Fast forward to 2012. The excitement and splendor that once belonged to Musquin now largely surrounded another hot young prospect from Europe in the form of Ken Roczen, the latest MX2 World Champ. Also dulling Musquin’s luster was the fact that shortly before the beginning of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, he had once again broken the very same bone in his hand that he had nearly a year before in Texas. The injury was reflected in his results. While top fives are great, he wasn’t anywhere near the lead pack of Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia, Eli Tomac and Roczen.
Musquin lead early in the first moto at Washougal, but had to settle for fourth overall on the day. Carl Stone photo
At Washougal, Musquin turned things around in a big way. He was the fastest qualifier, he led the first moto for eleven of sixteen laps and finished third. In the second moto, he worked his way into third and held the position for eight laps despite heavy pressure from Tomac, who eventually made the pass. Musquin’s 3-4 finishes earned him fourth overall. No, it’s not a win or a podium finish (although on a different day, those same scores could have easily earned a better overall), but he did get in there and mix it up with the 250 fliers for an extended period of time. He also finished in front of his teammate (Ken Roczen) in both motos. It’s a huge step in the right direction for the friendly Frenchman, and it makes you wonder if he’s ready to start bringing that same level of speed to the races every weekend. If so, it won’t be long before Musquin finally starts producing the kind of results that he was capable of before getting hurt at the beginning of the 2011 season.