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2012 FIM Junior Motocross World Championship Team Announced

by Charles Owens on 08/20/2012

The American Motorcyclist Association has selected some of the fastest youth  motocross racers in the country to compete at the 2012 Federation International  de Motocylisme Junior Motocross World Championship Aug. 25-26 in Sivlievo,  Bulgaria.

Two riders selected for each of the three classes — 65cc, 85cc and 125cc – will attempt to successfully defend the titles the U.S. team won in 2010 in  France and 2011 in Italy.

This year’s 65cc team members are Conner Mullennix from Santee, Calif., and  Parker Mashburn from Stephenville, Texas. Both riders will compete aboard KTM  Orange Brigade 65s.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Austin Forkner from Richards, Mo.,  and Suzuki amateur support team rider Jake Pinhancos from Rochester, Mass., will  represent the United States in the 85cc ranks. Both Forkner and Pinhancos have  won AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships. In 2010, Pinhancos represented  the United States in France where he won the 65cc FIM Motocross World  Championship.

In the 125cc class are Jerek Balkovic from Camp Hill, Pa., on his Cernics  Racing Yamaha and Jordon Smith from Belmont, N.C., aboard his Farren/PR2 Racing  Suzuki.

“I feel that the opportunity to represent my country against the greatest  riders in the world and showcase my talents is a major highlight in my motocross  career,” said Smith, who won the Schoolboy 1 class at the 2012 AMA Amateur  National Motocross Championships. “I have been training hard, and I am ready. I  feel honored to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest riders from the  United States, such as James Stewart, Ryan Villipoto and Davi Millsaps, along  with FIM World Champions Blake Wharton and Joey Savatgy.

“I look forward to using my talents to continue the groundwork they have laid  and working with my teammates to prove that the USA is the best country for  motocross,” he continued. “I am positive that all of our hard work, training and  dedication will bring home another world championship for the U.S. team.”

KTM North America’s Amateur Motocross Support Coordinator Mike Sleeter will  serve as team manager and organize the team’s efforts. Sleeter, a racer himself  who also won a title at the 2012 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships  this year, brings years of amateur and professional racing experience and will  surely be instrumental in the success of the team.

“Having the opportunity to help these amateur racers represent the United  Sates is an honor, and I’m very excited,” Sleeter said. “I’ve had the  opportunity to race abroad myself, and the experience will be one these kids  will never forget. We have a strong team, and I have confidence that they will  perform well and represent the United States with pride.”

AMA Motocross Manager Kip Bigelow said that the team is looking forward to  re-creating the success it experienced in 2010 and 2011.

“The amount of time and effort needed to put the team together and coordinate  the logistics is substantial, but the pride and honor that is displayed by the  entire team makes it worth it,” Bigelow said. “While in the past American  riders, such as Ryan Villopoto in Italy in 2003, Blake Wharton in Bulgaria in  2007 and Eli Tomac in New Zealand in 2009, have won individual class titles, the  overall team titles of the last two years have been exceptional. Without  question, our amateur motocross program in America provides some of the best  young racers in the world. I have no doubt that this year’s team will compete at  the highest level and will be a force to be reckoned with in Bulgaria.

“With support from the AMA and the FIM North America, along with team  sponsorship from Cernic’s Racing, Super Sketch, VP fuels, Dunlop, and Dirt  Shirts, this looks to be another great adventure for these riders and their  families,” Bigelow added.

The riders will keep fans up to date with daily updates on the team’s  Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Those on location during the weekend will  upload photos throughout the week on their Instagram account as well.



Instagram: Search for “teamusjrmx”

If you would like to donate to the Junior Motocross World U.S.  team, you may do so by contacting Kip Bigelow at the AMA by email at

About the American Motorcyclist Association Since 1924,  the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle  lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many  different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two  wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA  advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal  government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the  court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA  sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than  any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts  from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel,  bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of  Fame, the AMA honors the heroes and the heritage of motorcycling for future  generations. For more information, please visit