb. The early laps appeared to be the return of the 2019 pre-season favorites, but Webb charged from seventh to take the lead in the final corner in an aggressive squeeze at the top of the final berm to nab the win, and simultaneously the points lead, from Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen. In the second round of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, Austin Forkner repeated his win at the previous round to take an eight-point lead in that class.
When the gate dropped on the 450SX Class Main Event it was Ken Roczen and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac nearly side by side, with Roczen edging out Tomac for the holeshot. Within three corners Tomac was in the lead and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin had jumped into second. With Webb back in seventh it looked like this would mark the return of the old guard; before the first lap was over Roczen had re-taken second place and the three looked sure to fill the podium, only the order was in question.
A little over three minutes into the race Roczen overtook Tomac and found his flow. Two minutes later Tomac lost the front end in a rutted turn and picked himself up in seventh. From there he dropped slowly back, finally finishing in twelfth. Just past the halfway mark Webb made it around Team Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS’ Blake Baggett and set his sights on his teammate Musquin, who had closed the gap to Roczen to under two seconds. Webb could now see the win 3.6 seconds ahead. He got past his teammate in the whoops with under four minutes on the clock and began to reel in Roczen; Webb had some better lines including quadding a section that Roczen was tripling.
Webb nearly pulled the trigger heading up to the white flag but saved his blitz through the whoops until the final lap, where he then cut across the bottom of the final berm and rode Roczen aggressively high. Both riders came out of the turn off balance and wide open. Webb won the drag race to the finish line an incredible .02 seconds ahead. What would have
Webb was fired up on the podium, “That was just insanity, it really was. I don’t know, it was just clickin’ I guess. I got a bad start, I don’t know where I was the first
Roczen came within a single corner of his first win of the season, “I struggled in that rut before and even in the whoops, just did a lot of side to side there. I couldn’t really get a rhythm down. I felt all right on the rest of the track, but it was one of those things where I messed up the turn multiple times, even the lap before. I kept losing time and got squirrely in the whoops and he ran it in there – and it’s all good, I would have done the same thing, it was for the final pass. Out of the
Musquin was feeling good to finish a rough day with a podium finish, “I don’t know what was going on in the heat race. I got a bad start, and it was a tough track, and to get seventh place in the heat race is not acceptable. Got better in the main, obviously. Had a good rhythm going behind Kenny and when Eli went down I was running second. [I] started to tighten up a little bit when Cooper was behind and [I] started making mistakes and then he got me and from
A different kind of history was made in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class as Austin Forkner became the first 250SX rider in over a decade to pull together two back-to-back perfect nights by setting the fastest qualifying time, winning his heat, and winning the Main Event. It wasn’t as graceful as it sounds, as Forkner had a big crash and a close call in practice and looked ragged during his Heat race win. But when the points were on the line Forkner rode like a veteran while his competitors made mistakes to drop them out of contention for the win, handing Forkner a dominating Main Event win ahead of Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Justin Cooper and Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton.
Forkner was critical of his ride on the podium, “The tough thing for me after the Heat race was I really needed to focus on riding my lines and not taking a look back, and I still looked back sometimes in that race, which something that I really need to work on is focusing ahead, not worrying about anybody behind me. But it was tough, I was so focused on what I needed to fix from my Heat race that, it’s stupid to think, but the first five minutes I didn’t really breathe; I didn’t do well with my breathing and I got winded. I got winded after about five minutes or
Justin Cooper improved on his third-place last weekend “It’s unbelievable coming off a pretty disastrous season last year in Supercross, [I] got hurt
After a stall and a crash, Sexton was hoping for better than third, “I felt really, really good on my bike today. It was a tough tack; it was really technical and rutted but two dumb mistakes, it was not acceptable. I felt really good on my bike tonight and I felt like I had the win in me. Austin was riding really good, he got a good start again so I gotta get out in front of him and make it happen.”
In an unpredictable season with some of the best racing the sport has ever seen, it’s sure to be another great night when Monster Energy Supercross drops the gate again next Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
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450SX Class Results1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda3. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM5. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki6. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda7. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha8. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha10. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
450SX Class Championship Standings1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (150)2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (148)3. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (144)4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (134)5. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (110)6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (104)7. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (101)8. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda (94)9. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Suzuki (93)10. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (93)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results1. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki2. Justin Cooper, Huntington, N.Y., Yamaha3. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda4. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM5. Martin Davalos, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki6. Mitchell Oldenburg, Godley, Tex., Yamaha7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Suzuki8. Alex Martin, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki9. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha10. Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Tex., Honda
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings1. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (52)2. Justin Cooper, Huntington, N.Y., Yamaha (44)3. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM (42)4. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (39)5. Alex Martin, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (34)6. Mitchell Oldenburg, Godley, Tex., Yamaha (34)7. Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Tex., Honda (29)8. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Suzuki (29)9. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha (29)10. Martin Davalos, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki (25)
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