Austin Forkner had a rough night in Arlington. He got a bad start, was cleaned out by Osborne, and then stalled it. He was way back after the first few laps, but managed to come back to 7th.
He opened up to us about his night, including the frustrations with Osborne, first turn chaos, and more:
Moto Now: Can you talk a little bit about that first turn chaos? What were you thinking after all that?
Austin Forkner: I was pretty bummed on my start. I got out and I locked bars with guys. I blew my left hand completely off the bike and I was like “shit, this is going to be a long moto coming from the back”. And then the first turn happened. Honestly, it was probably better that I got a bad start, because I wasn’t in the first turn pile-up. I probably would have been if I had a better start. But it wasn’t good either way. I got through it, and had started to settle in, when there was more carnage on the first lap and then I got taken out by Osborne. About 2 laps later, I stalled it at the end of the start straight, and it put me even further back. I was still somewhat up there with those guys after I got taken out, but I didn’t shift down enough coming after the start straight, and stalled it. At that point I was way back, so I just tried to pick guys off, and got 7th. Where I was after the first lap I was in 6th and had a shot at the podium, because we were all bunched up and in a group. And I was faster than most of those guys up there. I qualified better than some of them, and beat some of them in my heat race. So I knew I could be on the podium, and then I got put on the ground, and then made another mental error. If I eliminate that, then I should be good.
Well, things could have been a lot worse… look at where your teammate (Martin Davalos) is now.
Yeah, at least I got points. I can keep building on that. Just gotta get a win now.
Zach Osborne taking you out… Does that piss you off?
Yeah!! (laughs). Oh yeah! And then in the heat race I got together with Hampshire in the first turn. I had the holeshot and was committed to going into the second turn, and then he comes in and just blows me out; the clutch lever dug into my hand. I made some stupid moves after that trying to just get back at him, and then I calmed down and ended up wininng the heat race. But yeah, it definitely gets you mad. Especially the Osborne one… some of the team guys I talked to said that he really wasn’t even close enough to make an actual block pass. I didn’t even see what happened, I was going around the turn then all of a sudden I just got smashed and was on the ground. Like woah! I didn’t even know what happened. Damn, it completely killed all my momentum that I had. I had a plan, and was going to start picking these guys off now. I had plenty of time, and was like “let’s go!”. But that wrecked it, and then I stalled it… and then I was all flustered. I had to get it back together. I started riding pretty good after that though. But yeah, it sucks when you get taken out, you always want to be on the other end of that. Oh well, I knew it was going to be aggressive. I’m ready, no big deal.
Ready to retaliate?
Not really retaliate, just race everybody like that.
Osborne races everybody like that. He was riding like that the entire main event.
Yeah, if that’s how we’re going to do it, that’s fine. It happened to me, so it’s just going to happen to other guys too. Whatever, if that’s what you’re going to do, then you’re going to have to do that to other guys too. It’s pretty simple. If there’s an opening, you take it. There wasn’t an opening tonight, but he still took it. So just take it! If there’s a chance, go for it. That’s the nicest way to put it. I want to really put him on the ground, but I can’t really say that (laughs).
Is it hard to regroup mentally after that, and how did you feel you were riding afterwards?
Yeah I was pretty happy. I got into the 51 second lap times, which I think was pretty fast for that moto. I was pacing myself off the other guys, Decotis and stuff, and I was matching there pace. So I was pretty happy. I kinda got tired after I got into 8th, and it was a pretty big gap. It was 13 minutes in, and I was in the red-zone, starting to get there. I lost sight of the next guy, and was just tired. I lost drive to catch him, but I ended up finally catching him on the last lap for 7th. The last part of the moto was definitely tough. After falling twice and restarting it both times, your heart rate spikes and all that stuff after falling, so it was tough. I was pretty happy overall though.
One last question health-wise. You had a string of bad injuries with your head injury and then the arm. How are you feeling now?
It’s good. The arm is really good considering where it was a couple of weeks ago; it was still really hurting a lot to ride back then. I didn’t even do a 15 minute moto until last week. We will probably do a few more of them this week, try to get better, just more endurance. It’s kinda hard once you’re in the season to start building. It’s just hard. You want to get ahead of it, and then back down once you have the base. But I just need to make it happen. My wrist was the least of my worries tonight, there was so much other carnage going on. I didn’t have a problem with the wrist at all, I had a problem on my hand after getting hit in the heat. The wrist was honestly way better than I thought it would be. I thought that if I cased something or didn’t do it perfectly that it was going to be an issue. I crashed twice, but I didn’t really have any sketchy moments, did everything perfectly, and it held up great. I’m stoked on how my wrist feels, it’s solid.
Cover photo from Supercross LIVE