2019 Daytona Supercross 250 Class Race Report

Austin Forkner claims fourth win of the season

Austin Forkner
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner dominated the 250SX class at the 2019 Daytona Supercross.Brown Dog Wilson

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Forkner dominated the 250SX class at the 2019 Daytona Supercross. He qualified second fastest in practice to earn the first gate pick in the first heat race. He took the inside gate, grabbed the holeshot, and finished 17 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor to earn the first gate pick for the main event. In the feature race, the Kawasaki rider grabbed the holeshot but was shuffled back and forced to make some quick passes. On lap three, he made the pass for the lead and never looked back, crossing the line first to achieve his fourth victory of the season. Forkner leads the Eastern Regional championship standings by 23 points over his nearest competitor.

“This is like a dream come true to win Daytona Supercross!” Forkner said. “The track and fans here are so unique and unlike anything else. My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250 was once again a rocket ship that allowed me to run up front all day and night, from qualifying to my heat race win, to being out front early in the main event and setting my own pace. Tonight was a night I will remember forever, as I have never gotten to do a burnout on the pavement. I was just holding it wide open as the crowd was cheering me on!”

Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton began his day by qualifying fastest in practice. He grabbed the holeshot in his heat race, but went down in the second corner. He made his way back up to fourth place, which granted him the eighth gate pick in the main event. In the main event, he finished in the runner-up spot, a season best for the Honda rider.

Chase Sexton
Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton qualified fastest in practice and finished second in the main event.Brown Dog Wilson
Justin Cooper
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper won his heat race and rounded out the podium in the main event. He now sits tied for second place in the point standings with Sexton.Brown Dog Wilson
Mitchell Oldenburg
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Mitchell Oldenburg achieved a season-best result at Daytona after missing last weekend’s race due to injury. “The night was actually really good for me considering how last weekend went,” Oldenburg said. “I’m stoked to walk away healthy, safe, and keeping it on two wheels. My bike worked amazing all day and night. I can’t thank the Star Racing Yamaha guys enough for all the work they do in and out each week. The track was a difficult Daytona—gnarly, brutal, and really demanding; but my fitness was good tonight and I’m happy with my finish.”Brown Dog Wilson

“It was a pretty good start for the gate position I had,” Sexton said. “I went and got the holeshot in the heat race and then fell by myself in the first corner. I made some good passes and I think I was in about fifth. Justin [Cooper] made a mistake and I got around him, Austin [Forkner] was probably about four seconds in front of me and just stayed there for the rest of the race. The track was gnarly [and] it was easy to make mistakes. Austin rode well and he didn’t make any mistakes. All in all, it was a pretty good race.”

Alex Martin
JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Alex Martin rounded out the top five on the challenging Daytona course. “I was off in practice, but was able to put it together and get sixth fastest in the final practice,” Martin said. “I wasn’t hanging it out for some reason. I had a really good gate pick in the heat race and finished second. I was frustrated with making some small mistakes. I had another good gate pick in the main, came around in the top five, and battled with some guys. Mitchell Oldenburg and I matched lap times for most of the main, so I couldn’t close the gap on him for fourth. The main was the best I rode all day. I was consistent with hitting the rhythm sections. They were massive this weekend. It was a solid ride, and the best I’ve ever done in Daytona. I’m fourth in points and looking forward to Indianapolis.”Brown Dog Wilson
Brandon Hartranft
Cycle Trader/Rock River/Yamaha’s Brandon Hartranft rode his YZ250F to a season-best finish with a sixth-place result. “Daytona was another step in the right direction,” Hartranft said. “Fifth in practice, third in the heat [race], and sixth in the main [event]. I felt like I rode great all day [and] showed I can hang in with the front-runners. I’m looking forward to Indianapolis.”Brown Dog Wilson
Kyle Peters
JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Kyle Peters led for the opening two laps of the main event, but fell back to seventh by the time the checkered flag flew. “I made good progress,” Peters said. “Buddy Antunez and I have been working really hard during the week to get better on race days. I have to keep working to stay up front. I’m going to take the positives from Daytona. It felt good to get the holeshot and lead for a few laps in the main. It’s where I need to be. My arms locked up after I got passed, so I didn’t put in my best riding after that. Still, my first few laps were solid. I’m going to keep starting up front and try to lead longer and longer until we are winning.”Brown Dog Wilson

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper won his heat race and was second place around the first corner of the main event. He lost one position, which put him back to third, where he would ultimately finish. Cooper is now tied with Sexton for second place in the point standings.

“The bike was working really well,” Cooper said. “We did a lot of testing with the team outdoors this week, so we kind of knew what we had to do coming up today. We were able to get the heat win and bring it home for third tonight. Those guys out front were riding good, but no excuses. I just had a couple mistakes tonight that cost me and you can’t do that out here. The track for sure was tough tonight. It got me a couple times, but glad to get out of here safe and on to the next one.”

Josh Osby
CTR Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Osby put his YZ250F in eighth place in the main event. “I’ve had pneumonia all week, so [Daytona] was challenging to say the least,” Osby said. “Thank you to all the people who keep me going!”Brown Dog Wilson
Kyle Cunningham
HRT/Freedom Powersports/Merge Racing/Honda’s Kyle Cunningham came from last place to ninth by the time the race concluded. “Unfortunately, I got tangled up after the first turn and went down,” Cunningham said. “But after being way back in 22nd, I managed to work back to ninth! We’re going to keep digging and building as we have been.”Brown Dog Wilson
Martin Davalos
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos lost positions as the night progressed and fell back to 10th. “I love coming to Daytona,” Davalos said. “I always get to see a lot of my Ecuadorian fans and it has just always been a special place for me to come and race. I’m a little bummed with tonight’s result, but overall I am happy to be leaving here healthy because the track was gnarly tonight. I rode really well in the second heat after getting taken out and ran over in that second-corner crash. I was pumped to come from last to fifth place in the heat. In the main, I just got tight about halfway through and struggled a little bit. We will work hard this week to be better prepared to put together a strong performance in Indy next weekend.”Brown Dog Wilson

Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Mitchell Oldenburg and JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Alex Martin rounded out the top five, respectively.

2019 Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

Position Rider Brand Points
1 Austin Forkner Kawasaki 125
2 Justin Cooper Yamaha 102
  Chase Sexton Honda 102
4 Alex Martin Suzuki 78
5 Martin Davalos Kawasaki 71
  Brandon Hartranft Yamaha 71
7 Jordon Smith KTM 70
8 Mitchell Oldenburg Yamaha 69
9 Kyle Cunningham Honda 65
10 Kyle Peters Suzuki 62