Of course, the speed of the Europeans isn’t something that has ever been in question, and when qualifying ended at High Point, it seemed possible that the track would hold true to its reputation of producing new winners, as both Roczen and Musquin had taken turns setting the fastest times. Musquin’s hot lap was even faster than anyone in the 450 ranks.
It was not to be, however, as Eli Tomac was just too strong, and the Red Bull KTM riders weren’t able to translate their qualifying speed into wins at High Point. Roczen simply couldn’t match the leaders’ pace in the first moto, and he crashed while leading the second, which enabled a hard charging Tomac to catch and pass him for the win on the final lap. Musquin, who is no doubt still feeling the effects of a broken hand (the exact same break he suffered last year), went 6-4 for fifth on the day, and was never a factor at the front.
Marvin Musquin is still searching for his first career win in America. Simon Cudby photo
Both foreigners are no doubt finding that conquering is a difficult task, and given everything they have been forced to learn along the way, like new tracks, different qualifying formats and shorter motos, it’s probably a lot different than they expected as well. While the injured Musquin might not win a race this year, Roczen has already shown that he’s on the verge of victory, and it’s only a matter of time before he starts racking up wins here in America.