Tough start for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki at Pala

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki crew of Forkner, Hammaker, Shimoda, and McAdoo kicked off the first round with solid performances as they qualified second, sixth, seventh, and 18th, respectively. 

The 250 class Moto 1 saw Hammaker launch his KX™250 into fourth by the end of the first lap, where he stayed for the first half of the race until finishing 11th. Forkner and Shimoda, after having issues early on and running as far back as 16th and 19th on the second lap, had to race the challenging course and several contenders to finish seventh and 14th. Unfortunately, McAdoo found himself cut off shortly after the gate dropped, but unwilling to give up, he managed to pass 18 other riders before crossing the finish line in 15th. 

McAdoo led the charge for the team in Moto 2 as he was running in 10th for multiple laps before a crash forced him to end the race early, resulting in a 37th-place finish for 20th overall (15-37). Both Hammaker and Shimoda had comparable speeds throughout the race until Hammaker began to fall back and finished 23rd for 16th overall (11-23), while Shimoda remained consistent to earn a top-10 overall finish with 14-11 scores. The No. 38 of Forkner attacked the rugged track to put together another solid and consistent moto, pushing forward from a 12th-place start to finish eighth, edging out his teammates for the highest overall finish on the day with an eighth-place overall score (7-8). 

Austin Forkner: Today didn’t go exactly as planned, but we got a great qualifying position and were feeling good going into the motos. My KX250 felt great and honestly, it just felt good to be back out here racing again. I know we’re capable of better results, but we were able to shake off those first-round jitters and can now focus on rebounding so we can get back up there where we belong.”

This article continues below

Jo Shimoda: “I rode well today and felt good about this first outdoor race, but we couldn’t quite make it stick for two motos. Thankfully the season is long, and this was the first of 12, so you’ll see us up on the podium before you know it. I can’t thank the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team enough for having my bike dialed and all their hard work these past few weeks leading up to today’s race.”

Seth Hammaker: “Today was tough. I felt strong all day and confident heading into both motos, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me today. We’ll take the week to regroup and will be ready for the next one at Thunder Valley.”

Cameron McAdoo: This is definitely not the news I would like to have, and very hard to accept as there is so much work put in to prepare for the season as a rider and team collectively. Unfortunately on Saturday in Moto 2 I came together with another rider and ended up landing with my knee straight out. I knew right away that something wasn’t right. I got the results back today and my ACL pulled and fractured the top of my Tibia bone off. I will be getting it fixed next week and begin the process of working to get back healthy. Thank you all for the support through the good and bad. We’ll be back.”

Words and image: Kawasaki