Irvine, Calif. – After five days of motos at Mill Creek MX in Pell City, Ala., Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green took home a total of 15 championships from the AMA Thor Spring Classic. Leading the team with three championships was Austin Forkner who was the most dominant rider of the week aboard his KX™85. Adam Cianciarulo went unchallenged in the Supermini classes, with a flawless scorecard. Veteran riders Clark Stiles, Mike Treadwell, and Earl May swept their respective classes. Justin Hill captured two championships earning his second title in the 450 A class after an exciting final moto win.
Best of the Best
After winning two titles at last week’s GNC Finals, Forkner was feeling confident coming into Mill Creek. His week started with a come-from-behind win in the 85 12-13 Mod foreshadowing that this week would end much like last week. The mud of an early morning moto dropped him to his only finish outside the top-five in the Jr. Mini 9-13 class, but Forkner was able to come back to win a total of six motos earning him the “Best of the Best” 85cc award for winning the most motos aboard his KX85.
“Consistency was really important in the three-moto format,” said Forkner. “The track changed a lot over the week from muddy to rough and rutted, but it made for fun racing. After my sixth place finish in the first Jr. Mini moto, I was going to just use that class as track time, but I was able to win the next two motos and came out with a third championship.”
Cianciarulo is a rider who is constantly trying to improve, so after dominating both Supermini divisions with clean sweeps, he decided to line up for the Schoolboy class against a field of 125cc bikes. The engine and bike size deficit aside, Cianciarulo was one of the fastest riders on the track on his KX™100, but a few crashes left him with finishing in the runner-up spot. Cianciarulo is itching to move up to the big bikes soon, so racing the Schoolboy class gives him the opportunity to gauge himself against his future competition and to fully prepare for the transition.
“The Mill Creek track really suited me,” said Cianciarulo. “With the rain early in the week, the track developed super long, deep ruts which are what I grew up riding. I made some mistakes in the Schoolboy class and wasn’t able to get the championship, but I learned a lot about pushing myself and being patient to make passes. I still came out with two championships for the week, so I’m happy with that and had a blast riding this track.”
Riding Through the Pain
In one of his first motos of the week, Hill went down in the mud and injured his knee. Although he was barely able to walk or put pressure on his right knee, Hill was determined to take home some hardware. He finished outside of the top-three only once, and laid down some of the fastest lap times of each day. He convincingly won the Four Stroke Open class and finished third overall in the 250 A and 450 A Pro Sport classes. In the fastest class of the week, 450 A, Hill went into the third and final moto with a 3-2 moto score, and sat third overall. When the gate dropped, he powered his KX™450 up the long uphill start stretch and came out third. A few laps later the leader would go down making the battle for second a battle for the lead. Hill took advantage of the situation and made a pass on the leader. He took the win giving him a 3-2-1 moto score and bumping him from third to first to secure the championship.
“After hurting my knee I had to try and stay away from the pain while riding,” said Hill. “But even with my sore knee, I felt a lot better on the bike this week and it showed with two championships. I always get asked which bike I like better, the KX™250F or the KX450F and really I love both of them, they are two really good bikes. This week I had more motos on the KX450F so that was my bike this week, but next week who knows. I love riding them both.”
Age Doesn’t Matter
Team Green is one of the few programs which support racers of all ages. While most of the focus is on the rising amateur stars, Team Green also has a strong roster of vet riders. At the AMA Spring Classic, Stiles, Treadwell, and May cleaned up the majority of the vet classes. Stiles dominated the 25+ Expert and 35+ Expert classes aboard his KX450F, while Treadwell took 40+ Expert class title, and May earned the 45+ Expert class championship. As most vet riders hold full-time jobs along with racing, having the support of Team Green is essential to their success.
“The Team Green support is instrumental to me still racing at this age,” said Treadwell. “I’ve been with Team Green for six years now and it’s so great that they support the vet guys. They are a great bunch of family guys that are always behind us and really feel like extended family.”
Although the amateur pits continue to grow and the trucks and tents get bigger and bigger, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green holds the prestige of being the top manufacturer in amateur racing. Their track-side support and familiar faces welcome all riders and always strive to help any rider in need.
“Team Green’s support is definitely the best in the pits by far,” said Colt Nichols. “It’s really great having the backing that they give; anyone can tell you that. Knowing that they are here to handle any needs or problems that arise is really comforting and allows us to go out and concentrate on racing.”
Green fenders could be seen no matter what class was lined up on the starting gate at Mill Creek. Kawasaki privateer Matthew Beers was the man to beat in the 450 C classes. Beers won all but one moto on his way to winning the 450 C Stock championship and placed second in the 450 C Mod class. In the vet classes, Michael Mitchell won the 25+ B/C and 30+ B/C titles, while Johnny Borders took home the 50+ championship aboard his KX450F.
AMA Thor Spring Classic
Mill Creek MX – Pell City, Ala.
March 12-17, 2012
Austin Forkner – 85 12-13 Stock (2-2-1)
Austin Forkner – 85 12-13 Mod (1-1-1)
Austin Forkner – Jr. Mini 9-13 (6-1-1)
Adam Cianciarulo – Supermini 1 12-15 (1-1)
Adam Cianciarulo – Supermini 2 13-16 (1-1-1)
Justin Hill – 450 A (2-3-1)
Justin Hill – Four Stroke Open (1-1-1)
Clark Stiles – 25+ Expert (1-1)
Clark Stiles – 35+ Expert (1-1)
Mike Treadwell – 40+ Expert (1-1)
Earl May – 45+ Expert (1-1)
Matthew Beers – 450 C Stock (1-1-1)
Michael Mitchell – 25+ B/C (1-1)
Michael Mitchell – 30+ B/C (1-1)
Johnny Borders – 50+ (1-1)
Lance Kobusch – 85 9-11 Stock (6-3-3)
Tanner Stack – 85 12-13 Mod (2-3-2)
Austin Forkner – Sr. Mini 12-14 (4-3-3)
Adam Cianciarulo – Schoolboy 1 12-16 (2-8-2)
Clark Stiles – 30+ Expert (2-2)
Mike Treadwell – 35+ Expert (2-2)
Earl May – 40+ Expert (2-2)
Matthew Beers – 450 C Mod (1-6-1)
Dustin Walker – 25+ B/C (2-2)
Dustin Walker – 30+ B/C (2-2)
Chad Anderson – 35+ B/C (2-2)
Scott Frederickson – 45+ Expert (2-2)
Lance Kobusch – 85 9-11 Mod (4-2-6)
Tanner Stack – 85 12-13 Stock (5-3-3)
Mitchell Harrison – Supermini 1 12-15 (3-3)
Mark Worth – Supermini 2 13-16 (6-2-2)
Justin Hill – 250 A (3-5-3)
Justin Hill – 450 A Pro Sport (2-3-3)
Phoebe Barber – Girl 1 9-13 (4-4-2)
Matas Inda – 250 A Pro Sport (5-5-3)
Blair Miller – 25+ Expert (3-3)
Mike Treadwell – 30+ Expert (3-3)
Nathan Hale – 30+ B/C (3-3)