“It’s always good to go from 22 points down to 10 points down,” pointed out Austin Forcer after nailing down the overall victory in the 250SX West Region main event on Sunday evening in Arizona.
Spooling up and executing quick and efficient starts during Saturday’s three-moto format, one Austin Forcer shined in Glendale, his supercross craft and efficiency evident to those dialed into it all.
“In the first two races, especially, I came out super-aggressive and was just going for it because I knew that if I could win both of them, that I would have a gap and could control the evening,” the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider continued.
“I just had really good intensity, and just kind of broke away quickly and nobody could really catch me. In the third one, I knew that I didn’t need to get [Dylan] Ferrandis to get the overall, and I kind of had some sketchy moments on the first lap because I didn’t get the best start. During the first few laps of the moto, guys were pinballing off each other in the first couple of rhythm sections and in the whoops, and I almost ran into a few guys and a few guys almost ran into me. I tried to latch onto Ferrandis near the finish, but he was getting away, so I just managed the race and rode some laps, and that was it. I knew all that mattered was the overall, so I went 1-1-3 to get the overall. The first two mains, I rode really well. The last moto, not so much, but I really went into manage mode once I got into third. I wanted to win them all, but it just didn’t end up like that. I was happy. My riding was good. The bike was good. It was just a solid night.
“They kept the track prepped pretty well all night long; they prepped the track a lot every one of our motos. Nothing got torn up except for the whoops; everything else was kept pretty fresh. You could charge stuff and you could ride pretty much all-out. The track wasn’t super-technical, but the whoops were tough. It was much more about hitting your marks every lap. It was not a super-tough track, more just more about being consistent. You could charge the track, but you pretty much had to be really on it every lap.”
“Hey Austin,” asked this writer before the two-time ’20 race winner had to begin looking northward to Oakland, California and next Saturday evening’s Monster Energy Supercross Series round. “Our mutual buddy Ricky Carmichael spoke a lot about the three-moto format and how well you performed in the format due to your excellent starts, early race pace, and overall race management. Thoughts?”
“Yes, that was what I really wanted,” explained Forcer of his launch speed. “That had happened a couple times to me this year, but it felt good to get back-to-back starts and to be up front, and to be the guy gapping those guys and handling the race. That boosted my confidence, and, yeah, it felt good to be in clean air. Chasing guys always sucks.”
After a huge step up and out of the 250SX West stadium motocross fray, Austin Forkner, who has been inconsistent thus far in the ’20 West series, is now seeing the brighter side of the big picture.
“Justin Cooper didn’t have a very good night and he actually helped me out a lot,” he said. “I mean, I gained 12 points in one night. I really dug myself halfway out of the hole, basically. Just the fact that I came back from 22 points down and got 12 points out of the way in one race is really cool. I’m really pumped about that. I’m really pumped about coming back from a bad race last weekend and doing really well at Phoenix. I feel like with speed and everything, it was my best ride of the season. After last weekend, we did a lot of testing on the bike this week, and we worked on whoops and technique and everything, so we were happy to see it pay off in the race.
“I feel pretty locked-in now. I feel good going into these next two races here out west. San Diego, well, we’ll just drive to that race. We’ll fly to Oakland. It’s a short flight. We’ll be right in our own backyard for these next two races before the break. I’m hoping to make up as many points as I can going into the break, and I just want to put together good races. I just want to put something together that I can carry through the break that will help my confidence.”
Get yourself in the championship mix, boil down the point gap, throw race preparation into high gear and then, at least for brief spells in time, look to peace of mind, eh?
“Yeah, dude. Exactly.”