News 28 Feb 2024

Extensive list of injuries outlined by Forkner after Arlington

'That was one of the scariest crashes I've ever had or ever seen, period'.

Image: Octopi Media.

An extensive injury list has been outlined by an emotion-charged Austin Forkner following his scary impact in Arlington, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider yet to consider his future in the sport.

After winning the opening 250SX East race of the year in Detroit and carrying the red plate into Arlington, Forkner led the opening 16 laps of the main event before crashing out in spectacular fashion.

It was a defining moment for the 25-year-old, resulting in his fourth major injury in as many years. He’s since revealed that he had lost his left eye contact prior to falling, but stopped short of blaming that, and has detailed his injuries in a moving social media update posted today.

“I don’t really remember a lot about the race, I thought I was in the lead, but I didn’t know how I got there, if I got the holeshot or had to pass some guys until I rewatched the race,” Forkner reflected. “About halfway through the main event, around seven or eight minutes in, my left contact fell out. I’ve hardly ever had problems with my contacts actually falling out.

“Anybody who has contacts will tell you that when you have one eye in and one eye out, it does throw your depth perception off and your blurry eye kind of takes control over your other eye. Is that why I crashed? I don’t know, we’ll never know. But did it help? No, not really.

“Onto the crash situation, I don’t need to go into the crash that much. It’s pretty simple, I came up about two inches short on that jump and when all of my weight went forward, my bad arm that I’ve had all the nerve surgeries on – it’s weak – blew off and threw all my weight forward and it was game over after that.

“What happened in the crash, I broke my L3 and L4, the transverse processors or tabs that come off the spine on the right side. I broke my scapula all the way across the top into my shoulder socket, and I had bleeding or bruising in my lungs. They said I was out for like three to five minutes – I was knocked out for a long time. It wasn’t good.”

Forkner will undergo further medical examinations as he begins his recovery and he’s not expected to require surgery, but isn’t certain when – or even if – he will return to competition. His sense of relief is evident after slamming onto the stadium floor and fortunately avoiding any life-changing injuries in the impact.

“I’m really, really lucky, really blessed that I came away from that like I did. I watched the crash the next day or a couple of days after… I just broke down and cried because of how bad it could have been,” he said. “That was probably one of the scariest crashes I’ve ever had or ever seen, period. I’m very fortunate. I shouldn’t even be thinking about this right now, but I don’t know what this means for me or my future, riding-related. This one really did scare me.”