Monster Energy Kawasaki News Release
Irvine, Calif. (March 12, 2012) – After battling against the elements and the best amateur racers in the nation, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green riders collected 11 championships from the GNC Finals at Oak Hill Raceway in Decatur, Texas. The most winning rider at the event was veteran rider Earl May who scored three championships aboard his KX™450F. Adam Cianciarulo and Austin Forkner both earned two championships apiece with some impressive racing, while Garrett Marchbanks secured a championship aboard his KX™85 with teammate Lance Kobusch close on his heels through both motos. Team Green privateers Daniel Mills, Tom Dretzka, and Dustin Brabec also earned championships aboard their green machines.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
May only stopped by the GNC Finals for a day, but during the short stay the veteran rider cleaned house. The most winning Team Green rider at the event, May scored three championships in less than an hour. After winning his second championship, he didn’t even have enough time to stop for a short podium celebration. He went right back to the line, grabbed the holeshot and went on to take his third championship of the day.
“The track was really nice with all the moisture in it,” said May. “There weren’t too many people out there today so we knocked the championship motos out pretty quickly. I had to race the final three motos back-to-back, which was a grinder, but I was happy to wrap it up early and get out of that cold.”
After spending the winter in southern California practicing on the sandy tracks which surround the desert, Utah-native Marchbanks came to Texas fully prepared to battle through the deep, sandy track at Oak Hill. He went on to take the top podium position in the 85 7-11 Mod with a 1-1 moto result. His teammate and friend, Kobusch, kept him honest both motos, going 2-2 while battling Marchbanks every inch of the way.
“The track is real rough and bumpy and the sand wants to sink you,” said Marchbanks. “But I like the track like that, the ruts were nice and the jumps were fun too. I practiced on a lot of sand tracks before I came to Oak Hill. I usually practice around four to five hours a day. Oak Hill is a pretty big track, and cool if you like the sand.”
Working Some Magic
After a sixth-place finish in the first moto of the 125 2-Stroke 12 & Up class, Cianciarulo knew it would take some magic to win the overall. In true Cianciarulo fashion, when the gate dropped for the second moto he rocketed away with the holeshot and quickly took command of the race aboard his KX™100. He gapped the field and confidently took the checkered flag with a fist pump, securing his first championship of the week. Later that day he went on to earn his second championship in the Supermini 1 85-150 thru 16 class after a flawless 1-1-1-1 moto result.
“It was unbelievable taking that first championship,” said Cianciarulo. “I didn’t get the best start in the first moto, but was able to work my way up to sixth. In the second moto I took the holeshot, was running out front and knew my speed was good. I checked out by the second lap and rode my own race from there. I just tried to stay smart and smooth and it turned out awesome. The GNC is an amazing event, the pits are nice, there’s a skate park, and the track at Oak Hill is actually one of my favorites.”
Leading the Charge
It always takes a spark to start a fire and Forkner provided the spark for Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green at the GNC Finals as the first team rider to earn a championship in the 85 12-13 Stock class. Armed with his KX85, Forkner finished with an impressive 1-1 result, leading an all-Kawasaki podium. Teammate Tanner Stack took the runner-up spot with Cody Eaton rounding out the podium in third. Forkner locked in his second championship on Thursday in the 85 7-16 Open class with a 2-1-1-2 moto result and finished runner-up in the 85 12-13 Mod class with a 7-1 result.
“It’s been a pretty good week,” said Forkner. “I started off the week with some first moto wins and heat race wins. I only crashed one time this entire week. I had a good setup on my KX85. I won the stock motos on it and think it’s really is one of the best stock bikes out there. It was handling all the bumps and ruts really good and was powering through the deep stuff, even up all the hills right out of the corners. I usually ride Loretta’s type dirt and just adapted to the sand when I got here.”
Kawasaki privateers also took home their share of podium finishes by the end of the week, netting three championships, four runner-up spots and four third-place finishes. In a Kawasaki-heavy 450 Nov Stock class, Mills stole the holeshot in the final moto and went on to secure the championship with a 1-1 result. Brabec also put together a championship after going 1-1 in the 450 Nov Mod class. Veteran rider Dretzka proved you’re never too old to race, landing a championship in the 50+ class even with the chewed-up track.
“It’s been pretty mellow under the Team Green tent this week,” said Team Green Supervisor Ryan Holliday. “Our technicians have not had to provide too much technical assistance at this event, and there are a lot of green bikes out there. Our product keeps getting better and better each year so we’re seeing fewer issues with them at the race track despite the abuses they’re being put through. It’s encouraging knowing that our bikes are holding up, lasting, and ultimately helping our customers achieve their goals on the race track.”
