The evening’s heat races were a carbon copy of the first night, with Marvin Musquin and Justin Brayton winning their respective races. It was no coincidence that Musquin and Brayton were also the top qualifiers, with Marvin edging Justin out by less than half a second. Brayton, the new signee at MotoConcepts Honda, looked more than ready to improve on his opening night main event finish of third. That’s because a clutch issue kept him from trying to seal the deal while leading with only a few laps to go. Musquin walked away with the win, and Malcolm Stewart capitalized on Brayton’s bike malfunction.
Night one belonged to the U.S. Supercross racers, but that’s no disrespect to the contingent of top-tier European Supercross racers. Arnaud Tonus, Cedric Soubeyras, Maxime Desprey, Thomas Ramette and Cyrille Coulon showed impressive speed. Tonus, the new addition to the Wilvo Yamaha 450 Grand Prix program, particularly looked strong. Although Arnaud had his struggles in America while aboard Pro Circuit Kawasaki, he has long been good at Supercross. It’s too bad health issues held him back. That’s all in the past, because Tonus said that he’s happy to be back in Europe and riding a 450.
The Geneva Supercross is more than a race. It captivates a crowd of 12,000 plus spectators with a pit party, freestyle motocross show (this year they hired Jackson Strong to do a front flip), and an opening ceremonies spectacle good enough for a Las Vegas production. The vibe is considerably different than what you’d find at a U.S. Supercross. That’s part of the event’s charm. The Geneva Supercross promotors attract U.S. riders with a good pay day, draw some of the best European Supercross riders, add a top European ringer like Marvin Musquin, and also hold a 250 Supercross race. There’s something for everyone here.
Now for the racing. Justin Brayton took his normal outside starting gate in an effort to get a clean run out of the gate and pinch off the riders to his inside. It worked, as Brayton grabbed the start and took off. His only hang-up was that Musquin closely followed pursuit. Thomas Ramette was on Marvin’s wheel, and then came Malcolm Stewart. Justin Barcia was on Stewart’s heels.
Brayton rode with precision and confidence through the beginning stages of the main, leading Musquin for the opening six laps. Then Marvin found his way around and tried checking out. Justin wasn’t having any of it, at least for the next few laps. However, Musquin’s pace proved too much for Brayton. Marvin took the checkers nearly six seconds ahead. In the post-race press conference, Brayton commended Musquin on his riding, saying, “He’s riding good. I can’t take anything away from him. He was riding awesome tonight.”
Meanwhile, a block-pass fest full of old-school flair took place between Justin Barcia and Malcolm Stewart for third place. Barcia was giving Stewart the business, but Malcolm wasn’t rattled. Every attack was met with a crafty counterpunch. The back-and-forth further demonstrated Malcolm’s resolve, even if he’s only a few races into his 450 career. Afterward, the two shook hands, although you have to believe that Barcia was screaming obscenities on his way back to the pits in fourth. At a time when Supercross has been a series of runaway victories, the Geneva Supercross had a fair share of great racing. Friday night was a battle for the lead; tonight it was for third.
Marvin Musquin is now a three-time winner and knocking on the door to become only the second four-peat King of Geneva. He would join Justin Brayton. Past winners include Ron Lechien, Guy Cooper, Jeff Stanton, Damon Huffman, David Vuillemin, Damon Bradshaw and Jeremy McGrath. That’s an esteemed group. Congratulations to Musquin for going 1-1 on the weekend. He’s looking ready to line up at Anaheim 1 if the series kicked off next weekend. Watch out for this guy.
That’s it from the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, and the last offseason race before the 2017 Supercross series kicks off at Anaheim on January 7th. Thanks to Eric Peronnard and the Geneva Supercross promoters for the hospitality. They have been tres bien! Merci.
GENEVA SUPERCROSS: NIGHT TWO OVERALL RESULTS
1. Marvin Musquin…KTM
2. Malcolm Stewart…Hon
3. Justin Brayton…Hon
4. Justin Barcia…Suz
5. Thomas Ramette…Suz
6. Cedric Soubeyras…Suz
7. Christophe Martin…Hon
8. Simon Mallet…Hon
9. Killian Auberson…KTM
10. Adrien Escoffier…Hus
KING OF GENEVA: OVERALL RACE RESULTS
1. Marvin Musquin…France
2. Justin Brayton…USA
3. Malcolm Stewart…USA
4. Justin Barcia…USA
5. Cedric Soubeyras…France
6. Thomas Ramette…France
7. Simon Mallet…France
8. Killian Auberson…Switzerland
9. Christophe Martin…France
10. Cyrille Coulon