PR- GLENDALE, Ariz. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team’s Marvin Musquin continued to battle back from an early season shoulder injury on Saturday night as he earned a top-five finish at Round 4 of the AMA Supercross Championship in Glendale, Arizona. Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing Team’s Shane McElrath maintained a consistent performance in the 250SX West division as he produced his third podium finish of the season with 2nd place.
Musquin, still rehabbing a shoulder injury sustained at Round 2, had a slow start to his race day with a 6th place finish in 450SX Heat #1. Despite a bad start in the heat race, Musquin’s steady performance gave him a transfer position into the Main Event.
In the 450SX Main Event, Musquin got off to a top-ten start early on the opening lap but he quickly charged his way up to the 5th place battle, where he engaged through the first half of the race. Musquin eventually made his way up to 4th just after the halfway point but the French rider was ultimately passed by a hard-charging Jason Anderson late in the race.
Still finishing strong despite his setbacks, Musquin maintained his top-five position throughout the 20-lap Main Event to ultimately finish 5th aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION.
Musquin: “Given the last few weeks and all the rehab work I’ve put in to strengthen my shoulder, I’m happy with 5th place tonight. I was able to get a reasonable start around 8th and just tried to put in solid laps until the end. I’m happy to make good gains this week and I look forward to building from here.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team’s Broc Tickle set himself up in a favorable position during the 450SX Heat #2 as he qualified 5th place into the Main Event aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. However, as the gate dropped for the Main Event, Tickle didn’t get the best jump and he was forced to the back of the pack where he came around the opening lap in 18th place.
Tickle immediately put his head down and began picking off riders where he ultimately finished 12th overall after 20 laps of racing.
Tickle: “Overall it was a positive end to the night in the Main Event. I think riding-wise I gained some confidence and felt a lot more comfortable on the bike, so I’m really happy with that. I need to work on my starts but from there I’m feeling really good on the bike. I think we can tweak a couple more things here and there to be better in other places but overall I’m happy with the progress on the bike.”
McElrath came into Round 4 tied with Joey Savatgy for the 250SX West points lead and he handled the pressure just fine as he began the night with a convincing heat race win.
In the 250SX West Main Event, McElrath got off to a great start aboard his KTM 250 SX-F as he charged the opening lap in the 2nd place position. McElrath wasted no time putting himself into the lead position with a swift pass on Joey Savatgy for the 1st place position. From there, McElrath battled with Aaron Plessinger for the lead spot – with Plessinger overtaking the position just before the halfway point.
McElrath finished out strong in the 17-lap Main Event, ultimately finishing 2nd place behind Plessinger. After four rounds, McElrath sits only one point behind Plessinger for 2nd place in the 250SX West Championship Standings.
McElrath: “I was going as fast as I could, the track was slippery and the lappers were bad out there. Aaron was just going really fast – he was pulling me each lap and I couldn’t do anything. But it’s fun battling with these guys, this is what we do. We’re moving on, looking ahead and ready to take on Oakland.”
His teammate, Alex Martin, sustained a small fracture to his right clavicle at the opening round in Anaheim and therefore didn’t line up for Round 4.
Next Race: Oakland, Calif. – February 3, 2018
Main Event Results 450SX Class Glendale 2018
1. Eli Tomac, Kawasaki
2. Justin Barcia, Yamaha
3. Ken Roczen, Honda
4. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
5. Marvin Musquin, KTM
9. Blake Baggett, KTM
11. Broc Tickle, KTM
20. Benny Bloss, KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2018 after 4 of 17 rounds
1. Anderson, 89 points
2. Barcia, 80
3. Roczen, 77
4. Peick, 71
5. Seely, 70
8. Baggett, 57
9. Musquin, 54
12. Tickle, 49
Main Event Results 250SX West Class Glendale 2018
1. Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha
2. Shane McElrath, KTM
3. Adam Cianciarulo, Kawasaki
4. Joey Savatgy, Kawasaki
5. Chase Sexton, Honda
16. Killian Auberson, KTM
Standings 250SX West Class 2018 after 4 of 17 rounds
1. Plessinger, 92 points
2. McElrath, 91
3. Savatgy, 87
4. Cianciarulo, 77
5. Craig, 70
15. Alix, 26
27. Martin, 2
Pic: Rich Shepherd