Race Head #16 – Racer X
The goal of these title contenders is simply to perform. They don’t have to run the race of their lives. They just need to do what they’ve been doing all season. Get off to a good start, stay out of trouble, make good decisions and see what happens when checkers steal. If that means a title on Saturday, great. If that means it rolls over to another week, that’s fine too. They have amassed huge points advantages and lack the urgency of their opponents. They can let the race go and if it’s supposed to be fizzy in Foxborough, so be it.
This announcement from Tony Cairoli is big news for the series and really, really, really cool. #222 (yes he will run that number) retired last year from the MXGP series, but every time I’ve spoken to him over the years he’s always told me he’d love to race in national championships before all is said and done. I know the release says he is only racing the first two, but I think if all goes well for him and KTM he will continue all summer. It’s a bit of an announcement because I’m sure he wants to make sure he achieves his goals before continuing, I mean he has all the wins and all the titles and the money that a player needs, so if he for some reason shows up and is out of the top ten or whatever, then he’ll go home. It is highly doubtful. I think he fits into the top six or seven and fights for the podiums, but either way, it’s just great that, like Prince Akeem, he’s coming to America.
It’s a one day race here in Foxborough, the same schedule we were supposed to have in Atlanta before the rains came. So this time we will probably see this 5:30 track walk! Either way, Eli Tomac’s impending title is truly remarkable, and it would be his sixth national championship and his fifth on a 450. A hell of a win for the guys at Star Yamaha and Eli and John themselves. We’ve talked about it before, but few people thought he would get so many 450SX wins and a championship this year. Congratulations to everyone involved in this signing, what a first season in blue for ET.
Speaking of Eli, speaking of Foxborough, now we’re going to talk about Marvin Musquin. Last time we were here in 2018 was the race where Marvin went leopard seal and cleaned up Tomac with a few corners to go for the win. It was, uh, weird. Anyway, Marv crashed out in Atlanta but he had picked up a win and two more podiums before that. He’s had a good season, well maybe a great season (because he’s one of five guys to get a win), but it will end at SLC SX, as his current KTM contract expires at the end of the supercross. I wonder what the Austrians want to do with Marv next year. It seemed like this year’s deal was great for Musquin, and it was more like KTM was throwing him a bone because of his long history with the brand. But, again, he won a race this year! He also changed plans by returning to California and working with David Vuillemin. I think he wants to continue racing next year, some people close to him tell me he was a bit hesitant about that fact earlier this year, but I think he would now. All you want to be as a racer is competitive and Musquin was more than that. I don’t know where he might go next year, I don’t see anyone offering him factory gear outside of KTM on a similar deal to this year. But would he want to do it?
I don’t know if that’s it for Musquin, like in the three remaining runs of his career, but if it’s soaking in and giving him some props for an incredible career. The best Frenchman ever to come here apart from the incomparable JMB? I would say yes, he has no major titles but he has won everywhere on both sizes of bike and indoors and outdoors.
Here’s the Tomac teardown in case you forgot