After a number of successful seasons aboard a 250, many expected Red Bull/KTM’s Marvin Musquin to be up towards the front of the pack battling for top five finishes and even race wins. That hasn’t been the case, though, for the number 25. Musquin has struggled to find himself in the premier class, but that’ll soon change, as he showed huge signs of improvement at only the second round. Keep an eye on Musquin throughout the next few races because he’s looking to shake things up a bit.
Photos | Casey Davis @air_d617
By now, you have two rounds in the premier class under your belt. How are you feeling about them?
So far I’ve had a lot of progression. Having that surgery on my hand was tough to get through, and it made it hard to get comfortable on the bike again – especially on a new bike. There’s been a lot of things that have changed for me this year, but overall I’m happy with the last few weeks. A1 was tough, but we changed a lot of things on the bike that made me feel better. We just want to keep improving and keep moving in the right direction. I’m having a lot of fun on the bike, and to me that’s important. That’s exactly what I need right now, and that’s something I’ve always needed. Before A1, it was a little tough.
Was the transition to the bigger bike a challenge for you at all?
Yeah, a little bit. That’s a bike with a lot of power, especially the KTM’s. However, we made some changes to my liking and I’m really happy with the way the team has worked with me. We just have to keep improving. We are racing every weekend and we’re learning something new at each round. Riding at a practice track that you ride at every day is one thing and riding at the race track is a completely different situation. The track can be a little rough and just different overall.
You mentioned leading up to Anaheim One things were a little tough. Was the opening round a learning curve for you?
Yeah, I found myself fighting out there more than having fun on the bike. To be honest, yeah, it was a little bit hard to have fun and to build confidence, but from A1 I’ve got a little better since then. Like I said, though, we changed the bike heading into San Diego which made things so much more fun for me. We are just going to keep heading in this direction.
You’re obviously on the 450, but did you ever consider riding the 350 since you’ve already spent some time on that bike?
Yeah, for sure. Like you said, since I had spent some time on the 350 I did consider it, but I started riding the 450 before the USGP and I got used to it, so I decided to stay on the 450 mainly for the starts. Being underpowered on the start is pretty tough.
Do you have any specific expectations for yourself this weekend? Maybe improving on your starts or something like that?
Yeah, definitely. The goal is to get better and better. Being in 15th on the first lap in San Diego wasn’t what I was looking for. You have to look at the positive, though. Now what I’m looking for is a good start and even battling for a podium position.
Would you say that starts are your biggest issue right now?
Yes and no. In the semi final at SD, I got the holeshot. No, the fast guys weren’t there because they had already transferred to the main through the heat races, but I am capable of those good starts because we do a lot of those during the week. For whatever reason, though, racing has been a different story for me, but I’m working on changing that.