Webb: A tough day at the office

PALA, Calif. – Saturday kicked off the start to the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship taking place at Southern California’s popular Fox Raceway at Pala. The demanding two-moto format made for an intense opening round and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team came away with mixed results in both the 450 and 250 MX divisions. In the 450MX racing, teammates Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb were poised to be front-runners at Round 1 and both riders delivered positive moments throughout the day. For Musquin, qualifying was a highlight as he laid down the second fastest lap amongst a deeply stacked field of 450MX riders. In Moto 1, Musquin grabbed a seventh-place start and quickly found himself shuffled back in an early top-10 battle. He diced back-and-forth with some heavy hitters throughout the race, ultimately securing eighth in Moto 1. In Moto 2, Musquin once again found himself back in 10th off the start and he fought hard to make moves early on. Finding a rhythm later in the race, Musquin commanded a pair of hard-charging passes for seventh and he continued to battle in fast company for the remainder of the race. Finishing seventh in race two, Musquin secured seventh overall at the opening round. 

Musquin:“I knew competition would be very tough and a good start would be key. I was happy with my practice, qualifying second, and felt good going into the motos. In both of my motos, my first lap was no good and I was not aggressive enough and making huge mistakes. After that, I had to fight back but it was very difficult to make passes on this track. I was battling with Tomac in both motos, so that tells you the level of competition in the top-10. I’m not super happy with the result on paper. I did a couple good things but overall, I can do better, so let’s do it again next weekend.”

Coming into the new season with a fresh title in the 450SX class, Webb had high hopes for the opening round. He came out of the gate in Moto 1 with high energy as he captured the holeshot aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, settling into second early on. Continuing to challenge for the lead, Webb did overtake the spot briefly when the race leader went down but he was quickly joined by Dylan Ferrandis up front. Engaging in a multi-rider battle for the podium midway through the race, Webb ultimately came away with a fifth-place finish in Moto 1. In Moto 2, Webb had another great jump to place himself up front off the start but a small mistake dropped him back to sixth on the opening lap. From there, Webb struggled to put together the laps he needed to make a charge, finishing 11th in the race and eighth overall for the day.

Webb:“A tough day at the office with eighth overall to start the season at Pala. It felt good to line back up outdoors and I’m looking forward to having fans back at the races this summer. We’ll build on this and come back swinging for the next 22 motos.” 

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Team rider Max Vohland made his official Pro Motocross Championship debut on Saturday with an impressive performance all-around. In his very first gate drop, Vohland shot off the line aboard his KTM 250 SX-F to claim the holeshot and early lead in the race. With a hard-charging duo behind him, the rookie held off two-time series champ Jeremy Martin for the first eight laps before dropping into second. With five laps to go, Vohland experienced a bike issue that ended his race early and he took the time to re-group before the next moto. In Moto 2, Vohland came back just as strong as he powered his way to a top-three position off the start. He maintained an incredible pace to hold onto fourth for the next five laps but another rider came into him from behind causing him to go down at the halfway point and he found himself battling just inside the top-10 later in the race. He was able to make up a few spots before the checkers, ultimately finishing seventh in the race to salvage 13th overall at Round 1. 

Vohland:“Overall, today went really good. I got a holeshot in the first moto and ended up leading for 23 minutes, which was awesome. You learn a lot and gain a lot of confidence believing you can do it when you’re actually doing it! For my first National as a rookie, I think I performed really well today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.” 

Round 2: Thunder Valley National – June 5 – Lakewood, Colorado