The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team kicked off the 2018 season in a triumphant way on Saturday with a double-victory at the opening round of the AMA Supercross Championship in Anaheim, California. Marvin Musquin captured the first 450SX victory of the new season, while Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing Team’s Shane McElrath led the 250SX Main Event from start to finish to take the early lead in the west championship.
Following a highly successful off-season, Musquin came into the AMA Supercross Championship with a lot of momentum behind him. However, the French rider experienced a few struggles early on as he qualified 5th overall for the day, while capturing 4th place in the heat race.
But when the gate dropped for the 450SX Main Event, Musquin’s READY TO RACE instincts kicked in and he set his sights ahead. While he didn’t get the best jump off the start, Musquin quickly pushed himself into the top five on the opening lap and he continued to pick off riders through the first half of the race. Musquin eventually made the pass on Justin Barcia to take over the lead on lap 11 and from there he never looked back.
Musquin: “To win tonight definitely was not expected. It was a difficult day but I tried to stay calm and we were able to make it happen. I had a bad start in the Main Event but we put everything together and we were consistent, it was a long Main – but this is what we’ve been working so hard for. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support!”
In his official 450SX debut aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, Broc Tickle put forth a solid performance to earn 8th overall in the Main Event. Tickle began the race as far back as 19th place after getting pinched off on the start. About halfway into the 20-lap Main, Tickle was able to work his way inside the top ten where he continued to climb his way into 8th overall for the night.
Tickle: “Overall I’m pretty happy with the way things went at A1. I started 19th in the Main Event and finished 8th so overall, I’m happy. It was nice to work with the team to get things a little more comfortable per the track conditions and I’m happy with gaining more confidence there. Obviously, this is the first full race for me with the team so I’m really stoked with where I’m at and looking forward to making progress each and every weekend from here.”
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammates Shane McElrath and Alex Martin powered their KTM 250 SX-F machines off the line to grab the first two positions in the 250SX West Main Event. It was McElrath who assumed the lead position, while Martin maintained a top five position early on.
McElrath went on to lead all 18 laps of the Main Event to capture the first 250SX victory of the 2018 season.
McElrath: “We’ve worked really hard this off-season and we got everything out of it we could. It’s early in the season and I know everybody likes to be at A1 but this one feels good. The track was really demanding, the whoops were gnarly and it was good to get good stats tonight and put in a solid race.”
Photos Simon Cudby/ KTM Images