Austin Forkner takes to Instagram to describe accident, says this ‘is a tough one’
Tuesday night, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit team announced Austin Forkner would be out for the remainder of the 2023 Supercross season as he heals from a knee injury that includes a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
Immediately following the press release, Forkner took to Instagram to thank his supporters and provide further updates on his mental and physical state.
"[The knee] is not completely destroyed, but it’s ACL and ACL is the long one; it’s six months.”
The damage to Forkner’s knee is not the primary damage, however. He admitted in his post that he is struggling to understand the injury.
“It’s so tough to deal with this right now, I had such a good offseason coming into this year,” Forkner said. “Super lowkey, super chill. Honestly, at this point I feel embarrassed. I’m obviously extremely disappointed in myself; I’m just disgusted. Unless you’ve been in this situation or something similar, it’s hard to explain, but I don’t even want to look people in the face.
“This is the third straight year that I’ve been out of the championship after two races, max. I didn’t even make the first race this year and now I’m out for a while. This one’s tough. It’s really tough because of the past couple of years.”
After returning from a hard crash in Arlington last year, Forkner told NBC Sports that “injury isn’t the hardest part of an accident. It’s everything that’s around the injury - the not racing, everything you’re dealing with mentally, the negative thoughts that come along with it.”
Forkner was not to blame in either last year’s accident in Texas.
At the time he said, “To be honest this (injury) was easier to take than past ones where it was my fault. I’m not the type of person that has to get yelled at to get a point across. I can walk the track and my trainer, my dad, or whoever, never had to get in my face and yell at me that I rode bad. I would come back and be pissed if I didn’t run well. I’m self-motivated.
“It was almost easier this time because it wasn’t my fault. When the crashes were my fault, I would be kicking myself. I’m destroyed after, ‘Like dude why am I making these mistakes? What do I have to do to quit making these mistakes’ and that would annihilate me and get into my dark places, thinking ‘why can’t I figure this out?’ ”
But Forkner is equally blameless in the accident that forces him out of the 2023 season. He was hit from the side, which turned his Kawasaki sideways. As he struggled to get the Kawasaki straight, the momentum of the half-turn pitched him out of the seat.
With another injury, the negative thoughts return. The battle of would haves and should haves are not placated by the circumstances of the crash.
“I’m not blaming anybody. [People tell me] It wasn’t a hundred percent your fault,” Forkner said. “I don’t like having that outlook, I’m taking responsibility where I can.
“If I would have gotten a little bit of a better jump, I could have had a wheel on those guys and they couldn’t of came over and we wouldn’t have hit. Either way, me and RJ (Hampshire) got together at the gate a little bit and my front wheel was off the ground just a little bit and those guys started to come over from the outside. My front wheel was up so I couldn’t move around.”
“I dabbed my knee and right when I dabbed my knee, I knew it was done. The quarter of a second, or whatever it was, when I dabbed my knee to when I got ejected, I knew right then that my knee was done.”