Frenchman Marvin Musquin emerged from round four of the United States motocross nationals, the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, in Pennsylvania at the weekend with his first 450cc class moto-win of the season, followed by a hard-fought second-place ride, for the KTM rider to claim second-overall.
The day was won by series leader Eli Tomac, who finished 2-1, the Kawasaki rider from Colorado equalling Musquin’s points but earning the overall win courtesy of the count-back rule.
New Zealand’s Cody Cooper (Honda) finished eighth and 10th in the two 450cc class motos, good enough for ninth overall on the day. The man from Mount Maunganui has now moved up from 11th to 10th overall in the championship standings.
Held in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, the High Point venue served as the series’ first stop on the eastern half of the US, bringing some of the warmest temperatures and humidity of the season, combined with rough and rutty track conditions. It was a challenging day all-around but Musquin and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team rose to the challenge as they continue to battle for the 450MX Championship in 2018.
In 450MX Moto 1, Musquin placed his bike into second off the start and he battled early on with Yamaha’s Justin Barcia. Side-by-side through the corner, Musquin was forced off the track and through the banners, dropping him back to third place briefly.
He quickly regrouped and responded with the fastest lap time of the race as he reclaimed second-place indefinitely on lap five. Musquin kept his momentum rolling and charged his way up to the leader, Tomac. After a quick battle, Musquin overtook the lead on lap 12 and never looked back, claiming his first moto-win of the season in Pennsylvania.
In moto two, Musquin once again put himself into a favourable position off the start where he sat patiently in third early on before powering his way up to second on lap five. From there, Musquin put forth another impressive charge to close the gap on Tomac’s lead and he applied great pressure heading into the final laps.
As the clock ran down from 30 minutes of racing, Musquin increased his intensity with several attempts for the lead. The two riders came into the final lap bar-to-bar for the overall victory and despite a hard-fought effort, Musquin wasn’t able to make a pass that would stick as he finished a close second in moto two.
“The first moto I was really comfortable behind Eli and I was relaxed but in the second moto I could tell Eli picked better lines, had a better rhythm and he was on it,” said Musquin.
“It was really hard to duplicate the first moto, that’s all. That was my goal but unfortunately, I came up short. Obviously in the first moto I had better lines and I was able to capitalize on that, but not second moto. I gave my best, I fought really hard and the crowd was going crazy all around the track and that’s what we want, we want a battle like that. I’m really proud of the effort I gave today. I’m happy to win first moto – unfortunately I got second overall – but it was a great result and I showed good speed today.”
The next event for the series is the Muddy Creek National, Blountville, Tennessee on June 23.
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450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-1)
2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (1-2)
3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (3-5)
4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (7-3)
5. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Suzuki (4-6)
6. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (9-4)
7. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (5-7)
8. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (6-8)
9. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Honda (8-10)
10. Kyle Cunningham, Alvord, Texas, Suzuki (10-12)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 197 Points
2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 169 Points
3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 140 Points
4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 131 Points
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 130 Points
6. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki – 118 Points
7. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM – 101 Points
8. Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Husqvarna – 92 Points
9. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 73 Points
10. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Honda – 69 Points
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (1-1)
2. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (4-2)
3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (3-4)
4. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (8-3)
5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (7-7)
6. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (9-6)
7. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM (5-10)
8. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM (12-5)
9. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha (11-8)
10. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (2-33)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 171 Points
2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 151 Points
3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM – 141 Points
4. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 136 Points
5. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 115 Points
6. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 105 Points
7. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 104 Points
8. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda – 100 Points
9. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 91 Points
10. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 87 Points