Photo by: Simon Cudby
Round 11 of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series, and round 6 of the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship and the Indianapolis SX saw the third 450SX KTM podium sweep of 2019, and Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner continued his dominance of the 250SX East class.
In the 450SX class, Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin scored his first 450SX main event win of 2019. The #25 was followed over the finish line by Rocky Mountain / ATV/MC / WPS / KTM’s Blake Baggett in 2nd and the other Red Bull / KTM rider, Cooper Webb, in 3rd. In the 250SX main event, Forkner was joined on the podium by GEICO / Honda’s Chase Sexton in 2nd and Monster Energy / Yamaha’s Justin Cooper in 3rd.
After the 11th round was in the books, we gathered quotes from the riders to find out how their 2019 Indianapolis SX went for them.
Marvin Musquin: (1st in 450SX) “It’s always a tough track here in Indy, but it’s always been good to me. I won twice on the 250 and now twice on the 450, so obviously I love coming here. I thought about it coming into the weekend and, you know, I won here last year so I was excited for the racing and I think it showed tonight.”
Austin Forkner: (1st in 250SX) “Yeah, I extended my points lead to 26. That’s a full race point lead now. It obviously doesn’t really change anything. Still the end goal is to get the championship and keep winning races. That’s my fifth win. That is the most races I’ve ever won in a year. I’m stoked about that. I’m stoked with meeting some of the goals that I wrote down at the beginning of the year. My trainer told me to write down my goals for this year like how many races I expected to win and how many times I want to be on the podium. Obviously, I expected a championship and just what I wanted to accomplish this year. I feel like I’ve definitely already exceeded kind of those goals. I just need to keep it going to get that championship ’cause that’s the important one.
Blake Baggett: (2nd in 450SX) “This track was busy, tight and stuff. There was one main jump line in the whoops and there was one off to the side, so if somebody [a lapper] was there you could try to go around but you lost time. Then, after that, there was a lot of inside one rut main lines to take. If somebody was there, it was tough. I just lost a little bit of ground, but we’re all racing the same guys on the same track. I just need to figure out how to get around the lappers a little bit cleaner. I gotta give it up to Marv [Marvin Musquin] and Coop [Cooper Webb] was keeping me honest. I seen that he was coming and I knew that if I slacked off he was going to be on me. Ideally, I want to be the first KTM, but I’ll take being in the middle of them.”
Chase Sexton: (2nd in 250SX) “It’s cool, this is the closest race to Illinois, where I’m from. Last year this was my worst race of the year, I DNFed, so it wasn’t hard to go up from there. It felt good to win the heat race, I wish I could have put on a better show in the main event, but didn’t really ride like myself. It’s cool to have all the friends and family here. It’s cool to be at your home race, and to finish on the podium is always good.”
Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “A podium sweep for KTM once again is nice, I’ll take it! For me, it was a tough race. I didn’t get the best start so I had to make some passes and then I stalled the bike and lost a couple of positions. I was pretty bummed on that because I felt like I was in a good position to win. It wasn’t my best Main Event, so I was pumped to still get third with it.”
Justin Cooper: (3rd in 250SX) “It was a hard fight all night, honestly. I had to work for the heat win and then main event time, I got a really good start and was just leaning into the inside and everyone came in and kind of pushed me wide. I had to go off the track and it put me way back. Honestly, it was a pretty crappy feeling going around the first lap in 19th; looking over and seeing those guys already two straightaways ahead. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me, so I just put my head down and made some quick passes. I think I was up to seventh or eighth… I had raced with so much energy getting to that point and trying to make quick passes that I kind of hit a wall and was like, ‘Wow. I got to breathe a little bit and regroup.’ That’s kind of what did it. I kind of got a second wind towards the end and felt really good. I felt like I was back on pace and just making up a lot of time. I was keeping an eye on third. I didn’t even know if it was going to happen, but was I able to get in position to make a pass last lap for third. It was a good night for me. Good learning, good building, good progress. So I can’t complain. It just would have been nice to get away clean in that first turn in that top three to see what we could have done towards the end of the race when those guys were getting a little tired.”
Eli Tomac: (4th in 450SX) “Tonight was a tough pill to swallow for me. I rode well tonight but a few couple minor errors on a tricky track ultimately cost me. I am happy to be leaving here healthy and already looking forward to Seattle next weekend.”
Mitchell Oldenburg: (4th in 250SX) “It was a crazy week for me. My wife went into labor Thursday morning at 1:00 a.m. a month early, so it has been a pretty stressful and a scary last couple days, but baby and mama are healthy and doing good. It was pretty hard to leave them to come to race this week. It was hard to get my head straight and to get back in race mode and ride my dirt bike. “We had a decent day overall. The main event was good until the last four laps. I had no idea Justin was coming and kind of just checked out mentally and let it go. We live and we learn. I’m not going to let that happen again. We’ll keep working on our progress in the next couple weeks and come into Nashville swinging.”