They say in Texas that if you don’t like the weather, just wait 20 minutes. The saying held true during the GNC Finals as the erratic Texas weather seemed to fluctuate hourly. On Monday, the first day of the event, the weather was ideal for practice. It was partly cloudy, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures hovering in the mid-70s. On Wednesday, the first day of racing, Mother Nature started throwing curveballs. Heavy winds, with gusts reaching 50 miles per hour, pushed racers around the track and injected dust into everything in the area. By Wednesday clouds had consumed the sky and saturated the air with humidity. On Thursday, the final day of racing, Mother Nature reared her ugly head and threw everything she had at the racers. Only hours into the event, temperatures dropped almost 30-degrees within seconds, which was immediately followed by hail and rain. Despite the inclement weather the event barely skipped a beat and the competition wrapped up before the sun set.
“I definitely felt the cold move in on Thursday morning,” said Forkner. “I was on the line and it got super chilly all of a sudden. I was pretty cold at first, but once I started racing and got warmed up it didn’t really affect me much. Besides, I am used to riding in this kind of cold weather in Missouri.”
Good Old Fashioned Fun
When families come out to Oak Hill MX for the GNC Finals, the event provides much more than just racing. In addition to motorcycle racing, the venue at Oak Hill also provides a skate park, basketball court, tetherball court, and a Traxxas Try-Me track. Event promoters also provided special activities each day like the Gladiator Challenge and movie night. Whether hanging out with family and friends in the campgrounds, having fun around the pits, or battling it out on the track, this event keeps the entire family active an entertained the entire week.
“I have a lot of fun out here at the GNC Finals,” said Marchbanks. “It’s cool seeing all my friends from other states who like to ride dirt bikes too. We usually hang out after the races and just have fun. There are so many things to do out here when you’re not racing. My favorite thing is driving the Traxxas RC cars.”
The Deep South
After racing wrapped up on Thursday, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green packed up and headed south for the AMA Spring Classic at Mill Creek MX in Pell City, Ala. While many racers are happy to get on the tacky- Alabama dirt, they hope the storm that besieged them in Texas doesn’t follow them to Mill Creek MX.
GNC Finals at Oak Hill Raceway
Oak Hill MX – Decatur, Texas
March 6-9, 2012
Austin Forkner – 85 12-13 Stock (1-1)
Austin Forkner – 85 7-16 Open (2-1-1-2)
Adam Cianciarulo – 125 2-Stroke 12 & Up (6-1)
Adam Cianciarulo – Supermini 1 85-150 thru 16 (1-1-1-1)
Garrett Marchbanks – 85 7-11 Mod (1-1)
Earl May – 35+ (2-1)
Earl May – 40+ (2-1)
Earl May – 45+ (1-1)
Daniel Mills – 450 Nov Stock (1-2)
Dustin Brabec – 450 Nov Mod (1-1)
Tom Dretzka – 50+ (2-1)
Tanner Stack – 85 12-13 Stock (5-6)
Tanner Stack – 85 7-16 Open (4-4-3-4)
Lance Kobusch – 85 7-11 Mod (2-2)
Austin Forkner – 85 12-13 Mod (7-1)
Brandy Richards – Women 99-250F Non Pro (2-3)
Justin Hill – 250 A Mod (4-2)
Justin Hill – 450 A Mod (1-3)
Mark Worth – Supermini 2 85-150 14-16 (4-3)
Cody McDonough – 250 Nov Mod (4-1)
Zach Temo – 250 Nov Stock (2-3)
Tommy Moxey – 85 14-16 Mod (3-3)
Jeff Harriott – 50+ (2-1)
Colt Nichols – 450 Pro (5-3)
Brandy Richards –99-250F Schoolgirl 12-16 Mod (1-3)
Carson Mumford – 65 7-11 Open (2-6)
Justin Hill – 250 Pro (4-3)
Carter Halpain – 85 7-11 Stock (1-5)
Mitchell Oldenburg – 250 A Mod (2-7)
Cody Eaton – 85 12-13 Stock (8-4)
Cody McDonough – 450 Nov Stock (5-1)
Cody McDonough – 250 Nov Stock (8-1)
Mitchell Harrison – Supermini 1 85-150 thru 16 (1-1-1-3)