Cobra's Forkner Tops at Branson Redo on CX65

  • Austin Forkner on the American-made CX65.
HILLSDALE, Mich. – Though rain washed away the original date, the spirit and resiliency of amateur motocrossers and their families shined through this past weekend as the redo of the 15th annual Branson USA National MX Championships, presented by PPG, featured some great racing and numerous titles brought home to Cobra headquarters by some of sport’s future stars.

Breaking through in the biggest way had to be Cobra’s Austin Forkner on the American-made CX65. Forkner nailed two Junior (65cc) class titles – and would have had a third had it not been for a crash in the second 9-11 Jr. Stock moto after he’d won the first moto.

“Austin had a heck of a weekend on the CX65,” said Cobra President Sean Hilbert. “The turnout, of course, wasn’t what Branson had lined up for the opening date. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t some amazing racing going on despite the smaller gates. Congrats to Ron Hendrickson (Branson promoter) on pulling off this mulligan. All reports back from the Cobra families in attendance pointed to a great weekend of racing in all the 50 and 65cc classes.”

Opening the show for Cobra in the 50cc (Pee Wee) was Oklahoma City’s (Okla.) Chandler Baker and Owen Anderson (Elburn, Ill.) as the two split wins in a Cobra sweep of the PW 4-6 Modified and Stock classes, respectively. Both racers would finish in 2nd place in the class the other rider won, with Cobra’s Patrick Murphy (Clinton, Iowa) picking up 3rd place in both classes.

In the 7-8 PW class Missouri’s “Lightning” Lance Kobush and Logan Leitzel (Dillsburg, Pa.) went 1st/2nd in the Modified class on their Cobra CX50 Sr. bikes. Kobush then took top honors in the 7-8 PW Stock class with Florida’s Cole Williams taking 2nd on his Cobra and Leitzel 3rd – in winning the last moto (7th in the first moto).

Leitzel then carried that last moto win momentum into the 6-9 Super Pee Wee event and topped Kobush (2nd), with Williams placing 3rd.

Back in the 65cc and joining Forkner on top of the podium was Cobra’s Leitzel who won both the Jr. Cycle (65) 6-8 Modified and Stock classes, with Kobush in 2nd (Stock) and Gage Fisher (Alton, Iowa) 3rd in both classes.

In the Jr. Cycle (65) 9-11 classes it was all Forkner, with Michael Hicks (Fenton, Mo.) placing 4th in the Stock class and Caleb Self (Cole Camp, Mo.) placing 5th in the Modified class. Forkner then won the premier event – the Jr. Cycle Open through 11 – with Self placing a respectable 6th and Hicks 8th. Noteworthy: Hicks spent most of the the 2009 MX season competing as an eight-year-old and only recently turned nine.

Also: All 50cc Pee Wee racers contesting the 15th annual Branson MX National Championships were eligible to win a brand new 2010 Cobra King 50, courtesy of Cobra Motorcycles. And walking away with that bike was Tennessee’s Kruz Sampson! This is the seventh year Cobra has given away a brand new Cobra motorcycle at the Branson event.

“Cobra is pleased to help out the NMA with this special King 50 bike give-a-way,” added Hilbert.

Next up for the Cobra racers is the Thanksgiving week Mini Os at Gatorback MX Park in Gainesville, Fla., the 2009 season’s last big amateur MX National.

Cobra, founded in 1993, produces the most successful line of competition mini cycles and mini quads in the United States with more than 200 national titles in the last decade. Based out of Hillsdale, Mich., Cobra's mission is to build premium products for the serious racer. For more information on Cobra products, please visit our website at High Profile Public Relations (HPPR), LLC, is a multi-faceted communications agency specializing in strategic media relations – both industry and mainstream – for the powersports and action sports communities. Dialed in with all forms of power and action sports, its participants, manufacturers and live event promoters, HPPR’s Pat Schutte can be reached at (734) 369-2170 and