Red Bull KTM has collected two of three titles up for grabs this year in Monster Energy Supercross, with Marvin Musquin now joining Ryan Dungey with his 250SX East Championship. Did you know Musquin and Dungey are the same age? Did you know they train together with Aldon Baker? You did know they’re teammates and friends. Overall, one heck of a season for this duo. Marvin talked about finally getting a supercross title after the race.
Racer X: How good is this?
Marvin Musquin: It’s great! I’m on such a great team, Red Bull KTM. Bike was great. I had a great day, except that start in the heat. I was fine and I was going to turn inside, and then somebody came in the inside really hard and just hit me and I went down. I tried to be really safe and qualify for the main because anything can happen, even with a 20-point lead. Even with 24-point lead—you DNF the main event and then the guy in second place wins and it’s over. That’s racing and anything can happen, but obviously 20 points was quite a bit. I was feeling confident, and then you go down in the heat race, you’re like, really? But then I made it safe and got fourth. I was ready for the main. I started the main like I wanted to win. I got a great start. I was second right behind Justin [Bogle]. It was really cool to battle with Justin. We actually haven’t really battled together this year. It was a great race. He was riding good, but I knew I could do better things than him on the track. I was trying to be smooth, trying to read the track, find new lines. He pulled away a little bit because with the lappers, and made some mistakes in the whoops. Track was tough. And then I charged pretty hard and made some good passes, and then I passed him over there and then tried to be safe and win the main event. That was the best way to finish a year, for sure.
It looked like you were for a minute, “Do I race with him? Do I not race with him?”
For sure. You don’t want to take too much risk. But it’s racing. I think if you try to be too safe, that’s where you do the mistake and you go down. I was trying to be safe and to push at the same time. Really happy the way I rode and made it happen. It’s good to have six wins out of eight.
You’re in the 450 class next year, right?
Have you got your deal done?
No, not yet. We’ll see. [Note: Red Bull KTM literally announced Musquin’s 450 deal for 2016 a few hours later]. But I’m definitely really excited to finally move up to 450. I had a great season on the 250. That bike was really good. So I’m looking forward to outdoors now and then move up to 450.
The race next weekend in Vegas, how much do you try there, or do you save it for the outdoors?
Well, I just can’t wait to have the number [one] plate! That's going to be really cool. Just can’t wait to ride with the number one plate and do some cool whips at practice and really enjoy that race. Then we go for the battle during the main event. I think it’s going to be fun. I just think that Vegas is a really special track. It always gets really, really dry and hard, so we’ll have to adapt the bike to those conditions. Once again, here on the East Coast championship we got soft dirt and a lot of ruts, so it’s going to be a lot different in Vegas. So we’ll have to adapt and try our best. If I do good, I do good. If not, just be safe and move to the outdoors season.
As a rider growing up in France, is a supercross championship a dream? You got motocross titles over there, but what was it like to do this?
It’s the top of the top. Even if it’s the 250 class, it’s still the US championship. It was my dream before to get a world championship. I got a world champion and then I moved to the US and I came really close to winning the championship already two years ago. I had injuries, and for my third year racing supercross I made it happen. But with the team that I have and my trainer and the people behind me, that helped me a lot to become fit and to be fast on the track.
Did you always want to come here, or when you won that first world title, or that second one, did you start saying “Okay, what’s next on the list?” Or was this the goal all along from when you were like 10 years old?
It always used to be my goal. And then I got world champion, and then I talked to KTM the second year I got world champion, during the season. I talked to KTM. They wanted to have a good team in the US, and they asked me and I said yes. And then we moved to America like that! It happened so quick and that’s the way it is. I’m really happy to live in America now. It’s a great country. There are great people. I met great people and I’m having a good time. Try my best and try to do good as much as I can and we’ll see.
What does this say about being patient through these injuries? Both times you tore your ACL, you just said, “I’m out.” You didn’t try to race through it. A lot of guys don’t do that. Just talk about being patient and taking your time when you could have just tried to fight through the pain.
Well, I had big injuries, big ligaments on the knee, so it was pretty big. I had great people behind me in France, my surgeon. I think we made good choices, me and Mathilde, my wife. And then we came back and we tried our best, and last year it was really hard. I was not 100 percent ready, but I was actually capable of riding my bike and then I rode outdoors. And then tried to build and tried to get better and better, and here we are.