Photos by: Chase Yocom
The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship headed to Buchanan, Michigan for the 2018 RedBud National. For the second straight weekend, Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin took the overall win in the 450 class. Musquin came into RedBud trailing Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac by 32 points, but Eli had a mechanical DNF in moto one, crashed and finished 9th in moto two and the #25 left round 7 with a three point lead. With Eli having his issues, Marvin was joined on the podium by HRC / Honda’s Ken Roczen–who won his first moto of 2018 in moto one–in 2nd overall and Monster Energy / Yamaha’s Justin Barcia in 3rd overall.
In the 250MX class, Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger rebounded after some mediocre performances with a dominant 1-1 performance at RedBud. Aaron was flanked on the podium by Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / KTM’s Alex Martin in 2nd and his French Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha teammate, Dylan Ferrandis, in 3rd.
After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from riders about their seventh outdoor MX race of 2018.
Marvin Musquin: (1st in 450MX) “I can’t believe I came back to second place in the first moto. It was a crazy race, so having a shot of winning the overall after that was great. I was looking forward to the second moto. I got a great start and was able to get into the lead. My goal was to stay consistent and mistake-free. I was able to stay on two wheels and keep Kenny and Barcia behind me. It’s crazy to be leading the championship now. Anything can happen. It’s only another race, and there’s a lot to go. The fans were unbelievable here. I really enjoyed it. Having the second win in a row is amazing”
Aaron Plessinger: (1st in 250MX) “Showed them I’m not playing around any more. (laughs) Nah, the last two races, I think Muddy Creek messed me up when I went down after I got the holeshot. It kind of messed my confidence up. After that, I don’t know. I did a lot of testing this past week. A lot of starts–a lot of starts. I think that was the biggest thing that was hindering me, because at High Point I got really good starts and I finished really good. We practiced on those and I think that’s what helped me out today.”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450MX) “It was a great weekend overall and this is my second podium this season, so it feels good. I kind of got lucky grabbing that moto win because a few of the good guys were in the back and Eli [Tomac] had that issue. Still, I’ll take the win because that’s racing. Either way, it felt so great to cross the finish line for that first win since everything that has happened. We had a bit of a dip down in the results the last couple weeks, but to be back on the podium is awesome. I had a mellow week and feel like I just came back this weekend even hungrier and was riding a lot better. We’ve really just been figuring out the bike more. We made a pretty drastic change this week to see which way we should go with things, and it really helped me out a lot. I’m excited for the rest of the season and looking forward to getting back out there in Millville.”
Alex Martin: (2nd in 250MX) “Obviously I’m kind of known as the consistent hard working guy and this season I’ve seemed to have some uncharacteristic mistakes and crashes. At High Point, Muddy Creek, those are especially where I lost a lot of points. Consistency is one thing, but today we were looking to go 1-1. That was the goal. Especially with RedBud being the site for des Nations [MXoN]. Obviously a little disappointed with how today went. I really struggled in the first moto. I couldn’t get a rhythm going or find my flow. I don’t know how I salvaged a 4th. The second moto, that was mine to go battle with AP and we weren’t able to make it happen. I still got a podium and 2nd overall.”
Justin Barcia: (3rdin 450MX) “It’s interesting this year the conditions were a little bit different. There was some sand. There was that really deep section after the mechanics area that was pretty gnarly. There was actually some rocks and hard pack that came up near Larocco’s Leap. So it was a little bit of everything thrown at us today with the dirt conditions. I’ve never seen it like that here as much before. It was definitely interesting and you had to be on your toes. You needed to try and be mistake free as much as you could, but it was a difficult rack to do that.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (3rd in 250MX) “The first moto, I got a terrible start and had to come back. In the last few laps everybody is tired and I try to just stay at my speed and pass guys. That’s what happened today. I’m disappointed with my weekend. It’s not what I expect at RedBud. I was looking for the win. I’m kind of mad by myself. Two bad starts kill me. I show I have the speed, the physical endurance and everything but I start too far back and that killed me today. But it’s good to be on the podium.”
Eli Tomac: (15th in 450MX) “Obviously today didn’t go the way we hoped,” said Tomac. “It’s unfortunate because I felt really good on the bike in Moto 1 and to come away with no points was tough. Moto 2 was frustrating as well but I focused on salvaging any points I could. We’ll take advantage of the week off and come back strong and ready to get back to our winning ways.”
Chase Sexton: (6th in 250MX) “Really happy with my riding and speed right now, I qualified second which is my best yet! I had a big get off first moto but managed to salvage a good result for how far I was back! The second moto I didn’t get the start I needed but managed to get to sixth and finish the day sixth overall. No excuses just need to fix some small stuff and get those starts! I’m always learning and making improvements every weekend so I’m okay with that–I’m so motivated to get that top spot and I think I can do it.
Austin Forkner: (7th in 250MX) “This has been a season that has pushed me harder than any other I’ve raced so far with the amount of adversity, whether by my own doing or not, that I’ve been up against. Starting with Round 1 all the way until now. Motocross really is tough racing and I hope we’ve shown that we aren’t ready to quit anytime soon. I will be enjoying the one week break and will be ready to come back strong at Millville.”
Phillip Nicoletti: (5th in 450MX) “It felt really great to get in the top-five. It’s been a long time coming, and we made great progress this week. The track was brutal, and it wasn’t easy by any means. I ran in second for a long time in the first moto, but I’m not quite used to that pace. If I keep putting myself in that position I’ll keep getting better. I’m happy with everything and I’m going to keep plugging away.”
Garrett Marchbanks: (15th in 250MX) “The first moto was awesome and it felt great to be back. The RedBud fans lived up to the hype and I was really feeling good in that first race. Unfortunately, I went down at the start of the second moto and wasn’t able to continue.”
