Two rounds into the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship and the 450MX class has revealed a highly-competitive field of the nation’s top motocross racers. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammates Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin have proven to be in the elite category but a top-10 result didn’t come without a fight at Saturday’s Thunder Valley MX National in Colorado.
After making some positive changes to the bike during qualifying earlier in the day, Webb came out of the gate strong in Moto 1 as he narrowly missed the holeshot aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. Webb settled into fifth on the opening lap but he remained in attack mode as he fought a crowd of heavy-hitters for a spot inside the top-five. The two-time 450SX Champ continued to battle with fast company for the remainder of the moto, ultimately finishing eighth.
Webb had another strong start in Moto 2 but this time he captured the official holeshot and fought for the early lead before a crash sent him back to seventh. Caught once again in a swarm of top riders, Webb found himself engaging in many battles throughout the 16-lap race, including with his teammate Marvin Musquin in the second half of the race. With two laps to go, Webb made his way around Musquin to overtake eighth and with a pair of 8-8 finishes he solidified eighth overall on the day.
Webb: “We’re kind of searching again – we made a lot of bike changes today and I actually felt a lot better in the second moto. I felt like we made the bike a lot better and I was feeling like I finally had some speed and could run up front and then I had a little tip over. That spiked my heartrate and I got all flustered and got passed for ninth but I got back into a good flow and was able to catch Marvin with two to go. It’s a little bit of progress. We have a weekend off, so we’ll try to get the bike a little better, get faster and keep on grinding.”
Musquin found himself in many of the same battles as his teammate, ultimately landing one position behind Webb in the overall results. In Moto 1, Musquin had a great jump on his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION but he got closed off around the first turn. Shuffling back to ninth early on, the French rider did his best to break through the deeply stacked field of riders but he was only able to make it to ninth.
In Moto 2, Musquin got off to a favorable start and he settled into fourth early on. Racing within a big group of fast riders up front, he diced back-and-forth with Webb just outside the top-five battle. With two laps to go, Musquin was overtaken by Webb for the eighth-place spot and he finished out with a 9-9 score.
Musquin: “It was difficult for me to have the pace of the leaders and I just couldn’t do anything more than 9-9 today. I’m not happy with this result but I feel like I couldn’t do much more. We will try to push more during the week leading up to High Point – we have a weekend off, so we’ll try to see what we can do better.”
Rookie 250MX rider Max Vohland did his best to power through an intense bout of food poisoning on Saturday, where he was able to salvage some championship points with 15-17 moto scores and 18th overall from the second round.
Vohland: “I ended up getting food poisoning when we got here on Thursday night, so I was sick and couldn’t eat anything for at least 30 hours straight and didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before the race. I gave it my all and I didn’t quit, which was the best I could do. I did get a good start in one moto, so that’s something to take away for the next race. It was tough but we survived.”
The AMA Pro Motocross Championship will take a weekend off from racing before returning on Saturday, June 19 for Round 3 with the High Point National in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.
Results 450MX Class – Thunder Valley National
1. Ken Roczen (GER), Honda, 1-1
2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Yamaha, 2-2
3. Adam Cianciarulo (USA), Kawasaki, 3-6
8. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM, 8-8
9. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, 9-9
11. Justin Bogle (USA), KTM, 14-11
12. Joey Savatgy (USA), KTM, 10-15
15. Fredrik Noren, (SWE), KTM
23. Jacob Hayes (USA), KTM
31. Ben LaMay (USA), KTM
Results 250MX Class – Thunder Valley National
1. Justin Cooper (USA), Yamaha, 2-2
2. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 4-1
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 5-3
17. Josh Varize (USA), KTM, 16-16
18. Max Vohland (USA), KTM, 15-17
23. Max Miller (USA), KTM
25. Tre Fierro (USA), KTM
33. Lane Shaw (USA), KTM
34. Jeffrey Walker (USA), KTM
36. Christopher Prebula (USA), KTM
37. Max Groom (USA), KTM
42. Xylian Ramella (CHE), KTM
Standings 450MX Class 2021 after 2 of 12 rounds
1. Ken Roczen, 90 points
2. Dylan Ferrandis, 89
3. Aaron Plessinger, 74
7. Cooper Webb, 52
9. Marvin Musquin, 51
13. Joey Savatgy, 29
15. Justin Bogle, 22
17. Fredrik Noren, 17
Standings 250MX Class 2021 after 2 of 12 rounds
1. Jett Lawrence, 90 points
2. Justin Cooper, 80
3. Jeremy Martin, 72
15. Max Vohland, 14
19. Josh Varize, 12