There is a lot of buzz surrounding Austin Forkner heading into 2016. He recently signed a 4-year contract with the powerhouse Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki organization and will be turning pro. One of the first steps in his pro career will be entering in the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross where he will be earning his professional license through Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross. Austin already has some impressive indoor results on his resume with three Monster Energy Cup Supermini titles. Forkner won every B class imaginable in 2015 and many industry pundits have their eyes on the youngster from Missouri as the next big thing.

You’re at an exciting time in your career! You’ll be racing in the 2016 AMSOIL Arenacross as you begin your pro career. What are your thoughts on jumping into such a competitive circuit, and which rounds are you looking at entering?

AF: I'm excited to jump in with those guys, mix it up and get on the tracks! I haven't  raced many AMSOIL Arenacross races before so it should be a good learning experience for me as well as getting me ready to race Monster Energy Supercross  in 2017. The guys in AMSOIL Arenacross right now are fast and the tracks look pretty gnarly so I'm pumped! I'm not sure which rounds I'll be riding in right now but probably the ones closest to where I live in Missouri.

Most of the racers in AMSOIL Arenacross mention the size and difficulty of the whoops sections. How will you prepare to take them on?

AF: Well first off, get some stiffer suspension! Then, get them dialed in while practicing and adjust them to lay down some faster lap times. I'm kind of small so I'll need to grip the bike tight, get on the balls of my feet and let it hang out!

You’ll be racing on a professional stage for the first time in your career. This means racing in front of thousands of people and have interviews for television at each round you participate.   What steps are you taking to prepare?

AF: To prepare for the TV interviews and racing in front of thousands of people is hard. The only race like that for amateurs is the Monster Energy Cup, but I have three years of experience. I've always been pretty good at giving interviews and have been asked many different questions on the podium so I'm excited to do be interviewed and give a shout out to my sponsors. Then when I'm out there riding I just try to not think about everyone else and ride my own race.

Have you reached out to any other Ricky Carmichael Road to Supercross graduates like Aaron Plessinger, RJ Hampshire or Jordon Smith for advice? If so, what did they have to offer?

AF: I'm good friends and now teammates with Tyler Bowers so I'm definitely going to him for any questions I have about AMSOIL Arenacross! From what I've heard though is that you've got to get a good start and your probably going to have to get aggressive at some point.

Where and what tracks will you be riding on preparing for AMSOIL Arenacross?

AF: I will probably be riding some Supercross tracks in California while I’m there testing and then at Reynard training complex on their Supercross and Arenacross tracks.

Bike set up is very important with AMSOIL Arenacross. Most of the winning racers use a far different set up than they do for motocross. What are you doing to prepare to race with such a set up for the tighter tracks?

AF: Like I said, I'll need some stiffer suspension for sure.  I'll be out testing with Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki for a little bit to get the bike ready. Then take it back to Reynard’s on their tracks and probably do some more adjustments with my practice mechanic.