Red Bull KTM factory rider Marvin Musquin was in a class of his own at the Glen Helen Raceway in the USA on Sunday sweeping two impressive wins to take the victory in the MX2 GP in the heartland of the sport of motocross and soar further ahead in the championship standings.
Musquin, who came from nowhere at the beginning of 2009 to finish the season with the world title in his pocket won the qualifying race on Saturday, took both holeshots and won both motos in a display of riding that belied the difficult conditions – hot and windy weather and a very difficult track.
Marvin Musquin says: "It’s great to come to the USA," the 20-year-old Frenchman said. "I was in the lead in both races, I was able to stay focused on the lines and on my style, I was fast and smooth and I was able to prove that my KTM bike was very strong on the start."
Adding to the unique and special nature of the US race, Musquin came away not only with the coveted Red Plate as the championship leader but also with a guitar instead of the usual silverware.
Marvin came out of the gate like a rocket in the first moto, took the holeshot, mastered the tricky first corner and settled down to build himself a nice lead, which he then carried all the way to the chequered flag.
Then just to show those who had not seen him ride before that it was no coincidence, he put in another almost flawless performance in the second moto, which was ultimately red flagged with 10 minutes left of race time after a bridge on the track blew over in the high winds.
It was a perfect introduction to the USA for Musquin who has already signed to ride in the US competition for KTM in 2011 and 2012. He now leads the championship from Germany’s Ken Roczen by 40 points.
Red Bull KTM teammate Shaun Simpson also had two excellent starts and stayed with the front runners for the first half of both races.
He finished ninth in the first race and was third across the line in the second, garnering 32 championship points for fifth overall in the GP.
While Shaun was pleased to get the points he did admit that it had been tough adjusting to the extremely hot weather. "It was very different riding here," Simpson said.
Shaun Simpson says: "The weather was hot, the track was very fast and the long rips in the start straight made it difficult to get a good start. I felt tired after the first 15 minutes in the first moto but the second was better and I had a better rhythm."
It was not a happy weekend for Jeffrey Herlings, the young 15-year-old Dutch rider and the third member of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team.
He twice got tangled with other riders in the early stages of the motos and had to fight his way back into the action from the back of the pack.
While it was understandably disappointing for Jeffrey who has already had a GP victory in his first season and is up with the leaders in the standings, he could still take something positive away from the experience.
Jeffrey Herlings says: "There was a big difference in the track and it was very fast compared to the ones in Europe. It didn’t bring me any luck but it was still pretty cool," he said.
Herlings was able to add 13 points to his championship tally and is still fourth in the championship standings, putting all three Red Bull KTM factory races in the top six.
KTM also has a 60-point lead in the Manufacturers standings.
1. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 25-25-50
2. Zach Osborne, USA, Yamaha, 18-22-40
3. Steven Frossard, France, Kawasaki, 22-18-40
4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 20-16-36
5. Shaun Simpson, Britain, KTM, 112-20-32
7. Jake Nichols, Britain, KTM, 11-14-25
9. Dennis Verbruggen, Belgium, KTM 7-15-22
11. Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM, 8-8-16
14. Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, 13-0–13
MX2 Standings after 6 of 15 rounds
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM 268 points
2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 228
3. Steven Frossard, France, Kawasaki, 205
4. Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, 197
5. Shaun Simpson, Britain, 170
9. Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM, 134
10. Jake Nichols, Britain, KTM 129
12. Dennis Verbruggen, Belgium, KTM 101