RJ Hampshire: (9th in 250MX) “Practice didn’t go too well just because we were trying to set my bike up to compensate for my wrist. When the gate dropped for the first moto I felt great. Just kind of rode and really didn’t have many mistakes. A lot of other riders had problems and I just rode smart, the second-place matched my best moto finish ever! I was looking forward to that second moto. I got tangled off the start and I was up front, just couldn’t control where I was going. Felt like a pinball machine. Once the chaos stopped I was stuck under about four bikes and couldn’t move! Michael Hand and Colt Nichols pulled the bikes off of me which was much appreciated. Had to get about 30 stitches to patch some cuts up and my back was pretty beat up again. I’m alive though! Thankful to be somewhat okay and will shoot on being back for Millville.”
Cooper Webb: (7th in 450MX) “I was steady eddy at Redbud. Made some progress going 7-7 for 7th. Excited for the weekend off to build some speed and endurance over the next 2 weeks”
Michael Mosiman: (8th in 250MX) “RedBud is in the books. There’s definitely some positives to take away, but a lot of mistakes were made. My speed was good, but I need to be up there mixing it up with those guys. I got a good start in the second moto, but went down twice. I got ninth in the first moto, but crashed twice there, too. I’m going to keep striving and will enjoy the weekend off.”
Weston Peick: (9th in 450MX) “We did some testing during the week and thought we were in a better spot. Then I got to RedBud and the track was extremely rough. I had a different thought on changing the suspension, and I personally went the wrong way for the first moto. We switched back to where we were in the beginning of the day for moto two. I’ll focus fine tuning the suspension during the off weekend. Other than that, I was under the weather after Southwick. I walked out of RedBud with finishes that I’m not happy with. I will regroup, get some more seat time in, and come to Millville ready to battle.”
Ryan Sipes: (16th in 250MX) “I was able to get pretty good starts both motos. It took me awhile to get going in the first moto. I rode a lot better the second moto. I’m ok with 16-13 for only having two days on the bike. I haven’t ridden a track this gnarly in years, so I’m good with it.”
Jake Nichols: (10th in 450MX) “Yeah, it was good. Qualifying was pretty good. I think I was 12th or 14th when it was combined. I didn’t jump Larocco’s Leap so it was a but like before the race I was, “Oh man, I’m going to have to do it. I’ve got to do this.” So I did it on the sighting lap. (laughs) I was, “Woh, I got that out of the way!.” In the first race, I got a really good start, but I got caught up with Marvin when he crashed. I dropped back and then I came through to 9th. I rode pretty strong. I was right on [Weston] Peick at the end of the race so that was good. I dug quite deep because I got a little hot near the end of the race. The second moto was going quite good. I got into 9th after not making a good start, but then I had a little crash. Not bad, but enough that I had to pick my bike up and start it. I kind of really lost my rhythm and just survived after that and got 13th. Which was enough for 10th overall so I’m really pleased.”
Mitchell Harrison: (10th in 250MX) “I learned a lot this weekend. I went down three times in the first moto and got tangled up with a few guys. I had a strong second half of the moto and came back to 13th. I ripped the holeshot in the second moto, but these guys are so fast and they got by me. I rode my own race and was strong in the second half and caught a few riders. If I can do the whole moto like I can in the second half I’ll be right up there.”
Joey Savatgy: (11th in 250MX) “I love coming to RedBud and the fans were really the thing that keeps us going when times are tough out there. We had some challenging moments but in the end we want to push for the entire race. If we can overcome a tough day like today, it puts us in the right frame of mind to get back up there next race at Millville.”
Justin Hill: (6th in 450MX) “I only rode practice and the first moto at Southwick, and then took the entire week off from riding. Given the condition I was in with my arm, I chalked up the weekend as a win. I want to be on the podium, and I believe I can achieve that. I booked my flight for RedBud thinking that I was going to go to the signing, and that would be about it. I didn’t have feeling in my hand until Thursday. Practice didn’t go well in Michigan, because I had been off the bike for so long. Honestly, the suspension guys were the shining spot for me. Every motorcycle was getting thrashed on the bumps, but we made good changes all day. Johnny Oler and Ryo Okuda listened to what I had to say, and they made the necessary changes [to the suspension]. I was stoked to have them there to help.”
Jordan Bailey: (12th in 250MX) “RedBud lived up to its expectation. The track was deep and the ruts were nasty. Practice was good for me. I finished 12th in the first moto, then finished 10th in the second moto. It’s a step in the right direction. I’m going to keep building and will work on getting better results.”
Justin Bogle: (20th in 450MX) “My day was basically the same as at Southwick. I struggled. At least I can still get starts. Had one good start, but struggled through the motos. I felt better going into the second moto, but I fell on the first lap while in the front. I thought it would have been better. I worked my way back up. It was not ideal, but we’re making progress.”
Cameron McAdoo: (17th in 250MX) Redbud was a struggle for me. Moto 1 start crash followed by hitting a downed rider’s bike, and moto 2 a crash early in the moto made it a hard day, and ended up going 15-14. We will work on the weaknesses during this weekend off, and come back swinging at Millville!”
James DeCotis: (27th in 250MX) “I had a couple of bad starts and crashes. It’s hard to move forward when you’re constantly on the ground. Aside from that, the track was good. I heard they got rain on Wednesday, and watered it a lot on Friday. The track was very demanding. Southwick was hard, but RedBud was close to it. Overall, it was a fun track. Lines developed as the second moto came around. The fans were insane, as always. It was super cool, because they were cheering for every rider. I think RedBud will be a really cool event when the Motocross of Nations comes around.”