Red Bull/KTM Factory team rider Marvin Musquin earned his first career U.S. AMA Pro Motocross podium finish at the eleventh round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series at Steel City Raceway.
Musquin felt good from the start of the day at Steel City. Despite dealing with the hot temperatures and high humidity levels Musquin turned the 2nd fastest lap in timed qualifying to earn a great gate pick for the main event. At the gate drop of moto one he came around the first corner in 7th position. He quickly climbed to 6th place by the end of the first lap. Once in 6th, he set his sights on the 5th place ride of Tyla Rattray. He spent the next few laps closing in on Rattray and began to set up for the pass. Once around Rattray he pulled forward farther and began to catch Ryan Sipes. One lap later he had moved into 4th position and began to move toward a podium finish. With a few laps remaining he managed to catch and pass Justin Bogle to move into 3rd place. He finished the moto strong and held on to earn his first career podium.
“I was very happy with my first moto finish but I know that it could have been closer if I had a better start. We looked at a few lines and prepared for moto two with a new starting strategy,” commented Musquin.
His strategic thinking paid off as he got the jump off the line in moto two and took the holeshot around the first corner. He was passed by Dean Wilson and Eli Tomac in the second corner but remained in 3rd position. He continued to hold that place throughout the remainder of the moto to double his first moto finish with another repeat podium spot. His 3-3 moto results earned him 3rd overall for the day marking his first U.S. career podium.
“It feels so good to finally get on the podium. It has been a tough year with two injuries and to be back up here fighting in the top three is exactly what I have been working toward. I also like the Pala track so I hope to repeat a podium there,” stated Musquin after the event.
In the 450 Motocross class, Musquin’s teammate, Mike Alessi, made the best out of a track he was not entirely excited about. “I just don’t like the track today. I can’t get comfortable on it and I struggled a bit in practice,” stated Alessi.
In moto one, Alessi rounded the first corner around 10th place. He came up to 9th early on and then moved up to 8th shortly after. He spent the remainder of the moto closing on the 7th place ride of Justin Brayton. Once he got within two seconds of him, he made a mistake and ran off the track. Alessi lost 10 seconds from the error but didn’t lose a position. He was unable to make the time back on Brayton and settled for an 8th place finish.
In moto two, Alessi received a much better start rounding the first corner in 3rd place. He dropped to 5th after the first two laps but remained close to the 4th place ride of Brett Metcalfe for the majority of the moto. He was able to put a gap on the 6th place rider and finish with a comfortable cushion in 5th place when the checkered flag flew. His 8-5 moto scores earned him 6th overall for the day.
“I definitely struggled here today but considering how I felt on the track I am satisfied with my results. I am really looking forward to the final round and hope to get on the podium heading to Pala, stated Alessi.