Kawasaki on the East Coast
Posted on February 11, 2019
Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner came out swinging at the opening round of the 250SX Eastern Region championship at Round 6 of Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Forkner had a perfect day by posting the fastest qualifying time, winning his heat race, and with the win, he sits in first place in the 250SX East Region Point Standings, where the red plate will adorn his KX™250 next week in Dallas, Texas. Monster Energy Kawasaki rider, Joey Savatgy showed he has the speed that is necessary to contend for race wins week in and week out after leading over half of the 450SX Main Event and finishing fourth while his teammate Eli Tomac finished sixth to stay in the championship fight.
Savatgy, a former 250SX winner at Minneapolis, had a phenomenal day from start to finish. For the first time in his young 450SX career aboard his KX™450, the rookie was able to qualify fastest heading into the night program. Savatgy continued to carry that momentum into his heat race where he finished third.
In the 450SX Main Event, Savatgy jumped out of the gate and was second around the first corner but quickly made easy work of the competition and moved into first place. Over the next 14 laps, Savatgy had pressure the entire time from his competition and was able to gain valuable learning experience as he led more than half of the 26 laps raced. Savatgy battled all race and was able to cross the finish line in fourth place overall.
The Monster Energy Kawasaki team looked dominant during the day in qualifying as teammates Savatgy and Tomac qualified first and second place respectively heading into the night show. In Heat Race 1, Tomac instantly joined a three-way battle for the lead that would ensue the entire race and was able to finish second. Tomac was forced to make up positions as he came out of the gate in the 450SX Main Event outside of the top-10. Tomac maneuvered his way to the front throughout the race and was able to secure a sixth place finish and stay in the hunt for the championship. Tomac now sits in third just two points out of the lead in the 450SX Points Standings.
For Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki rider Austin Forkner the day of racing could not have gone any better as he completed what some would call a “perfect day” in the racing world. Teammate Martin Davalos had a rollercoaster day of racing, but leaves Minnesota healthy and already looking forward to next week’s race in Dallas.
It may have been snowing and negative degree temperatures outside, but Forkner brought the fire with him from start to finish. Forkner kicked off the day by qualifying fastest in practice. In Heat 2, Forkner captured the holeshot and jumped out to an early lead to run away from the competition, crossing the finish line in first place. Forkner continued his hot streak heading into the Main Event by once again holeshotting the race and asserting his dominance by checking out from the rest of the field of competitors. Forkner heads to Dallas with a three-point lead in the standings and the red plate.
Davalos, a seasoned veteran came into the first round of the 250SX eastern region looking to fight for podium positions, but unfortunately suffered from a day of bad luck. In Heat 2, Davalos had a minor tip over when trying to make a pass that would knock him back; he was able to recover for seventh overall heading into the main. In the 250SX Main Event, Davalos jumped out to an impressive second place start behind his teammate Forkner, however bad luck struck again when another rider hit him on the dragonback right before the mechanic’s area. Davalos would remount, but struggled to find a rhythm after that and ultimately crossed the line in 16th place.
Eli Tomac: “Championships are won on your bad days and today we managed everything thrown our way. The positives are that it is a long season and we leave Minneapolis healthy and only two points outside of first place. I’ll get back to work with the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki crew and continue to improve each week.”
Joey Savatgy: “Man today was just awesome. Of course I would have liked to win the main event, but we learned so much. You have to start somewhere with getting the experience of leading laps and tonight we accomplished that. My KX450 was a rocket ship all day long and helped me get the day started properly as we qualified first and then got third in the heat race. In the main event, I got a great jump out the gate and was able to make a quick pass into first. I need to clean up a few mistakes but tonight was a big step in the right direction."
Austin Forkner: “Today was like a dream come true. You put in a lot of work all off-season and you come to the first round never sure of where you will stack up compared to competition. I would have never believed you if you told me I would come here today and be fastest in qualifying, holeshot my heat race, win my heat race, holeshot the main event, and then win the main event. It’s just crazy and I can’t thank my whole Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for giving me the best possible equipment to accomplish what we did today. I am excited for Dallas and ready to keep this train rolling!”
Martin Davalos: "I was feeling good and the bike was good all day, but just struggled to connect the dots tonight. Unfortunately, things happen in racing and stuff like this happens to the best of us. I’m happy to get the first round jitters out of my system and proud of my entire team. We’ll get back to work and just keep grinding."