MOTOCROSSTIME - NEWS FROM RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING
LAS VEGAS– It was a bittersweet ending to the 2018 AMA Supercross Championship for Marvin Musquin and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, who concluded the 17-round series only nine points shy of the 450SX Championship title. Musquin piloted his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to a hard-fought second-place finish at the Las Vegas finale on Saturday where he enjoyed his seventh-straight podium appearance in front of a packed crowd at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Despite an early-season shoulder injury that forced him to make the tough decision to sit out of the Main Event in Houston, Musquin rallied back with consistent podium finishes to put himself within the mathematical striking distance of the 450SX Championship coming into the final round. Musquin, the fastest 450 qualifiers, secured a commanding heat race victory after grabbing the holeshot and leading all seven laps. He carried that momentum into the 450SX Main Event as he got off to another great start aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. Musquin tucked in behind Eli Tomac on the opening lap and the duo put on a great battle for the lead position. Despite a great effort, Musquin eventually lost the opportunity to make a pass for the lead where he rode to the checkers to earn a hard-fought second-place finish in Las Vegas.
Musquin: “I knew it was going to be a tough Main Event. It’s Vegas, it’s hard and slippery. My start in the Main Event was awesome but Eli was a little bit better and we were first and second right away. My goal was to keep charging and keep pushing. We both made mistakes and we pushed hard. I made a mistake with the lappers in the rhythm before the finish and definitely lost the connect with Eli and after that, the gap stayed the same. I gave my best, and on a track like that, I improved so much from last year and I’m really proud of it.”
Musquin was joined on the podium by Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM’s Blake Baggett, who rode a steady race in the third-place position. Baggett concludes an impressive 2018 season with fourth overall in the 450SX Championship Standings. His teammate, Benny Bloss, earned his best finish of the season with sixth-place in the Main Event.
250SX E/W Showdown
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordon Smith came into the final round only 15-points down from the 250SX East Championship title. With both championships up for grabs, the 250SX E/W Showdown proved to be an exciting finale as the top riders from each division were lined up together inside Sam Boyd Stadium. It was Smith’s Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Shane McElrath who assumed the early lead in the combined Main Event where he led the first seven laps of racing. The top-five swapped positions many times throughout the 16-lap Main Event and soon Jordon Smith found himself in a three-way battle with McElrath and another rider for the second. Smith eventually made a pass on McElrath with three laps to go and he held strong to finish second, while McElrath rounded out the podium in third.
That concludes the 2018 AMA Supercross Championship. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team will take a weekend off before heading to the opening round of the 2018 Pro Motocross Championship in Sacramento, California on Saturday, May 19.
Source: KTM – Photo: Simon Cudby