INDIANAPOLIS — Round 11 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season started and ended with Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin in the lead, but he had to fight off several attacks to become the fifth winner so far this year.
Team Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS’ Blake Baggett kept it close all the way to the end in front of 61,106 screaming fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
Rounding out the podium was points leader Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb. It was the third time this season that KTM has swept the podium, a feat that ties Honda’s record.
In the Eastern Regional 250 SX class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner continued his win streak over his region’s riders to pull out to a 26-point lead.
Musquin grabbed the 450SX class holeshot followed by Baggett, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy, and Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely. Before the pack completed the lap, Baggett had dropped back to fourth, Savatgy ran in second with his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Eli Tomac right behind.
Five minutes in, Savatgy hit the lane split Tuff Blox and went down; it then looked like it would be a Musquin/Tomac battle. Webb began to close on the duo but a mistake of his own allowed Baggett to re-emerge in the top three.
Eight minutes into the race Baggett caught and started to pressure Tomac for the runner up spot, while Cooper Webb was turning faster lap times and catching both of them. Musquin’s lead had shrunk to only a second and a half and the top four circled the track in a tight pack. Baggett made it around Tomac, and shortly after that Webb had a miraculous save; he cross-rutted and landed on the Tuff Blox on the inside of a 180-degree corner. Tomac checked up, Webb stopped in time, and the two avoided contact while Webb managed to make the pass.
First Tomac, and then Webb lost touch with the lead pack. Baggett pulled alongside but could not make the pass. Musquin kept his cool through the pressure and the lappers to grab his first win, a repeat of his Indy win last year. It makes Musquin the third KTM rider to win in a single season, a first for KTM.
” I was really confident off the start,” Musquin said. “I had a great gate pick and made it happen. From that it was just riding [within] myself and mistake free… The track was definitely pretty tough and I haven’t been in that position since last year. Definitely [I was] a little bit tight. I was trying to push, but that track was really hard, super choppy in the ruts. It was really hard to be just be smooth and consistent. So I was riding a little tight and I saw they were coming and just tried my best not to get passed by, I think it was Baggett; I thought it was orange behind me, and I was like, ‘If he doesn’t pass me I can make it happen all the way to the finish.’ That’s what happened so I’m really happy, finally, so let’s keep it going now.”
Baggett was a little frustrated right after the race. “The track just started coming to me and I was pushing, trying to get toward the front,” he said. “Then we got into lappers, and they want to race you. It’s tough, you know, they’re in their own race but sometimes they just get in the middle of your race and mess things up.”
Webb was upbeat about landing on the podium.
“It was a tough main. It wasn’t a bad start but the way the track was tonight a holeshot was really important,” Webb said. “I think I came out fifth and was good, I was right there in the mix, we were all right there. I think I made a pass around Eli and Joey and then I actually stalled the bike, so that kind of stuff, lost some positions. And I caught back up.”