The KTM team conquered the competition by sweeping the top three spots in both motos and the overall podium at the final round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, held at the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, IN on Saturday
Marvin Musquin ended a strong season by finishing second overall, while teammate Jeffrey Herlings went 1-1 in his US 450 class debut. Blake Baggett rounded out the podium with third overall.
Jeffrey Herlings, normally seen on the MXGP circuit, came to visit the AMA motocross series for the final round of the season. He made a good first impression by nailing down the fastest time in both practice sessions and looked ready to take on the talented field. He was second at the start of the first 450 moto, and made an immediate pass on Tomac three turns into the race and pushed to put a gap on the field behind him. T
eammate Marvin Musquin closed in about halfway through the race, but Herlings turned it up another level to stabilize Marvin’s charge and take the first 450 victory of the day. The second moto start didn’t go to plan, and a first lap crash put him at a deficit, but Jeffrey proceeded to tear through the field.
Passing multiple riders every lap, he was able to get all the way to third with 10 minutes and two laps to go. He caught and passed Blake Baggett for second, then began to push the pace toward the front and capitalized on a mistake made by Musquin to take over the lead with a lap and a half to go. He held strong as Musquin pushed behind him to take the final 450 win and overall victory of the season.
Herlings: “I’m really happy—fastest in both practices and won both motos! The second moto was a bit unfortunate with the start, but I went from last to third then got lucky with Marvin going down. But I went 1-1 so that’s all that matters. For my first race here in America I think it’s pretty impressive and I’m happy with it.
The team was amazing. To put a bike together in such a short time, and only having one day of testing – they were great. I was very thankful to work with the whole crew. They were amazing to me. It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to the MXGP next week.”
Marvin Musquin was top-10 at the start of the first 450 moto and charged up to third by the end of the first lap. He made the pass for second the following lap and was riding flawlessly. He stayed on the gas, dug deep, and closed the gap on leader and teammate Jeffrey Herlings.
He then went to battle for a few laps before eventually settling in second where he finished. He was top-three at the start of the second moto and took over the lead before the end of the second lap and began to check out. Leading by over six seconds at the halfway mark, he continued to push his pace but then went down with a lap and a half to go. He remounted and would eventually finish second. The 2-2 finish gave him second overall on the day. He finishes the 2017 season second overall in the 450 championship.
Musquin: “Indiana was great. I was a little off in practice but I made some great progress in the motos. I was closing in on Jeffrey in the first moto and it was a good feeling. It would have been tough to pass him because he was fast and had good lines. I still finished second, which is good. Then I was leading in the second moto and, unfortunately, made a mistake with two laps to go. I came up short and lost control of the bike then went down.
It was a bummer because I really wanted that overall, but I still showed people that my riding was good. Second overall is still great. The goal today was to get second in the championship and that’s what I did. I won four overalls and many motos this outdoor season – so that was a big step for me this year. Thanks to the whole Red Bull KTM team for their effort. I never gave up, even with injury, so I’m proud of that.”