NEW BERLIN, N.Y. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin scored a significant overall victory on Saturday amid a muddy and unpredictable afternoon of racing at the Unadilla National in New Berlin, New York. Coming into Round 10 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Musquin sat only 15 points away from the lead and after scoring 2-1 moto finishes – an exact mirror of his championship competitor – Musquin will continue to take the battle down to the wire for the final two rounds of the championship.

Musquin was joined on Saturday by teammate Kailub Russell, who is slated to fill-in for the U.S. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team for the last three rounds of the series before returning to his native Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series in September. In his first-ever 450MX appearance, the five-time GNCC Champion showcased his versatility with a sixth-place finish in Moto 1 and a solid top-five start in Moto 2 before experiencing some bad luck later in the race.

450MX

In Moto 1, Musquin got off to a great start aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION as he battled for a top spot early on. Making smart passes, Musquin was able to take over the lead before the end of lap one and he maintained a solid pace out front for the first six laps. With steady rainfall and plenty of mud on the track, Musquin encountered an issue with his goggles at the halfway point, which allowed Eli Tomac to get by for the lead. Musquin pulled into the mechanic’s area to quickly swap out a clean pair of goggles and from there he carefully maintained his second-place position to earn valuable points in the championship.

Meanwhile, Russell, who qualified 12th earlier in the day, made good use of his offroad racing skills as he put his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into sixth place off the muddy start. He rode steady in the early laps to put himself into a top-five position after five laps, and he continued to climb as high as third-place by lap eight. With a couple of small crashes late in the race, Russell lost a few positions to ultimately finish sixth in his first-career 450MX race.

In Moto 2, Musquin shot off the line to capture the holeshot but he settled into second on the opening lap as he waited patiently for the opportunity to make his move. On lap two, Musquin pulled the trigger and powered his way into the lead. From there, he never looked back as he muscled his way to a Moto 2 win and the overall victory for the day.

Musquin: “That second moto was just awesome, it was perfect. And I had fun! I didn’t know the time [behind me] so I just kept on pushing. Unfortunately, Eli [Tomac] got me in the first moto but the second moto was just awesome. The championship is the same as before the weekend so I will go into the last two rounds focused on winning races so I can hopefully make a dent in that lead.”

 Russell got off to a great fourth-place start in Moto 2 and he immediately began mixing it up with the front-runners early on. While running inside the top five, Russell unfortunately got caught up in the tail end of another rider’s crash ahead of him. The impact of the crash ended up breaking Russell’s rear brake pedal and sent him straight to the ground. Despite not having use of the rear brake, Russell re-mounted and charged ahead in the tenth-place position. However, that’s when misfortune struck again as he experienced a high-speed crash that sent him wailing to the ground and ultimately resulted in a banged-up elbow. From there, Russell and his team made the tough decision to call it a day, leaving him with a 30th place finish in Moto 2. Russell was able to salvage 13th overall in his first-ever AMA Pro Motocross National with combined moto scores of 6-30.

 Russell: “The day started off really good, I qualified 12th in practice and in the first moto I got off to somewhat of a decent start but I had a lot of trouble keeping my goggles clean the first few laps and there was chaos everywhere. I made a bunch of good passes, I really kind of surprised myself and got up just outside the top five. I actually worked my way into third and was running there for a while but I had a little crash coming out of Gravity Cavity – I had to throw my goggles off and my gloves got all muddy so I struggled to hold onto the bars for the last ten minutes. I had one more tip-over but I rode it in the first moto to a sixth. In the second moto, I got off to a really good start. [Justin] Barcia got around me and then I think he got a little out of control and ended up looping his bike in front of me, which ended up hitting me, broke my brake pedal and I crashed and went down. I got going in tenth and just tried to feel the track out without the rear brake, which was tough today because it was so sloppy and you needed to rely on the brakes in some of the turns. I was riding really well but ended up having a pretty good crash and the bike tackled me and banged my elbow up – it hurt pretty good. Overall, I was really happy to be here and really pleased with my qualifying results and my first moto, but I’m just bummed with all the chaos that unfolded in the second one.”

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM’s Blake Baggett had a consistent pair of 5-6 finishes to earn fifth overall in the adverse conditions. His teammate, Benny Bloss, finished just off the podium with fourth in Moto 1 and followed it up with tenth in Moto 2 to claim sixth-overall for the day.

 Next Race: Budds Creek National, Mechanicsville, Maryland – August 18, 2018

450MX Results

  1. Marvin Musquin, KTM, (2-1)
  2. Eli Tomac, KAW, (1-2)
  3. Phil Nicoletti, HQV, (3-5)
  4. Justin Barcia, YAM, (8-3)
  5. Blake Baggett, KTM, (5-6) 
  6. Benny Bloss, KTM, (4-10)

OTHER KTM

  1. Kailub Russell, KTM, (6-30)
  2. Chris Canning, KTM, (18-15)
  3. Gared Steinke, KTM, (33-16)

250MX Results

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, YAM, (1-1)
  2. Aaron Plessinger, YAM, (2-2)
  3. Mitchell Harrison, HQV, (4-4)

OTHER KTM

  1. Shane McElrath, KTM, (3-14)
  2. Alex Martin, KTM, (10-7)
  3. Jordon Smith, KTM, (11-12)
  4. Dakota Alix, KTM, (17-19)
  5. Sean Cantrell, KTM, (19-20)

450MX Standings

  1. Eli Tomac, 448 points
  2. Marvin Musquin, 433 
  3. Justin Barcia, 363
  4. Ken Roczen, 358
  5. Blake Baggett, 332

OTHER KTM

  1. Benny Bloss, 253 

250MX Standings

  1. Aaron Plessinger, 415 points
  2. Alex Martin, 337
  3. Justin Cooper, 291
    4. Shane McElrath, 278

OTHER KTM

  1. Jordon Smith, 244
  2. Sean Cantrell, 106