Runner-up performance 'like a win' for Kawasaki-equipped title favorite.
Back and fully recovered from injury, Austin Forkner showed he’s ready to battle for the 2021 250SX East championship by riding to P2 in Houston.
After sustaining multiple internal injuries at the end of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season, Forkner was forced to miss the outdoor series.
Following a solid off-season, Forkner appears to have the bigger picture in mind, showing signs of maturity throughout the day all the way down to his comments in the post-race press conference.
“All-in-all it was a good race and coming off of my injury from last year, it was pretty bad,” he said. “With how I rode tonight and having uncharacteristic not good starts, having to come back through the pack and being able to pass the top guys like that to get second, tonight was a win for me.
“It would have been different if I would have got passed for the lead and got second, but I was just happy with the ride, because coming around that first turn I looked up and it was all the big names in the 250 class for this coast in front of me.”
When questioned in the post-race press conference about his eighth-place effort in qualifying, Forkner mentioned past mistakes that have shifted his approach to race day.
“I’ve always been a racer,” he stated. “If you look at two years ago, I was kind of really focused on trying to be the fastest, but then I tore my ACL in practice. Then you can look at last year, I remember a few times last year I was seventh or eighth and then would win.
“I’m not gonna say qualifying doesn’t mean anything, because when you’re fastest you carry your chest a little higher when you’re walking to the gate for race time, but setting one fast lap and being able to do a 15- or a 20-minute moto at that pace is completely different.”