It was a new face atop the podium Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series season but not a new face to the podium in Indianapolis: Marvin Musquin.
Musquin ended his nearly 11-month dry spell and captured his first win of the year and second consecutive win in Indianapolis.
The Red Bull KTM rider took the lead off the start and led all the way to the finish. It was the exact same way he won Indianapolis in 2018, meaning a rider not named Musquin hasn’t led at Indianapolis in two years. With two 250SX wins before last year, Musquin is clearly comfortable in Indy.
“When you win a couple times in the same stadium you obviously love it,” Musquin said. “Coming into the weekend I definitely thought about (the past success), and I was definitely happy to be here and excited. I really like the dirt when it gets really rutted and technical.”
Rounding out the podium was Blake Baggett in second and Cooper Webb in third. Joey Savatgy was riding in second at the beginning of the race, but he went down just past the finish line, ending any shot he had at a podium finish.
Just passed halfway, Eli Tomac, who was tied with Musquin for second in points before the event, was closing in on Musquin. Then, two gutsy passes by Baggett and Webb sent Tomac to fourth.
Baggett then closed in on Musquin and made a pass for the lead, but it cost him more than the move was worth, and he lost a second on the leader. From there, Musquin had his sights set on the finish.
“Toward the end I saw an orange fender right behind me, and I didn’t want to get passed,” Musquin said. “I knew if I kept in my line and be smooth through the whoops I could make it happen all the way to the checkered flag. That’s what I did. It was pretty tough. I haven’t been in that position in a long time. I was trying to push and do my best, but at the same time I didn’t want to make any mistakes.”
Indianapolis is a unique and challenging round on the Supercross tour. The dirt used each year is soft and breaks down easily, meaning the track is always changing and is hard to prepare for. The dirt breakdown creates deep ruts in the corners and whoops sections.
Along with that, the design for this year’s course created a short straightaway at the start. When the gate dropped, riders raced from sideline to sideline of the stadium, making the start extremely important as drivers had little time to prepare for the first turn. Last year’s race set up the starting straightaway to run from end zone to end zone.
The challenge of Indianapolis is in the numbers. Supercross has been in Indy since 1992. In the 26 races in Indy, the winner of Indianapolis has gone on to win the series championship 19 times. That’s over 70 percent of the time.
“This was only my second time here, and I remember last year was really rutted,” Webb said. “It wasn’t as rutted this year, but it broke down a lot. I think all the tracks moving forward have their own technicalities.”
Before the main event, 250 SX points leader Austin Forkner dominated the 250SX race for his fifth win of the season in the lower-tier series. He led every lap and won by more than six seconds over Chase Sexton. Justin Cooper edged out Mitchell Oldenburg for the final podium spot.
Published 11:11 PM EDT Mar 16, 2019