The ninth annual Monster Energy FIM Junior World Motocross World Championship played out at the Gorna Rositza Circuit in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, August 25-26, and Team USA finished out the weekend with the bronze medal.
Australia’s Caleb Grothues (5) won the 65cc World title.
Three classes – 65, 85 and 125cc – are held in the Junior World Motocross Championship, with individual honors and team honors up at stake.
Riders faced hot and dry weather at Sevlievo, which led to dusty conditions on the track. Kawasaki Team Green’s Austin Forkner ended up being Team USA’s top rider. Forkner won the first 85cc moto over Holland’s Davy Pootjes and Germany’s Brian Hus. In the second moto, Forkner got off to a midpack start but worked his way up through the pack and had just taken over second place on the last lap when he started having mechanical problems, which cost him the position and the class championship. He ended up second overall, with Hsu taking the title with a 3-1.
American Jake Pinhancos, last year’s 65cc champ, finished a disappointing sixth overall. He was leading the first moto and had opened up a comfortable lead when he started experiencing mechanical problems and dropped to fourth. He got a bad start in the second moto and ended up seventh.
Team USA’s Conner Mullennix finished just off the podium in the 65cc class, his 8-4 giving him fourth overall on his KTM.
Australia’s Caleb Grothues claimed the 65cc class championship after winning both motos.
After qualifying third in the 125cc class, American Jordan Smith was expected to be a title contender, but he got track banners wrapped up in his wheel putting him out of contention in the first moto. As a result, he had a poor gate pick for the second moto and struggled in the thick dust and eventually finished 12th.
Slovenia’s Tim Gajser (KTM) won both motos and the 125cc title.