Red Bull KTM duo Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen rode to two solid fourth places on Saturday night in the Daytona SX and SX Lites East competitions in near impossible conditions on a rain soaked track where many riders failed to finish.
It was an impressive performance for the team’s two European riders and particularly for Musquin in only his second competitive ride in the big class on the KTM 350 SX-F. Marvin has been contesting the West Coast Lites this season and despite the difficult track conditions, his fourth was a big step up from his creditable ninth last weekend in St. Louis. He delivered a thrilling performance for the Florida race fans.
Heavy rainfall throughout the day had flooded the course causing mechanical issues and multiple crashes for many riders. Musquin already proved he had the technical skill and physical strength to handle the extreme conditions in order to keep out of trouble when he placed third in the heat race to win a great gate pick for the main event. Worsening track conditions caused the AMA officials to reduce the amount of laps in the main event from 15 to 12 laps.
Musquin came around the first lap in fourth in the main and was closing in on third placed Kevin Windham half way through the race when a small spill cost him the time he had gained. He recovered without losing a position and held on to fourth right through to the flag. His ride and the solid finish of teammate Roczen were important boosts for the team after an announcement on Friday that Ryan Dungey was out with a broken collarbone.
Marvin Musquin: “The conditions were tough but it was so fun. I am really disappointed my teammate, Ryan Dungey, couldn’t be here and I tried to do well for him tonight. It would have been nice to be on the podium but I am really happy to get this close. I want to thank my team and my mechanic for helping to prepare my bike for a race this challenging.”
Dungey remains in second in the series point standings despite not racing the Daytona Supercross. He is now at home healing up from a surgery to plate his collarbone. He plans to return to racing when he is 100% fit, currently estimated to be within the next 4-6 weeks.
Another strong performance from Roczen
Ken Roczen had earlier put together a solid run under the worse conditions seen this season to finish fourth in the East Coast Lites round. He also did well in the heat despite a crash in the opening lap to finish fourth and easily transfer to the main event. He rounded the first corner of the main in fifth and immediately began to pressure Alex Martin. By the second lap he had moved around Martin and began working on Blake Wharton. Another strong lap saw him triple past Wharton to move into podium position. He remained in third until near the end of the race when he made a small mistake cost him the podium. Many riders failed to finish because of the muddy conditions.
Ken Roczen: “Tonight was the hardest race I have ridden. Everything was wet and slippery. It was so hard to hold on to the grips. It was even hard to not slip off my seat. It was definitely a challenge and I am happy to finish safely.”
Next Event: Indianapolis, IN – March 17, 2012
Overall Results SX Class:
1, James Stewart
2, Davi Millsaps
3, Kevin Windham
4, Marvin Musquin – KTM
5, Ryan Villopoto
Overall Point Standings SX Class:
1, Ryan Villopoto – 221
2, Ryan Dungey – 192
3, James Stewart – 177
Overall Results SX Lites Class:
1, Justin Barcia
2, Blake Baggett
3, Darryn Durham
4, Ken Roczen – KTM
5, Blake Wharton
9, Malcolm Stewart – KTM
12, Les Smith – KTM
13, Shane Sewell – KTM
16, Justin Starling – KTM
17, PJ Larsen – KTM
Overall Point Standings SX Lites:
1, Justin Barcia – 100
2, Darryn Durham – 76
3, Ken Roczen – 75