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Images from the 2020 Supercross in Glendale, Arizona at the State Farm Stadium.
NEWS

Forkner Rebounds with Dominant Night in Glendale

Jan 272020

After a forgettable night in Anaheim a week prior, it may have been easy to write off Austin Forkner’s chances at capturing the Monster Energy Supercross 250SX West Region title on the heels of his 17th-place finish and double-digit deficit in the standings. But, true to his nature, Forkner refuses to allow that to happen, and viewers were treated to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider at his best inside State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 

In a condensed, 10-round championship, mulligans can be hard to come by, but when you possess the kind of rare talent that Forkner does, there’s always hope to hold on to. To his credit, Forkner took his lumps in Anaheim, moved on from it, and refocused his energy on the first Triple Crown event of the season. Each round presents a new opportunity to change the dynamic within the title fight, and no one understands that better than Forkner.

On his best days, Forkner is hands down the rider to beat in the 250SX Class. He’s an incredible starter, and his sprint speed is exceptional, so whenever he’s able to put his Kawasaki near the front, he’s more than likely going to take full advantage of the opportunity. Throughout the first two Main Events in Glendale, that’s exactly what Forkner did, and it allowed him to take a more conservative approach in the last race of the night to ensure the overall victory. Now, Forkner is the only rider in the division with multiple victories, and he was able to take out a 12-point chunk in his deficit to the championship leader.

It was the exact kind of performance Forkner needed to prove Anaheim was a fluke, and it once again shifts the momentum heavily into his favor.

250SX Class

 

It’s been all Monster Energy to start the West Region. Through the first three rounds of the season, three different Monster Energy riders stood atop the podium, allowing Justin Cooper, Dylan Ferrandis and Forkner to establish themselves as the clear cut riders to beat. 

 

Coming into Glendale, both Ferrandis and Forkner had been saddled with adversity, with each forced to swallow finishes outside the top 10. Meanwhile, Cooper was as rock-solid as he could be, locking down 1-2-2 finishes to start the year and double-digit advantage in the points. It made for an intriguing dynamic amongst this trio, with both Ferrandis and Forkner needing to make up ground on Cooper.

 

What ensued throughout the night’s three Main Events resulted in a major shuffle, as Cooper battled through his toughest night of the season, while Forkner and Ferrandis pounced on their rivals’ misstep. For Cooper, he was fortunate the Triple Crown format was in play, as it allowed him to improve on the 17th-place finish he carded in the opening Main Event.

 

Forkner’s penchant for getting out of the gate made easy work for the Kawasaki rider in the first Main Event, where he led every lap. Behind him followed Ferrandis, whose uncanny ability to come through the field allowed him to move up from a fifth-place start. 

 

The second Main Event saw Cooper grab the early lead, only to suffer more misfortune and fall to the dirt. Forknerpositioned himself amongst the front runners and while he took a little longer to get to the front, he seized control at the halfway point and never looked back. Ferrandis, meanwhile, was doing all he could to overcome a ninth-place start, and he did just that, methodically picking off riders until the tail of the race when he once again secured second. Cooper salvaged ninth after dropping to the tail end of the field.

 

In search of a much-needed reprieve, Cooper was finally able to put everything together in the final Main Event, with an impressive wire-to-wire victory that helped lessen the sting of an otherwise miserable night. Ferrandis was able to get the better of Forkner in his third attempt, but the Kawasaki rider was admittedly riding more conservatively, fully aware that he was en route to capping off a huge night in terms of the championship.

 

While Ferrandis kept him honest throughout each Main Event, it was a convincing effort for Forkner that reasserted the hold he can have on the West Region. It signified the fourth straight 1-2 finish for Monster Energy to start the season and allowed Forkner to move within 10 points of the championship lead, while Ferrandis climbed up to within three points of his teammate. While ninth overall was far below the expectation Cooper had set for himself, his resiliency made the most out of what could have been an even more difficult night.

 

With 10 points separating these Monster Energy riders, the intensity surrounding their fight for the West Region crown is just getting started.

 

Western Regional 250SX Class Results

1. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki (1-1-3)

2. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy Star YamahaRacing (2-2-2)

3. Michael Mosiman, Husqvarna (4-4-6)

9. ​Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Star YamahaRacing (17-9-1)

 

Western Regional 250SX Class Standings

1. Justin Cooper, Monster Energy Star YamahaRacing - 86

2. Dylan Ferrandis, Monster Energy Star YamahaRacing - 83

3. Brandon Hartranft, KTM - 77

4. Austin Forkner, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 76

20.​Cameron McAdoo, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 17

450SX Class

 

With an assertive win under his belt to get the 2020 season on track, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac came into Glendale in search of becoming the first rider to earn multiple Main Even wins this season. While he was in the mix all night long, Tomac missed out on taking a checkered flag for himself and was forced to settle for a runner-up finish at the end, which still paid big dividends in the big picture of the championship.

 

Tomac’s confidence is certainly growing, and it’s allowed him to carry the torch for Monster Energy at this phase of the season. With his second straight podium result, Tomac moved up to second in the point standings, where he now sits just eight points out of the lead. 

 

While Tomac’s upward trend continues, both Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo are looking to rekindle the magic they both had to start the year. While neither rider has been a slouch, the depth of the 450SX Class can make it difficult to maintain a high level of consistency. 

 

With his red-hot start cooled off a bit, Barcia is beginning to settle in and is looking to establish a more consistent baseline with his Yamaha that will allow him to compete alongside the likes of Tomac with more ease. While Barcia recorded a fifth-place finish in the overall classification, he was just three points shy of a podium result at the end of the night. With just one finish outside the top five through the first four rounds, Barcia is still in the thick of the titlehunt in third, 11 points out of the lead.

 

Cianciarulo remains arguably the fastest rider in the premier class, thanks to an undefeated qualifying record through the first month of the season, but he’s quickly learning how challenging, and sometimes unforgiving the 450SX Class can be in the Main Events. While he’s a virtual lock for a top 10 finish, even in the face of some recent miscues that have put him on the ground more than he’d like, the rookie certainly expects more out of himself based on how fast he’s riding. In fact, Cianciarulo was in the hunt for the overall podium in the final Main Event until he took a tumble in the whoops, which dropped him to eighth when the results were tallied. If he’s able to clean up some of his recent miscues, there’s no doubt Cianciarulohas the tools to rejoin the likes of Tomac and Barcia at the head of the pack.

 

450SX Class Results

1. Ken Roczen, Honda (1-1-1)

2. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki (2-2-3)

3. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna (5-3-2)

5.​Justin Barcia, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing (6-8-7)

8.​Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy Kawasaki(3-6-17)

9. ​Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing (11-9-8)

 

450SX Class Standings

1. Ken Roczen, Honda - 92

2. Eli Tomac, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 84

3. Justin Barcia, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing - 81

6.​Adam Cianciarulo, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 71

11. ​Aaron Plessinger, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing - 46

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