After two nights of action, the 2016 Geneva SX has come to a close. Fans that filled the Palexpo center were treated to incredible racing from a mixed field of competitors that included regulars to the French SX Tour and a few hired guns from the United States. Marvin Musquin claimed the wins in both main events and with this, earned his third “King of Geneva” crown. Justin Brayton and Malcolm Stewart tied for points over the weekend, but a better finish on the second night put Brayton second overall and Stewart third. Justin Barcia’s time in Switzerland was eventful from the very start, as he suffered a crash in the first practice session on Friday and then rallied back to two fourth-place rides in the main events. Kyle Chisholm was a last-minute addition to the race and despite a lack of resources when compared to his competition, fared well against the stout field.
Kyle Chisholm | 15th Overall
How was it this weekend?
It was alright and tonight (Saturday) was definitely better. I struggled a little bit all weekend, little bit of stuff with the bike going on with the clutch, so that was tough. It’s always soft over here and was actually soft but really slippery and drier than normal. The track was fun, tough to pass on, but it was fun and this race is awesome. For me and my family, it’s our favorite European race that we do. Eric Peronnard does an awesome job and I’m pumped to come over here, so it was fun.
This was a last-minute deal (Chisholm originally planned to be in Europe ahead of time for the German SX series, but instead came for just Geneva), so how was it to bring everything? It sounded like nothing went to plan until you got here.
Yeah, it was a little last-minute. I made the best of it and brought over the minimal stuff and made the most of it. I enjoy doing this race, it’s my favorite one of all the Euro races we do in the offseason. I was pumped to come over and I wish I did a little better, but I have another month before Anaheim so we will keep working. It’s good to see where I’m at with some stuff and I’m putting stuff together for next year, it’s up in the air a little bit, so I’m working on that at home. It was good to get a race under my belt.
Justin Barcia | 4th Overall
How was it this weekend?
I crashed in the first practice of the weekend in the whoops and tweaked myself a little, nothing too bad. I was just sore all weekend and that was unfortunate. I struggled with bike setup a lot and we made some phone calls to home. For the main event I got the bike good and pretty much holeshotted and led half the race. It was a good battle for a little bit but then I pushed the front-end and crashed, so I ended up fourth. Today (Saturday) the bike was working pretty good and in the heat race I got second and in the main event I got a bad start and worked up to Mookie (Malcolm Stewart). We diced it hard for five laps and made a few passes, a little aggressive but not too crazy I think. He got me good at the end [Laughs]. I didn’t make my last one stick and he held on tough then got me at the end. It was frustrating for me because I didn’t feel one hundred percent all weekend, and I don’t know if it’s from the crash or what. I think I rebounded good on Friday night and tonight was a struggle. I definitely have a lot of stuff to work on and luckily I have a few weeks. That’s the thing that’s good about coming over here, because I found some issues I don’t think I would have if I was at home and practicing. I think all in all, it was good for the first two races. I’ll go home and work on the few things that I think I need to work on. I’m going back to Florida and have been in Charlotte for a while, so I’ll go back to the compound and do some training and testing with the guys to make it for Anaheim. That’s what matters.
When we last talked it was at Lille. How much as the bike come around and how much did you bring over?
Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten any parts. We aren’t a factory team anymore really and we don’t get factory support. Not that we did at Yamaha, but they were on Yamaha bikes for nine years and it’s a little tough to get parts now because it’s such a new team and new bike. I think the only thing that I brought here was a little different suspension and some engine hangers to get a little different flex on the bike. It’s been a little tough and I’m definitely looking to go home and get a few more things on my bike. I know what I need and here I could have used a few things that would have made me a lot better. All in all, everyone is working super-hard at the team and I know Suzuki is helping us as much as they can, which is awesome and they’ve been great with us already. It’ll be a good relationship and I’m excited to go home and get bike exactly where I want it for Anaheim.
Malcolm Stewart | 3rd Overall
How was it this weekend?
It was great. Last night (Friday) was amazing and that was the first time I had a battle like that in a long time. Everyone played it cool and everyone didn’t want to take each other out, and that was good. Tonight was a good fun battle. Brayton and Marvin had a battle at the front and I dropped off a little bit. I wasn’t that comfortable, but hey, they were going faster than me. It just wasn’t my night. Barcia started coming up and me and him started getting into it. That was pretty cool. Of course you don’t want to be banging bars and stuff like that, because it does slow the race down, but that was one of the things that I needed to get into that mode of racing. We both tried each other a couple of times and around one corner I pushed him a little high, so I raised my hand like, “Please don’t crush in this next corner!” He didn’t, at least I don’t think he did, so that was good. On the last lap he got me pretty good and then he came over and said, “I thought I finished you!” But nah, man. He might have tried to finish me but he didn’t get the fatality [Laughs]. I came back in and gave him a little bang, so right after the race we shook hands and agreed that was an awesome race. We kept it pretty clean and neither of us went down, so overall that was a great weekend. I think everyone is safe, all of the Americans, and shout out to Jon Jon Ames and I’m glad he’s okay. We all get to go home and see our families, and that’s what really matters.
