Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasakis Forkner Rider to Beat at Southwick

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki''s Forkner Rider to Beat at Southwick, Endures Heartbreak En Route to Top 10

Southwick, Mass. (July 1, 2018) – The unique challenge presented by the sands of legendary The Wick 338 proved to be an opportunity for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner to put the 250 Class on alert at the Southwick National. The rising star was the rider to beat on a hot Saturday afternoon, and gave the Pro Circuit squad its first moto win of the season while also putting himself in position to capture a 1-1 sweep, only to have the win cruelly taken away by contact from another rider. The heartbreaking end to an otherwise impressive outing ultimately landed Forkner seventh overall, while veteran teammate Joey Savatgy bounced back from adversity in the first moto to end the day with a top-five result, which placed him 14th overall.

Forkner has been on the verge of a breakthrough performance ever since he captured his first overall podium finish of the season at High Point. He got the day off to a strong start by posting the third-fasted lap of timed practice.

When the gate dropped on Moto 1, Forkner emerged with a spot inside the top five, which allowed him to quickly get into the mix in the battle for the podium. Forkner was determined to make his way to the front and put on a showcase of navigating the Southwick sand, surging past his rivals one-by-one until he erased an eight-second deficit and seized control of the lead just past the halfway point. Once out front, Forkner managed his lead like a veteran and carried on to his first moto win since the final round of his rookie season in 2016.

With the overall win within reach, Forkner did exactly what he had to do at the start of Moto 2. After he emerged from the first turn in third, Forkner put the hammer down on his Kawasaki KX250F and surged into the lead. The clear and clean track allowed him to establish a comfortable advantage early, which he once again managed with poise. He withstood some pressure for the lead late in the moto, and appeared more than ready to defend any challenge, but impatience from second place forced contact with Forkner and took both riders to the ground. With the wind taken out of him after a hard fall, Forkner eventually returned to the race, but was understandably gutted by what took place.

“I’m happy with the way I’m riding and I really expected to at least be on the podium today,” said Forkner, who ultimately finished the moto in 20th. “We’ve put in a lot of work, particularly for Southwick, and I couldn’t have been more prepared for the sand. It’s disappointing for things to end the way they did because I was doing everything I could to run clean and just put two solid motos together. We had a really good shot at the win, so it’s hard to swallow having that taken away from us like that.”

Savatgy got the ball rolling on the afternoon with the sixth-quickest lap of timed practice, which provided optimism entering the moto.

When the field roared out the gate for Moto 1, Savatgy slotted just outside the top 10 in 11th, but he was quickly able to gain multiple positions and factor in the hotly contested battle. Savatgy stayed in the thick of the hunt inside the top 10 for the majority of the moto until misfortune struck late and forced him to settle for 32nd place.

In search of redemption in Moto 2, Savatgy took advantage of a strong start and rebounded from his frustrating first moto to slot right into the top five. He continued to battle for the position throughout the moto, and when Forkner encountered his misfortune Savatgy carried the flag for Pro Circuit the rest of the way. He ensured that the team secured a top-five result in each moto, finishing fifth.

“The track was really tough today and it ate a lot of guys up,” said Savatgy. “I felt good after qualifying so it’s a bummer to have the trouble I did in Moto 1. The whole Pro Circuit team did an awesome job of getting me ready for Moto 2 and I’m happy to pay them back with a solid result. I need to focus on getting better starts to put us up front, and I think then we’ll be where we expect to run.”

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250 Class Results (Moto Results)

1. Dylan Ferrandis, Yamaha (4-1)
2. Alex Martin, KTM (2-4)
3. Shane McElrath, KTM (6-2)
4. RJ Hampshire, Honda (7-3)
5. Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha (3-7)
6. Colt Nichols, Yamaha (8-8)
7. Austin Forkner, Kawasaki (1-20)
8. Chase Sexton, Honda (5-14)
9. Mitchell Harrison, Husqvarna (15-6)
10. Michael Mosiman, Husqvarna (10-11)

14. Joey Savatgy, Kawasaki (32-5)

250 Class Points Standings

1. Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha, 233
2. Alex Martin, KTM, 210
3. Jeremy Martin, Honda, 176
4. Justin Cooper, Yamaha, 174
5. Shane McElrath, KTM, 170
6. Austin Forkner, Kawasaki, 160
7. RJ Hampshire, Honda, 154
8. Jordon Smith, KTM, 151
9. Chase Sexton, Honda, 141
10. Joey Savatgy, Kawasaki, 128

15. Garrett Marchbanks, Kawasaki, 72

About Pro Circuit
Based in Corona, Calif., Pro Circuit Products, Inc. is a leader in off-road motorcycle and ATV exhausts and aftermarket performance parts. Started in 1978, Pro Circuit is the go to shop for recreational riders and professionals for everything from suspension work to complete engine packages and everything in between.

Created by former desert racer Mitch Payton, Pro Circuit proves its products and services week-in and week-out through its tagline “We Race.” Every product that dons the Pro Circuit stamp stems from the legendary Pro Circuit race team. A staple in the professional paddock, Pro Circuit Racing has earned 30 AMA championships and more than 250 race wins in more than 30 years of competition.
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