Forkner and Shimoda on High Point

After the weekend off, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team of Forkner and Shimoda were back and ready for a solid performance at High Point. Forkner led the charge for the team in qualifying with a fast lap of 2:02.82, placing him fifth in the class. After momentarily jumping to the top in the second qualifying session, Shimoda qualified just behind the leaders in eighth with a 2:03.667 lap time.  

The first moto for the 250 class saw Shimoda start inside the top-10, while teammate Forkner was caught up in the back of the pack. After quickly moving his way up to sixth place during the opening laps, the Japanese rider was caught in a four-way battle for third place most of the race. The No. 30 KX™250 of Shimoda was able to capitalize on mistakes from riders in front of him and crossed the finish line in fourth, tying his best moto finish of the season. Challenged with a poor start, Forkner was forced to battle his way through the back of the pack. The No. 38 machine once again showed impressive speed, fighting his way up to 10th before the halfway mark and eventually crossed the finish line in seventh.

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo got off to better starts in Moto 2, but a run-in with another rider on the first turn left Shimoda’s bike mangled and damaged. Uninjured, Shimoda remounted as quickly as possible to try and salvage whatever points he could. Still, the damage to his motorcycle proved to be too much, and he was forced to retire from the race early on and settle for 11th place overall (4-40). Utilizing a good start, Forkner was able to ride inside the top-10 for most of the race before picking up the pace late in the moto and moving his way up to sixth place. Forkner ended the day with a sixth place overall finish (7-6), a personal best this season. 

Forkner: “I definitely made life hard on myself with the poor start in Moto 1 but I’m happy with the way I rode. I’m getting better and better each week; I just need to keep working hard so I can be up there battling for podiums like I know I should be. I plan on practicing starts during this off weekend and coming in better prepared for RedBud. Thank you to all the fans that showed up today, hearing you cheer was awesome, and to the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for all the hard work.”

Shimoda: “I’m a bit disappointed in today. I was riding well all day and after a solid Moto 1 result, I was really excited to get out there and perform during Moto 2. I never like to leave a race early, especially if it’s out of my control but the bike was too beaten up after the crash at the beginning of the second moto, so we all decided it was best to set our focus on the next round. I’ll be back stronger and ready for redemption at RedBud.” 

Words and image: Kawasaki