At this point last year, you raced three Euro races and then went into Supercross a few months after. How do you feel this year compared to then?
Well first off, last year I had a ride so I felt better last year [Laughs]. You can’t even compare those apples! That’s like an apple to a grape!
[Laughs] But I mean physically…
Physically, I’m good.
Last year you had taken a couple of spills in Lille.
Last year I needed to get my ducks in a row and this year I think I felt good for riding the bike that I had [a borrowed Honda CRF450R with select parts] and we made it happen. I know that every point counts and I learned a lot just racing the season and winning the championship this year. I try to just be more consistent and I think that’s the biggest difference between now and last year, honestly, both physically and mentally. But for sure there are differences and you can’t compare apples to apples!
Justin Brayton | 2nd Overall
How was it this weekend?
It was pretty good. I started off pretty rough in the first practice and I hadn’t ridden Supercross in almost three weeks. I had just flown back to the States from Australia, all the way to Charlotte and then flew here. I was jet-lagged big time. The first night was a little rough to get going and I honestly felt like I had the win on Friday night. I got into the lead with five or six laps to go and then with a few to go, my clutch just tightened up and I didn’t have a clutch. So I didn’t do the rhythm on the last few laps and couldn’t skim the whoops. I ended up getting third in that one. Tonight was a little better, I felt better in practice, won my heat, and then had a good battle with Marvin in the main event. He just beat me and was better than me all weekend, so there’s nothing to take away from him at all. He is riding really good and I was happy to give him a battle for most of the race. I’m super excited to get back to the States and in one time zone for a while. I’ll start riding the 2017 450 Honda on Tuesday, so I’ll head back to Charlotte on Sunday, then California on Monday, and then start testing on Tuesday.
Around this time of year you’ve already done a couple of Supercross races, maybe two or three. But now you’ve done a few weeks of Supercross. Do you feel like that will be a really good thing because you’ll start off sharp or will you have to make sure that you aren’t burned out later in the spring?
No, I think it’s going to be a positive for me. This one just happened to be rough because there was so much time with traveling back to the US, I didn’t have a bike in Charlotte, and I didn’t ride Supercross. But I think my race fitness and stuff is good from Australia and the biggest thing is just not riding the 2017 450 yet. I think that will be an easy transition so that’s cool that I can focus on that when I get back and not worry about race fitness or twenty laps. I feel good at the moment and I’m excited to get back and see the family, then start doing some testing.
Marvin Musquin | 1st Overall
How was it this weekend? It was another sweep.
Yeah, another sweep. It was a great weekend and obviously the goal was to win, be safe, and get good practice. Everything was good this weekend. The track was tough once again, it was rough and got rutted, but I had good competition with Barcia, Brayton, and Malcolm Stewart. My starts were good, but man, that s-turn got me a few times. In the first main Barcia got me on the inside and today Brayton got me from the outside. We were able to keep it one two wheels and were able to be there from the start, which was good. I had a good battle with Justin (Brayton). The whoops were actually tough and I was going to jump them while Brayton was going outside, but he saw me going inside and he started to do that too. I had to pick another spot to get around him and finally I made the pass. Unfortunately, I went off the track in the rhythm and I was a little mad, but I was safe and was able to get back on the track and won the second the night. I won King of Geneva for the third time now and that’s awesome. I really enjoy the weekend here. It’s tough to come here to Europe and build the bike in Austria, so thanks to thanks to Frankie for driving all the way here or to France for the work. Thank you to Frankie and the whole Red Bull KTM. At races like this you don’t want to get hurt and miss the championship, so it was good to be safe right now. I’m looking forward to the new season and the next race will be Anaheim One.
Compared to last year at this time, do you feel healthier because your wrist is all good?
Yeah, I do feel better right now. I’m more comfortable on the 450 and the setup is quite different than last year with the suspension and the way the bike handles. I’m happy and my conditioning is good too. Obviously I have a lot of jet lag coming here to Europe, we race at night so it’s not too bad, but during the day it is tough. But I feel better and it’s good to win, be safe, and go home.