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Supercross/Motocross | 10/22/2012
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Austin Forkner Dominates Supermini at Monster Energy Cup
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Austin Forkner Dominates Supermini at Monster Energy Cup
Irvine, Calif., (October 21, 2012) – The Monster Energy Cup returned to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday night holding a race like none other. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Austin Forkner stole the show by sweeping both Supermini races and was the only rider to win more than one race all night. Adam Cianciarulo made his debut on the KX™250F, winning the Amateur All-Star race two and finishing second overall. With a million dollars on the line, reigning champion Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto made his return to racing and blew away the field in the first main event but could not repeat his Monster Million performance, finishing 10th overall. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer ran as high as third during the main events and finished the evening 13th overall.
Natural Talent
The Monster Energy Cup rivals Loretta Lynn’s as one of the highest profile amateur races of the season, but the scale of the event never fazed Forkner. Hailing from Missouri, he did not have any supercross tracks to prepare on, but because the Monster Energy Cup track is a hybrid of both motocross and supercross, Forkner concentrated on more technical motocross tracks. He qualified second behind his Team Green teammate Mark Worth, and decided to choose the left side gates of the split start for the first race. Forkner got a great jump off the start on his KX™100, grabbed the holeshot, and immediately tried to build a gap. Each lap of the six-lap race, he was able to put time on the field and won by more than six seconds. In race two, Forkner stuck with his same gate and rounded the first turn in second. He pressured the leader for three laps before making his move on lap four. Forkner took the win, ending a near perfect night. Of all three classes at the Monster Energy Cup, Forkner was the only rider to be consistent enough to win two races.

“It was so cool to be up on top of the podium,” said Forkner. “The whole stadium was going nuts, I could even hear them on the track. My phone has been blowing up with messages and missed calls from all my friends. It was a great race. I jumped off the side of the finish line on one lap so that was pretty sketchy, but other than that I was smooth. I think supercross suits my style.”
Making the Jump
After a flawless week at the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s, Cianciarulo could not wait to begin his career on the KX250F. He spent three weeks testing on supercross tracks in California and was looking to make a statement in the All-Star class of the best A and B riders. Qualifying fastest, Cianciarulo got a great jump off the start but was shuffled back to fourth as the two lanes merged together. He quickly started making moves and had secured third until he lost the front wheel in one of the slick bowl turns. Cianciarulo finished fifth and knew he had to prove himself in race two. He did just that by grabbing the holeshot and never looking back. He led each lap and won by more than seven seconds to finish second overall with his 5-1 race score. Much happier with his second race performance, Cianciarulo is now looking forward to the Winter Mini Olympics in November.

“I think it was a successful night,” said Cianciarulo. “After the first race I was frustrated and really wanted to come out and dominate in the second. The start was so important because the intensity in the big bike class is just insane. It is nothing like the supermini class, every single guy is going wide open. This was a great experience and I think we’re only going to get better from here.”
The Champ Returns
Last year Villopoto had an unthinkable night at the Monster Energy Cup and was able to capture the Monster Million. He was forced to sit out the summer with an injury he sustained after winning the 2012 Monster Energy Supercross championship, but that did not set him back one bit. Villopoto came out of qualifying just a few tenths of a second off of the fastest time. When the gate dropped for main event one, Villopoto came out in second and moved into the lead on lap two. From there all he had to do was get through the Joker lane clean. Once he built a gap of roughly six seconds, Villopoto dove into the Joker lane, in which each rider had to take once per race. Lucky for him, the second-place rider followed Villopoto through the section and he lost no time to take the win. With the first main event win, Villopoto was the only rider eligible for the million dollars. Villopoto grabbed the holeshot of main event two on his KX™450F, but made a mistake entering one of the corners in the outdoor section and crashed over the berm. With a very small window of time to recover for the next race, the team elected to sit out the third main event. His race scores gave him 10th overall and displayed for the competition that he is ready to go for a third-straight supercross championship come Anaheim 1 in January.

