Still, one thing, and certainly the main thing Austin Forkner has going for him s that he absolutely, positively knows he is capable of winning on any given Saturday night or Sunday afternoon in American racing.
“Yeah, exactly. And that’s kind of what I said in [Jason] Weigandt’s interview a little bit. You KNOW you can still do it, it’s just your kind of waiting for that result that you want. Whether that result is a podium or a race win or a top-five or whatever the case may be, you’re just kind of thinking, ‘I KNOW I can do it! I’ve done it before and I know I still can.’ Until you do it, though, that confidence you have is just not as strong. You might know that you can win, but until you do it, and then when you finally do it, it’s like, ‘Game on! Let’s go!’ That’s just how it is. You can even see that with guys over the past couple of years. It just reflects. As soon as Cooper Webb got on KTM a couple of years ago, he started winning. It changed him. He started winning and he won the championship. It was just like that. You could see the confidence. It takes getting that good result and that’s all it takes sometimes to skyrocket you into a bunch of race wins or a championship or whatever. Yeah, saying that one race can make a difference, it can and I’m hoping that it comes for me as soon as Pala. I’m hoping that I go out there and kill it and get that result. I don’t really have a solid result I’m looking for at Pala because it has been two full seasons since I’ve raced outdoors, so it’s not like I HAVE to go out there and win. I’m not really entering with that approach. It’s more like, ‘Okay, let’s get back to outdoors. Let’s get a solid finish from the first round..’ You know, you set goals for yourself at every year or even every race. You set little goals and you start to accomplish those goals and you start t gain that confidence and it just builds and builds and builds and the next thing you know you are winning races and getting the results that you’re looking for consistently.”
The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is now only a few weeks out and Austin Forkner has been crossing the days off his calendar in an effort to get down to Saturday, May 29, and out to a place named Pala Raceway in Southern California.
“Yes, I’m definitely motivated for the outdoors,” declared Forkner. “I wouldn’t say that I’m more motivated than ever because I’ve been motivated to win since I’ve been pro, you now? I’ve been motivated to win my whole career. I want to win so bad! I’m tired of beating myself up. I’m tired of not getting the results that I want, so yeah, I’m definitely ready to get back to racing and, honestly, to just get through an outdoor season again. It’s been a while since I’ve even raced outdoors, so I’m excited just to be able to do that! I want to win.”
And what of the 250MX competition he’ll square off against beginning with what will be a High Noon shootout out at Pala Raceway in So. Cal?
“Yeah, Jeremy Martin is a two-time champion, started Forkner. “It’s hard to say that he is NOT going to be a title threat. He’s been good. He was solid that year. He barely got second to Dylan Ferrandis. I think he’ll definitely be good. Justin Cooper was pretty well last year. He’s had some good rides outdoors. Who knows? But yeah, I’d say it’s pretty much a shoo-in that Martin is going to be good. I’m hoping that I’ll be a title threat and I’m sure there will be other guys mixing it all up. It could be a few guys.”
Ups, downs, broken bones and even a broken heart, Austin Forkner wears his racing heart on his sleeve, has his own way of doing and seeing things, and wants nothing more than to get back out there and let his racing do the talking.
“I’ve seen interviews with guys that I know well behind the scenes and I also know the person that they kind of portray to be with podium interviews or whatever and I’ve always said to myself, ‘I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be fake. If you’re talking to me and you’re asking me questions, I’m going to answer them whether we are behind closed doors or not and I’m going to be the same person. I’m not going to be portraying somebody I’m completely not to just look good in front of cameras or whatever. That’s where some people have told me that I come off a little bit polarizing. It can be where some people love me or they hate me the type of thing and that’s okay. I’m not trying to be every single person’s favorite rider, I’m just being myself and some people like that and some people don’t. That’s the great thing about this sport. People have favorite riders and people have riders they don’t like. That’s perfectly okay. I’m just real. I’m not trying to be anything other than myself. I’m just being me. Even with this last injury, that’s what’s been really tough about it. When I tore my ACL and I lost that championship, or last year when I destroyed my insides, I was like, ‘You know, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When I do get that result, or I get that win, or I get that championship, it is going to be way more satisfying because of what I went through.’ I’m good now and I’m back to riding and I feel solid on the bike. We’ve got the bike working good outdoors, so I’m ready to go into the season and mix it up with these guys.”