Marvin Musquin interview

Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin moved to the US back in 2011 after winning back-to-back MX2 World Championships, and while it took him until Saturday night to win his first ever 450SX main event in Arlington, the 27-year-old Frenchman has now won at just about every level of professional racing. .

Marvin had a solid day and night all the way around in Arlington. The #25 was the fastest 450SX rider in the final morning qualifying sessions and was the second fastest overall—behind Eli Tomac—heading into the night show. In his heat race, Marvin came from behind to catch his teammate Ryan Dungey and cross the line in second just 0.399 behind the #1. It was clear heading into the night show that Marvin was feeling it on the Arlington clay.

When the gate dropped on the main event restart—a crash by Justin Brayton caused a red flag situation—Marvin grabbed the holeshot, and with Tomac and Dungey buried in the pack, he was off to the races. Marvin still had a charging Cooper Webb keeping him honest early on, but a flat tire removed any threat from the #2. In the end, Marvin went on to a perfect wire-to-wire main event win and can now check off “win a 450SX main event” from his bucket list. The win moved Marvin back up to second place in the point standings, 18 points behind Dungey.

After the race, MotoXAddicts’ Chase Yocom caught up with Marvin to talk about his first ever win in Arlington.

Marvin, you had to feel like you were due for a win, especially after almost winning in Atlanta last year. You have to be ecstatic.

It’s an awesome feeling, but you know in Atlanta last year, I had the pressure from Ryan [Dungey] behind me. It would have been awesome to beat Ryan like that. Obviously, tonight I got a great start and I was leading the whole time with a decent gap, so I was just watching behind me to see if they were catching me or not and the distance was staying the same. I was just super calm and doing my laps, maybe sometimes too calm and maybe sometimes losing some time. I didn’t want to make a stupid mistake, so I was just hitting my lines and being smooth. Actually, this one was not too hard. Last year in Atlanta would have been an awesome win. This one is awesome because it is a win, and no matter how you win it’s still awesome. This win is my first one. To be able to prove my speed and to show I was relaxed, smooth and jumping the whoops is an awesome feeling.

With you guys doing 26 laps tonight, it had to feel like it was taking forever for this main to end. Were you like, “Come on, let me see the checkers”?

Yeah, that’s right. Matt—my mechanic—at one point he showed me there was five laps to go. At one point, I looked at the clock and it was still five minutes to go, but tonight the lap times were pretty short. Five minutes was not five laps, it was a little more. I just wanted to stay calm and finish the moto. You look at the clock and your mechanic shows you the laps. It’s been good.

You mentioned Matt being here as your mechanic today. Frank Latham is your regular mechanic and a huge part of your program. How big of a bummer is it not having Frank here for your first win?

He is a big part of my program, that’s for sure. I’m really proud to have him as my mechanic, and unfortunately he missed the last two rounds, but it’s for a good thing. His wife is giving birth for their second baby, and I think it’s going to happen tonight. It’s awesome to win my first main event. It’s going to be a day to remember.

You are the first French rider to win a premier class main event since David Vuillemin back in 2002. How cool is that for you?

Yeah, for sure I’ve been waiting for that. I know David Vuillemin really well and I know he’s the last French rider to win a 450 main event, so that means a lot. I’m really happy to finally make it happen. I’m going to tell him now I’m the last one. (laughs)