It was a positive start to the 2017 AMA Pro Motocross Championship for Marvin Musquin and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team as they captured 2nd overall with a hard-fought performance at the Hangtown Motocross Classic season opener. After only one weekend off from the AMA Supercross Championship, the team got back to racing on Saturday – but this time outdoors – in Sacramento, California.
Following the announcement of Ryan Dungey’s retirement from professional racing earlier this week, Marvin Musquin stepped into the lead role on the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team for the 2017 outdoor championship. Musquin responded positively by grabbing the top qualifying position in session one, followed by 3rd overall for the combined qualifying rounds.
In 450 Class Moto 1, Musquin continued his momentum with a favorable start aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, jumping into the 2nd place position on the opening lap. It didn’t take long for Musquin to make his way into the lead and he maintained that position for the next two laps.
Eli Tomac took over the lead on lap four and Musquin persisted in the 2nd place position for the remainder of the 16-lap race.
“I’m not really happy with 2nd place in Moto 1,” Musquin commented. “I was always searching for lines and the track got really rough compared to what we saw in practice. I tried my best but there were a lot of ruts and I had trouble finding my lines. I was happy to get a good start, I think that will be key to having a good race in the next moto.”
In 450 Class Moto 2, Musquin got a great jump off the start but he was edged out just before the first turn to assume the 2nd place position on lap one. Musquin followed closely behind Josh Grant for the first seven laps of the race before he finally made his move into the lead. Musquinheld a solid lead for the next three laps until Tomac showed his front wheel for what would begin an exciting battle for the lead.
Musquin and Tomac battled back-and-forth for the lead in the final laps of the race but it was Tomac who finally made a pass stick as he took over just before the two-lap card came out. Despite an incredible charge by Musquin, it wasn’t enough to take the first place position in moto two, where he finished 2-2 for 2nd overall on the day.
Musquin: “I’m really happy to leave Hangtown 2nd overall and with good starts. I really want to thank the Red Bull KTM Team, they have put in a lot of work for me right now, and with Ryan retiring, but he is right there for me if I need so I appreciate that, thanks Ryan. I’m happy to start the season like that. Today it was hot but we fought through it. Eli was strong – there was nothing I could do. I’m missing a little bit of speed at the end but we tried to be consistent the whole moto and 2nd overall today, battling with Eli, it’s a good thing.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team’s Trey Canard missed the opening round due to a collarbone injury sustained in a practice crash before the season. Canard will miss at least Round 2 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship as well.
TLD Red Bull KTM’s Alex Martin put together a solid performance in Hangtown. Finishing fourth in both 250 class motos, Martin kicked off his 2017 AMA Motocross campaign with a strong runner-up overall result in the 250cc class. His teammate Mitch Oldenburg wrapped up the opening round of the series with ninth overall in the class.