Musquin makes return to racing with a top five finish at Pro Motocross season-opener
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing press release:
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team returned to the paddock on Saturday to kick off the final half of the 2020 race season with Round 1 of the condensed nine-race AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the legendary Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. With two riders back on the 450MX roster, the team welcomed back Marvin Musquin for the first time in 2020 as he secured a top-five finish amidst a stacked field of riders. His teammate, Cooper Webb, worked through an ongoing back issue to finish seventh overall for the day.
Following a knee injury that ultimately led to surgery at the end of 2019, Musquin returned to racing for the first time since last year’s Pro Motocross finale in August. After easing his way through the ultra-muddy qualifying sessions, Musquin powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to what looked like a great jump off the line in Moto 1 but he got shuffled back in the first turn and started outside the top-10 on the opening lap. He diligently worked his way through the field and put on a late charge that brought him into the top-five with four laps to go. He continued to push into the final laps, where he caught up to Webb and the teammates went head-to-head all the way to the checkers with Musquin prevailing in fourth. In Moto 2, Musquin got off to a top-five start and he battled for the fourth spot early on. Just after the halfway point, he made his way back up to fourth but after going back-and-forth he ultimately finished fifth. With a consistent pair of 4-5 finishes, Musquin gathered solid championship points at the opening round.
Musquin: “It’s great to be back after almost a year since my last race at the Indiana National. I put in some good work and it gave me time to get ready, so I’m okay where I’m at. To be out there and to be competitive, that’s exactly what I wanted. When you’re not racing for a year like that actually, to be honest, I didn’t know where I was going to be but overall, I’m happy. I wish I would have hung on to get on the podium, but it’s my first race back and fourth overall, I’ll take it.”
Webb had a great start to the day as he topped the first qualifying session and secured second overall in the combined sessions. In Moto 1, he got off to a fourth-place start and he quickly put himself into second by lap two. He was soon joined by a hard-charging group of riders and after mixing it up with them, Webb ultimately fell back to fifth. In Moto 2, Webb got off to a seventh-place start and just as he began his charge through the field, he experienced an issue with his back and he was forced to spend the remainder of the moto in survival mode. He held tough to ultimately finish eighth in the race and seventh overall for the day.
Webb: “It was a very up-and-down day for me. Practice went well and I was feeling good heading into the motos but I was riding pretty tight so I just kind of lost my flow about halfway through the first moto. The second moto, I had a bad start and on about the fourth lap I landed really weird and jammed my back, so I’m not sure what’s going on but I was in a lot of pain for the rest of that race. I’ve been dealing with a pre-existing back issue from Dallas so I’m going to get it looked at this week so I can be ready to go next Saturday.”