Like every race since he arrived in the US fresh off of back-to-back MX2 World Championships in 2011, Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin is still battling for wins and podiums every single weekend. While some might throw stones because he has unfortunately fallen just short of being able to call himself an AMA Motocross National Champion thus far, he has not fallen short on being a consistent contender year in and year out. And there is no sign that consistency will end any time soon.
Marvin did win a 250SX Regional title before moving up, but he was also injured a lot on the 250. Since moving up to the 450, though, he has been in the mix consistently both indoors and out nearly every single year. His finishing positions in the 450 SX Championship over the four years have been 7-3-2-3 and in the 450 MX Championship he has finished 3-2-2 and he is 2nd again in the current 2019 450MX Championship with three races to go. We in this sport put so much emphasis on winning Championships, but his wins, podiums, and consistency have already cemented Marvin’s legacy as one of the best French imports of all time.
After Marvin scored yet another 450 podium at Washougal, we caught up with him at the KTM rig to talk about his race, his season and if there is any chance he would end up at Assen for the MXoN racing for his home country.
Marvin, not a perfect day, but you did put another podium finish on the resume with a 3rd overall. How do you like this place?
Well, it doesn’t matter how it is when you didn’t win it’s no good. (laughs) When you win, you always like the track, you know what I’m saying. It’s always a tough place—a tough track. The base is hard. We rode press day yesterday and it was so hard. So many square edges. But we know coming to this place but the feeling on the bike was better in the second moto. I’m glad I rode better in the second moto ’cause the first moto wasn’t great. I mean my lap times were good, I just didn’t keep charging because I couldn’t get around [Cooper] Webb.
Yeah, I was going to ask you about that specifically. I noticed you struggling to get around Cooper and it looked like you got frustrated.
Yeah, then I lost the rhythm, but that’s not acceptable. I’m sorry for that. To get better in the second moto, it felt good. I salvaged a podium.
You’re a very technical rider that is good with throttle control. This is a place where that comes in handy. Do you feel you use those technical skills here a lot?
For sure. If you override it, it’s hard. It’s hard on the bike. It’s hard on the body. You have to find a mix between being smooth and being aggressive.
You were in a few tough battles today and I know first hand how painful the roost is here. How bad was that for you today?
It was actually worse last year because it was a little dryer. That dirt was harder for some reason. Or I didn’t feel the roost as much this weekend and obviously in that second moto I was leading for a long time.
We’re now nine rounds into the outdoor season and while you’ve had a couple of wins and been very good at times, you’ve also had some weekends that weren’t so good. I’m curious, how would you rate your 2019 season up to this point?
Well, I didn’t start it really well and then we made some changes on the bike, To be able to win Florida then Southwick, it was pretty amazing. It felt great. Then I won another moto at RedBud. That was awesome! I was feeling great, then unfortunately at the last race in Millville, my starts were terrible. I got third in the first moto, but in the second moto, I found myself hitting another rider and going down. I went from dead last to seventh and fourth overall but you [the media] don’t talk about me when I do that. (laughs) You don’t see what happens. It’s been up and down. This weekend back on the podium is a good thing, but obviously, we want more. It’s a long season. I want to be more consistent but it’s not easy.
Alright, you won both the sand track AMA nationals this year at WW Ranch and Southwick and this year the MXoN is in the sand at Assen. So is there any chance you race for France in Assen?
No! [answered very quickly]
You and the French Federation still on the outs after what happened last year? [Team France snubbed Marvin for RedBud, then asked him after a rider was injured and Marvin declined]
They didn’t want me for RedBud, so I don’t know why they’d want me for Assen.
I know it’s not likely—even though it should be—but if they called you and asked, would you accept the invite?
Not really. I mean, yeah. You know, we have a long season and then we go to a track [Assen] that definitely a tough track and sandy track that I’ve never raced. Then we’d have to go there and practice a couple of weeks before and stuff. That would be a big change.
Well, with dual citizenships, you could always put on the Team USA Red, White, and Blue and suit up. We would love to have you. (laughs)
No, I don’t think that would be a good thing for anybody. (laughs)