Courtesy of KTM Racing
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. – Round 5 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship took place on Saturday in Blountville, Tennessee for a hot, humid and rough day of racing at the Muddy Creek National. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin bounced back from a tough start to claim the Moto 2 victory and third overall in the 450MX class.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath proved that consistency is key in rough conditions as he claimed a solid pair of podium finishes on the way to earning his first-career 250MX overall win in front of a hometown crowd in the southeast.
Musquin began the day on a positive note, qualifying second overall in the 450MX division. In Moto 1, he got a good jump off the line aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION but he clipped the rear wheel of another rider a few turns into the race and went down in the corner. Musquin remounted and began his charge from just outside the top 20 on the opening lap to ultimately finish fifth in the moto.
In Moto 2, Musquin got off to a clean third place start, where he sat just behind the lead battle on the opening lap. He quickly put himself into second place on lap two and from there he pressured the leader, Justin Barcia, out front. Musquin made an impressive pass to take over the lead on lap three and he never looked back, claiming his second moto win of the season. With a combined moto score of 5-1, Musquin earned third overall for the day.
Musquin: “It was a big bummer to go down in the first lap of Moto 1. I clipped someone’s rear wheel and couldn’t avoid it and crashed – it’s frustrating. I’ve been feeling really good, training really hard and working really hard with the team and it’s been paying off. I fight hard in the second moto and I knew that all I needed to do is get a good start, fight for it and not go down, so that’s what I did and I was able to control the race until the end. [It’s] one more moto win, still not what I want but that’s all I had today. I’m really happy, it’s not too bad for the championship even if we lose some points, it’s still a podium and we keep on working hard.”
KTM-supported Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – KTM’s Blake Baggett maintained a solid pair of finishes to earn fifth overall in the 450MX class, while his teammate, Benny Bloss, rode to another top-ten finish with ninth overall for the day.
In Moto 1, it was Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Alex Martin who shot off the line for the early lead. He continued to battle for the lead until the midway point when a crash took him out of contention and he battled his way up to finish 12th. Meanwhile, McElrath had worked his way into a podium position and rode strong to maintain a third-place finish in the first moto.
In Moto 2, McElrath started just inside the top-ten and worked his way into a top-five position just after the halfway point. He held strong in the final moments of the race to take over second on the final lap, giving him a consistent 3-2 moto score en route to his first-career overall in the 250MX class.
McElrath: “I don’t know what to say, that was my best ride ever. It was nice to start out with a podium this morning and keep it going. We’ve been working so hard to get the bike dialed in and it’s crazy the difference it makes when everything is working well.”
Unfortunately for Martin, the race didn’t end as well as it began. He shot off the line in Moto 2 to capture the holeshot aboard his KTM 250 SX-F and he maintained the lead for the first 16 laps of the race. However, Martin experienced a crash just after the two-lap card came out and despite a quick remount, he ultimately lost two positions to finish third in Moto 2 and fourth overall for the day with 12-3 finishes. His teammate, Jordon Smith, rounded out the top-five overall with 7-6 moto scores.
Next Race:Southwick National, Southwick, Mass. – June 30, 2018
1. Eli Tomac, KAW, (1-3)
2. Justin Barcia, YAM, (2-2)
3. Marvin Musquin, KTM, (5-1)
5. Blake Baggett, KTM, (4-5)
9. Benny Bloss, KTM, (9-8)
18. Cade Autenrieth, KTM, (21-14)
1. Shane McElrath, KTM, (3-2)
2. Dylan Ferrandis, YAM, (11-1)
3. Chase Sexton, HON, (8-4)
4.Alex Martin, KTM, (12-3)
5. Jordon Smith, KTM, (7-6)
19. Sean Cantrell, KTM, (18-16)
1. Eli Tomac, 242 points
2. Marvin Musquin, 210
3. Justin Barcia, 184
4. Ken Roczen, 169
5. Blake Baggett, 164
7. Benny Bloss, 126
17. Cade Autenrieth, 42
1. Aaron Plessinger, 199 points
2. Jeremy Martin, 176
3. Alex Martin, 170
6. Shane McElrath, 133
7. Jordon Smith, 133
15. Sean Cantrell, 61