Justin Barcia: (5th in 450SX) “After having a tough couple of weeks, months really, since winning Anaheim, it’s been difficult. Then my injury was pretty huge to me, actually, so for me I thought it was going to be difficult to come back from it. The basic thing for me was just to get comfortable and get back in the zone and I progressed all day. I don’t like saying I surprised myself, but I kind of surprised myself tonight. I stayed pretty calm all day, patient. I didn’t really let being off the pace a little bit in practice frustrate me, I just stayed focused, used my positive thinking and good mentality and it was a good race. It was a solid race for the first race back. We definitely want to keep progressing from here and get back on the podium. We’ll take a fifth and move on to next weekend.”
Martin Davalos: (5th in 250SX) ““There are a lot of positives for me to take away from tonight’s race. I obviously would have liked to get that heat race win and found the podium in the main event. I went to California this past week and we did a lot of testing that pointed us in the right direction. I am kind of sad we have the break because I feel like we are on to something. I am going to do some outdoor testing during the break with my teammates and then get ready for the last three races to finish the season out strong.”
Joey Savatgy: (6th in 450SX) “Man, today was just one of those days. I was super pumped to start the day as the fastest qualifier. It gave me the confidence that I needed to know I had the capability to contend for my first 450 podium, which is a bummer we fell short of that tonight. In the main event, I made a tiny mistake in the corner after the finish line jump that made me slide out and shuffled me back from second back to sixth. I tried making my way forward but the lapped traffic was heavy tonight. I’ll take the sixth but I am hungry for more now.”
Kyle Peters: (6th in 250SX) “It was a good day. We are still progressing, and
the speed is coming up. I’m able to run the lead pace for longer and getting more comfortable at that pace. I still have a few areas to work on with Buddy Antunez, mainly in the 90-degree turns. I always want to improve, and I felt that I could have finished fifth this weekend. Unfortunately, I was dealing with some stomach cramps at the end of the race. However, the team made it happen for me and I earned my best result of the season. That’s something to build on.”
Kyle Cunningham: (7th in 250SX) “Yeah. It’s been a fun and different this year so far. I know I’ve said at a time or two, but five weeks before we were going racing, I was honestly considering if I even was going to go racing. Tonight wasn’t bad. I didn’t ride like it did at Daytona or a few of the other races come in from the back. We had a couple of small issues that held us back a little bit, but in the same turn I didn’t ride my best either, so that’s the biggest thing. All day it was a little rough. The track was tough. I didn’t get the greatest start in the main, but we rode the best we could. I ended up with a 7th, so I can’t complain too much.”
Zach Osborne: (7th in 450SX) “In the Main Event, I had a really bad gate and made a really good start of it to put myself in a good position to hang in there. I made some mistakes but I have to take the positive of turning a bad day into a good day and a decent result and move forward.”
Alex Martin: (9th in 250SX) “I was super happy to qualify second in practice. It was the most comfortable I felt before on a super rutted track. It set me up for the first gate pick in my heat, which was nice. We made some changes with the clutch this past week, and I made really good progress with my starts. We finally figured some things out. I had a great start in the main, but got sandwiched and fell in the first turn. I picked up my bike and was dead last. It took two laps to even catch anyone. I was motoring and got up to ninth at the checkers. It was damage control and bittersweet, because I had the speed and capabilities to be on the podium. I’m bummed, but I’m also looking forward to this break to start testing for outdoors.”
Ken Roczen: (8th in 450SX) “There isn’t much to say about Indianapolis. It just wasn’t a good weekend for us. I had some struggles during the week and over the past couple of weeks that have really held me back and have made it so I can’t ride and train to my full potential. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on and hopefully get some answers soon. I’ve just been getting tired and I’m not sure why. Right now I’m just trying to focus on getting my body and everything aligned so that I can fight back and ride like I was during the beginning of the season. I’m obviously not where I want to be at eighth, but if there’s a good thing to take away it’s that we’re physically healthy and heading to Seattle.”
Jordan Bailey: (10th in 250SX) “I don’t feel like I rode to my full potential tonight. But overall, we’ll keep moving forward and get ready for Nashville.”
Dean Wilson: (9th in 450SX) “The heat race was awesome! It was really stacked, so it was good for me to win. It was good for my mental side of things to know that I can still be up there. In the Main Event, I didn’t get the best start but I was able to wrestle my way out of it and into ninth. I would say it’s an improvement for sure but I know that getting a good start makes a big difference in staying out of trouble and I’m going to keep working.”
Chad Reed: (11th in 450SX) “The goal was to put together a more complete weekend. I was competitive in qualifying practice and possibly rode my best main of the season. As a team we made great progress throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, I had a crash on the opening lap of the main event and I was charging back from 22nd place. Still, I was happy with my pace for the race. Starts are frustrating. I feel like a golfer going through a bad swing cycle. I was awesome all off-season with my starts and now find myself frustrated with my starts. I will continue working on this area”
Cole Seely: (12th in 450SX) “This season has been a challenge and tonight was no different. I’m really frustrated. I have the speed to do it but just need to put it all together. It’s definitely tough when you don’t put yourself in a good position off the start, which is what happened in the main. All I can do is keeping working and building forward.”
Justin Hill: (14th in 450SX) ““It was a really rough main event. I hit neutral off the start, followed by a big crash a few laps in. I’m upset with the result, but also really happy with the bike. I’m feeling good and ready for Seattle.”