Marvin Musquin celebrating his first-ever MXoN individual and team win. Photos by: Hoppenworld
Team France rider Marvin Musquin is a class act. Not only a brilliant rider, but a down to earth nice guy and it is little wonder the American public have fallen in love with him. Last weekend in Ernee, France Musquin showed the world just how good he is by nearly winning the opening moto of the Sunday, finishing top 250cc rider for the weekend, but more importantly he led Team France to victory in the event.
We caught up with Musquin and asked him about his weekend and what made it so special. We also asked him about that torrid battle with Justin Barcia in the opening moto of the Sunday.
Marvin, you are a rider who is brilliant with throttle control and easy riding, a typical French style, but having raced in America for so many years and not racing in Europe for like three years it must have been difficult to get used to the Ernee circuit.
You are right, it was in some areas very difficult, like at the top of the circuit on the rollers it was slippery and I had some scary moments, some soft spots and slick spots, plus rocks, it was really challenging. Like I said with this crowd there was no way I could slow down, I was pushing and feeling great because of the crowd.
Tell us about that opening moto with Justin Barcia.
I was looking forward to getting good starts, but I didn’t get good starts on Sunday. I impressed myself on the first laps and I was like third in the early laps, and on the 250 I knew I could match the 450s and that was good. I was really, I really like Ernee. The first moto to catch Barcia was really cool, but I got too excited and making mistakes and the crowd was going crazy. When I crashed I landed on my back and hurt myself, but with the crowd behind me I just got up and went again. I rode the second moto smarter and was happy about that.
What was it like to be on rails for that first moto?
I think I had better lines, the crowd was pushing me, helping me, I felt like I was flying because of the crowd. I got a little too excited and I made small mistakes and to pass Justin Barcia on a 250 was awesome. I knew I could do something good on the 250, the track was really technical, but I had so many regrets after the crash. I was like oh man I should have taken it easy and taken second, still four wasn’t too bad. The second moto was better with third, it was good and be able to see Romain in first place was cool.
Justin and you nearly came together on a couple of occasions and his pass on you into the first corner where he nearly took your front wheel was pretty scary to watch. Who started that, did you, or were you just retaliating to his actions?
He honestly slowed down on a roller to try and block me and honestly I got pissed. I didn’t flip him off, but I made a sign to him, like what are you doing. I regret it because I should have settled down and followed him, but I didn’t and made a mistake and went down. Fortunately we won and that was the most important thing.
What about the American riders, they gave everything didn’t they?
The Americans fight really hard and they show a lot of heart and today the crowd was cheering for us and to be in France it was huge, but the American’s fought really hard and congratulations to them.
How often were you on your edge? You looked really smooth, but the intensity was so high I can imaging you were on your edge on some occasions.
Oh yes, some areas it was really challenging and bumpy and easy to make mistakes and you had to be smooth and clean and clean going down the hills so you could be clean going up the hills, like I said it was really easy to make mistakes.
On some occasions Jeremy Martin was right on your back wheel, did you know that?
I was looking back, and since a couple of years now I know how his Yamaha sounds. That is something I was proud of to be best 250 rider all weekend. Although I didn’t expect to do what I did in that first moto.
How big is it winning this event for you, for your career?
It is the biggest win of my career, of course. US has been good for me, winning the championship (SX) this year, I knew it would be great and I was really happy on my bike, almost riding with a smile. The second moto I was third and I got pain on my hand with blisters and so, but I kept pushing and I was happy with myself. It’s huge, I had a tough season in the US and it was a bummer to not be picked, they picked riders who raced the GPs, but this year our team manager came to America twice and he could see my program with Aldon Baker we were doing good and he picked me for the 250 class. To be back on the French team at Ernee I really didn’t want to disappoint anybody. I am so happy for all the guys.
And Romain Febvre, what can you say about him?
He is really a good rider, since this year obviously on the 450, he is doing great. I knew he was capable of winning both motos, and today was the day he had to win, but that last moto he was being pushed by Townley, but he is such a smart rider.
Will we ever see Marvin Musquin racing MXGP?
I don’t know, I always say I am happy in America and now moving into the 450 class and getting the Supercross title this year. I mean while everything is going well there why come back, but we will see.