Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin grabbed his second 450MX overall win of the season this past weekend at round 7 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at the Redbud National in Buchanan, Michigan. The KTM rider began his day by posting the third-fastest qualifying time, but was involved in a first-turn pileup in moto 1. He remounted in the back of the pack and worked his way up to second by the time the checkered flag flew. In moto 2, he was fourth at the start and immediately went to battle as he overtook the lead before the end of the first lap and went on to win the moto and take over the series point lead.
“I can't believe I came back to second place in the first moto,” Musquin said. “It was a crazy race, so having a shot of winning the overall after that was great. I was looking forward to the second moto. I got a great start and was able to get into the lead. My goal was to stay consistent and mistake-free. I was able to stay on two wheels and keep Kenny [Roczen] and [Justin] Barcia behind me. It’s crazy to be leading the championship now. Anything can happen. It’s only another race, and there’s a lot to go. The fans were unbelievable here. I really enjoyed it. Having the second win in a row is amazing.”
Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen rounded the first lap of moto 1 in fifth and continued his charge forward moving to second on lap four. It looked as though Roczen would ride to a solid runner-up finish, but with three laps remaining, a mechanical issue for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac allowed the German rider to move into the front spot, taking his first victory since suffering two serious injuries over the past couple of seasons. When the gate dropped on the day’s second race, Roczen was once again toward the front and led at times on the first lap. He settled into second, playing cat-and-mouse with the riders leading and trailing him for much of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race. He fought hard to maintain his pace but ultimately slipped to third by the checkered flag.
“It was a great weekend overall and this is my second podium this season, so it feels good,” Roczen said. “I kind of got lucky grabbing that moto win because a few of the good guys were in the back and Eli [Tomac] had that issue. Still, I’ll take the win because that’s racing. Either way, it felt so great to cross the finish line for that first win since everything that has happened. We had a bit of a dip down in the results the last couple weeks, but to be back on the podium is awesome. I had a mellow week and feel like I just came back this weekend even hungrier and was riding a lot better. We’ve really just been figuring out the bike more. We made a pretty drastic change this week to see which way we should go with things, and it really helped me out a lot. I’m excited for the rest of the season and looking forward to getting back out there in Millville.”
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia got a decent jump off the start in moto 1, but went down in the first turn and began from the back of the pack. He fought hard to climb his way from last into a top-10 position before the halfway point and continued to work his way through the pack to finish fourth. In moto 2, he made his way into third on the opening lap and maintained a steady pace in third for the first 30 minutes. As the two-lap card came out, Barcia upped the pace and overtook second place on the final lap. From there, he continued to charge after the leader and finished the race 3.9 seconds behind Musquin for second place.
“Today was a good day,” Barcia said. “The first moto was very difficult. I went down in the first corner and came from pretty much last to fourth. It was a solid ride, but I kind of felt like I needed to make some bike changes before the second moto, and we did that. The second moto, I kind of went forward and back a little but made a really strong charge on the last lap. I wish I could have put a charge on a little earlier in the second moto to try to get that first win, but I felt like I made some great progress with the bike today and I’m excited for a weekend off to regroup, do a little bit of testing, and get my bike comfortable. It’s getting a lot better each week [and] I’m really happy with that. I can’t wait for the next race!”
2018 450 Class Championship Point Standings