The Factory KTM team has long since been one of the busier rigs in the paddocks – typically housing three of the most high-caliber and fan-favorite riders in the sport.
But for the first time in forever, the usually active rig lacked its familiar hustle and bustle so many have come accustomed to in recent years. With the unexpected and abrupt retirement from the champ, Ryan Dungey, and Trey Canard still healing from injuries he sustained during outdoor testing, Marvin Musquin suddenly found himself the lone ranger under the big orange rig.
If you follow US motocross at all, then you know the name at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts for the past week has been Ryan Dungey. Just mere days before the start of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, the multi-time Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross champion announced his retirement from professional racing – effective immediately.
Partner that with the fact that Ken Roczen, due to his laundry list of injuries sustained at round three of Monster Energy Supercross, wouldn’t be lining up for Pro Motocross either and you have a scenario that is most unusual and hasn’t happened in many years – there would be no defending or former champion in the entire 450 Class.
Sure, some riders have quite impressive resumes from their 250 careers, but as it stands, not a single rider currently competing in the 450 class has ever won a 450 championship – this goes for both Supercross and Motocross. Albeit unusual, this scenario could play into a ‘Cinderella Story’ type season for the Frenchman. Will this be the breakout year for Musquin?
Marvin Musquin may have lost a training partner at the Baker’s Factory, but his determination is as strong as ever to prove he’s got what it takes to be a champion once again.
During the 2017 Supercross season, we saw Marvin excel on the more rough and technical tracks and now is his chance to show the world what he’s made of in ‘The Great Outdoors’.
Musquin finished second in both Hangtown motos for a second overall – even leading a total of seven laps over the two races. This is the perfect foundation to build a solid season upon and with the departure of his superstar team-mate, Musquin will get the chance to earn his time in the spotlight. While so many of us are saddened to no longer see the #5 on the line, it could be just the catalyst Marvin needs – the final piece of the puzzle. And now that they are not competing with one another, Musquin has an even greater opportunity than ever before to learn from his former training partner.
With Ryan Dungey helping you pick out the best lines on the track, combined with Musquin’s speed sublime French skill and true grit, it might make for the perfect winning combination that will help further propel KTM as the ‘Ready To Race’ brand of champions.
Round one is in the books and it will be great to see how this story of the ‘Lone Ranger’ unfolds as the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season progresses.