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5 Minutes with...Marvin Musquin

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MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin could not have made a more concrete statement regarding his title defense. He currently boasts a perfect 100-point score, has won races under pressure, led from the front, and initiated last-lap attacks—all in the last ten days. The 20-year-old Frenchman also found time to sign a new deal with KTM to spearhead its factory renaissance in the U.S. for 2011 and ’12 in AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross.

  • Marvin Musquin is 4-for-4 so far in 2010.
Racer X: Marvin, you always said that succeeding in the AMA was one of your goals. How do you feel with the new deal and finally going to America?
Marvin Musquin: I feel great! I am really happy with the team in Europe and Pit Beirer [KTM’s off-road sport director] wants to have a similar project in the U.S. [with the] same trucks, same setups and staff. He is pushing so hard for that and wants to be on top in America.

When will you go and where will you live?
I'm not sure exactly when we will leave, but I want to live in California, close to where the team will be based. Again, the exact location is still not decided. I will be racing the West Coast Lites in 2011, so of course I want to live somewhere practical.

Will you go out to America before the GP?
For sure, before the U.S. GP, we will go earlier. I think we will watch the National at Hangtown.

Watch or race?
Just to watch, I think, and then do some riding before Glen Helen.

If KTM provided the support, would you enter Hangtown?
It is not in the plan. If it was later in the year … maybe we can still do another round.

Christophe Pourcel is the top French rider in the AMA at the moment. Are you friendly with him? Do you talk or take any advice?
I know him a little bit, and I rode with him in the 85cc and 125cc series in France. I don’t speak with him, but I like him. He is different to other riders—very relaxed and easy. I hope he will be at Glen Helen or the MX of Nations, because it would be good to talk. If he stays on the East Coast [Pourcel lives in Florida], then it will be difficult to be good friends.
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Some very successful riders from the world championship have gone to the U.S. and have only done okay or have yet to make their marks. Are you a little worried about how you will get on?
It is a big challenge and a dream for me to race there. Ben Townley won a championship, even though I see people like Tyla [Rattray] and Tommy [Searle] have struggled a little bit. I hope I can be on the podium when I go. I have a really good KTM bike, with a new frame, new link, new plastics [laughs]…. It is the perfect bike for me, and I am sure for SX it will be very strong.

How does the KTM feel, compared to a Japanese bike?
I think the engine is really strong. The frame is a big step for KTM and makes riding the 250 much easier; it is more agile. I am not sure about the Japanese bikes now, but I am really focused on the KTM.

  • Marvin has six double-moto sweeps in eleven GPs with Red Bull KTM.
You have won six double-moto sweeps in eleven GPs with KTM. That is a fantastic record.
For sure! With this bike, I can usually take the holeshot or be in the top three at every start. It is a big step for me to be with KTM and this kind of machinery. Last year, after the mess with Honda, Pit Beirer was there for me and gave me a lot of support. I was able to win the world championship with him and the team, and I feel very confident with all the people around me.

KTM had some problems in the past with their priorities for the U.S….
Pit has been working on the new team every day, and I believe in their vision for the workshop, team trucks, and whole setup. I am sure it will be bigger for 2011. The bike will be prepared in Austria.

What about continuing the great French tradition in America, laid down by the likes of Bayle, Pichon, Vuillemin, and Pourcel?
I am really happy to be given the chance to try and follow those guys, and also to be the first to try and be champion with KTM. I have seen videos with Bayle, so I know all about the French history with AMA Supercross.

What about the second year of your deal? You are already very quick on the 250. Can you be equally fast on the 450?
Don’t you mean the 350 [laughs]? I think this is a very good bike for supercross. We will see what we can do in 2011 and then decide for 2012. I haven’t tried the 350 yet, but I would like to!

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