“It was a disappointing way to end the night,” said Villopoto. “I showed that I had the speed to repeat for the million and felt great on the bike. This was a good race to see where we size up against the competition and know now what we need to work on before the 2013 season begins. We’ll be there to win.”
Never Fazed
Weimer started the day sixth fastest in qualifying and was looking forward to a fun night on the hybrid track. Unfortunately, his night was plagued with small mistakes and crashes that kept him from battling near the front. Weimer’s results do not reflect how well he rode throughout the evening. In main event two, he started just outside the top-five and made his way into third before making a mistake that cost him. Weimer’s lap times throughout the night were on par with the leaders and he posted the fourth fastest time in the second main event. He will now begin preparation for the Bercy Supercross in Paris, France, next month.

“The track was super technical tonight,” said Weimer. “The rhythm sections were steep and gnarly and the start was pretty hairy. I felt good on the bike, but just didn’t have the results I wanted. A rider clipped a tough block right in front of me in the first race and I had no where to go but into it so that was it for that race. Race two I was feeling really good, but made a mistake and lost the front in a really slick section. Testing has been going really well with the team so I’m looking forward to the rest of the off-season before Anaheim.”
Team Green
In addition to the two podium finishes for Forkner and Cianciarulo, many other Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green riders took part in the Monster Energy Cup. In the Supermini class, Kawasaki rider Kotaro Takahasi finished on the podium in third overall while Tommy Maxey finished fifth. The fastest qualifier Worth had some tough luck in the two races and finished seventh overall. In the Amateur All-Stars class, Team Green’s Nick Gaines qualified third fastest and finished sixth overall with an 8-6 race result.
New Elements
All the buzz around the pits during the day was about the split start and the Joker lane. These two elements are not usually seen in either motocross or supercross and create an additional challenge for the riders. Based on qualifying position, even number qualifying positions started the first main event on the right side and odd numbers on the left side, which then switched for the second main event giving everyone a fair start. Neither gate seemed to be faster than the other and made for some added excitement for the start. The second addition was the Joker lane, which was a slower sand section that riders had to take once per race. Villopoto and Weimer debated all day on what would be the best strategy, but like many things in racing, you never know until the gate drops.
Birthday Boy
Saturday not only marked Cianciarulo’s first major race on his KX250F, but it was also his 16th birthday. Many of his friends, family, and sponsors got together on Friday afternoon for a surprise party where everyone enjoyed some indoor karting.
Not So Off-season
Although the supercross and motocross seasons are finished, there is never a real off-season for the riders. Races such as the Monster Energy Cup keep riders focused on training and testing almost all year round. Next for Monster Energy Kawasaki is the Bercy Supercross in Paris, France on November 9-11, 2012 where Weimer will return for his second year and look to take home the “King of Bercy” crown.
Monster Energy Cup
Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nev.
October 20, 2012

Supermini Results

2. Chase Sexton, LaMoille, Ill., Yamaha, (3-4)

4. Joey Crown, Metamora, Mich., Suzuki (11-2)

6. Challen Tennant, Willis, Tex., KTM (5-11)

8. Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha (9-9)
9. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Suzuki (14-6)
10. Tristan Miller, Apine, Calif., Suzuki (2-18)

Amateur All-Stars Results
1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (2-3)

3. Paul Coates, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Yamaha (7-2)
4. Shane McElrath, Corona, Calif., Honda (1-11)
5. Brady Kiesel, Ft. Worth, Tex., Honda (4-9)

7. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha (6-8)
8. Jordan Smith, Belmont, N.C., Honda (3-13)
9. Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Tex., Honda (14-4)
10. Daniel Baker, Crittenden, Ky., Suzuki (13-5)

Monster Cup Results

1. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Honda (2-1-2)
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (3-2-3)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortex, Colo., Honda (4-4-1)
4. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Honda (5-6-4)
5. Josh Grant, Corona, Calif., Yamaha (6-5-5)
6. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Tex., Yamaha (8-7-6)
7. Jake Canada, Corona, Calif., Suzuki (9-10-7)

9. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Suzuki (7-3-19)
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