Blake Baggett Eclipses the Field at Hangtown Motocross Opener

Irvine, Calif. (May 19, 2012) – A day before a solar eclipse hit Prairie City OHV Park, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett stole the show at Round 1 of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Sacramento, Calif. Baggett commanded his first win of the season with a perfect 1-1 moto result.

Teammate Ivan Tedesco skillfully powered his new KX™250F to finish fourth overall with a 6-5 result. In the 450 Class, Broc Tickle looked more confident on his Kawasaki, going 6-7 to earn sixth overall. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer charged back from a crash in the first moto to finish eighth overall with a 10-6 result. Teammate Tyla Rattray and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson pulled off early due to injuries.

Stealing the Show
After winning the Hangtown Motocross Classic season opener last year, Baggett knew he could contend for the podium again. Come race time he did not disappoint and gave it all he had to secure his second-consecutive win at the season opener. In the 250 Class Moto 1, Baggett was just inside the top ten coming around the first lap and immediately began picking off riders. He fought his way to the front and on the final lap had two racers to best to take the win. He powered past the leader with only three turns remaining in the moto to steal the win and the crowd went wild. In the second moto he was able to get to the front within the first ten minutes of the race and never looked back. He finished the day with a 1-1 result to command the first win of the season aboard his KX250F.

“The track was pretty rough,” said Baggett. “This track is always pretty gnarly so we knew what to expect coming here. I definitely think last year the track was much more rutted, this year there weren’t nearly as many ruts. Everything went really good once the racing began. I got an okay start in the first moto and faded back to eighth. I was able to get back towards the front and with two laps to go it was on. I was able to get both (Ken) Roczen and (Justin) Bacia on the last lap to take the win. It was a super intense race and by far one of the gnarliest battles I’ve had. You really have to watch it on television to even understand it. I have always liked the track here at Hangtown; you can get into a good flow in these hills if you find the right lines.”

Full Circle
The newest member of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, Tedesco proved he still has what it takes to be a threat in the 250 class. Although he hadn’t competed on a KX250F in seven years, he appeared to have not missed a beat since he last earned an outdoor championship on a 2005 KX250F. In the first moto, Tedesco was able to maneuver into third coming around the first corner and rode solid to finish sixth. In Moto 2, he got another good start and powered his way to fifth to secure fourth overall on the weekend.

“I came out of the first round with fourth so I’m happy with that,” said Tedesco. “I have something to build off now. I need to work a little on my fitness, but coming into this with such short notice I knew that anyway. Everything is really what I expected coming back to compete in the 250 class. These kids are fast. These are the future champions coming up and the 250 class is almost as hard as the 450 class. It’s a little different being back on the KX250F, but I’m having fun with it. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling and give these kids a run for their money.”

Solid Performance
Tickle has continued to show improvement on his KX450F throughout the super cross season and was looking more confident than ever at Hangtown. He got good starts in both motos and went 6-7 to secure sixth overall over the weekend.

“I’m happy to leave with sixth overall,” said Tickle. “I got my feet wet in the outdoors on my KX450F and now I know where I need to go from here to continue to progress. My fitness feels good, but I think everyone gets tired here at Hangtown. The track was a little more hard packed than last year. It’s pretty gnarly on your whole body and your hands get ripped up especially as the course breaks down. I’m leaving Hangtown with two good moto finishes and achieved my goal coming into this round. I just want to move on to next weekend and keep building from here. I have been testing the KX450F for outdoors since Houston. The handling is on point and power is good, I’m ready to get on the podium.”

On the Charge
In the 450 Class Moto 1, Weimer went down on the first lap of the race knocking him to 40th place. He jumped back on his KX450F and put together an impressive charge in the 30-minute plus two-lap moto, passing 30 competitors to finish 10th. In the second moto, Weimer got a good start and came around the first lap in ninth place. He was able to work his way into sixth by the checkered flag and would finish the day in with eighth overall.

“It wasn’t a bad start to the season,” said Weimer. “The track was pretty rough out there and kind of wore me out. I will definitely be working with Aldon Baker to improve my fitness before we head to the Freestone National. The first moto I just got tangled up and got knocked to the back of the pack. I had to fight my way through most of the pack to salvage points. I know I can do better, so we’re going to work on a few things this week and come to Freestone ready to get on the box.”

Reigning Champion
Since Wilson injured his shoulder while racing in Seattle, Wash., during the supercross season, he has been fighting significant pain in his shoulder to remain in the title hunt. He came to the Hangtown National with the coveted red number-one plate on his KX250F and was determined to defend his title. Despite the injury, Wilson was hoping his shoulder would hold out until the end of the outdoor season, but during the first moto the pain was too much and forced him out of the race.

“I came off an okay start in the first moto and was working my way through the pack when my shoulder came out again,” said Wilson. “That was the last straw for me. I came to the realization that I can’t wait to get this repaired properly. It’s just not worth it to be out there in pain battling for eighth place. I really want to be out there defending my title, so it was a bummer to have to pull out. I know this is something that I just have to take care of or it’s going to keep causing problems. I came to Hangtown hoping it would hold out, but now I know it clearly needs to get fixed. I’m hoping I can get this fixed quickly, heal up, and come back strong in 2013.”

Rough Start
After recently making the move to the 450 class for Monster Energy Kawasaki, Rattray was looking to be a force in the premier class. With plenty of testing already logged on his KX450F, and having already competed in the Motocross of Nations on the bike, he was prepared to contend for the 450 Class championship. However, in the first lap of Moto 1 he sustained an injury to his hand and had to pull off the track.

“I was pretty disappointed about having to pull out of the race early,” said Rattray. “In the first moto I got a decent start and began making passes. I got around a few people then I got drilled in the hand with a rock. I tried to keep riding, but every time I pulled the clutch lever my hand was really hurting so I pulled off to get it checked out. I went to the Asterisk tent and when they X-rayed my hand they found a fracture in a bone behind my knuckle, kind of like a boxers fracture. I wasn’t able to continue racing and will go to the doctor Monday to find out the full prognosis.”

Rice Hulls
Each season the track owners at Prairie City OHV make improvements to the Hangtown MX course in order to make the event better for fans and competitors alike. Over the past couple years they have been mixing rice hulls with the dirt on the course to help reduce dust and improve the structure of the track surface.

The Right Stuff
While Darryn Durham was looking to make a run for the 250 Class title in the outdoors, an injury he sustained practicing a week prior to the launch of the outdoor season forced him out of the series. The choice to ride in Durham’s absence was Tedesco, a championship-proven racer with a 2005 AMA Pro Motocross title and back-to-back AMA Supercross Lites West championships in 2004 and 2005, all earned aboard a Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250F.

“I rode the KX250F for six days before coming out to Hangtown,” said Tedesco. “The first two days of testing was challenging. The tranny was so different than the KX450F I ride for supercross, but I got the timing figured out by the second day of testing. I’m feeling pretty solid on the bike now and hope to continue to improve as the season progresses. You can really tell Kawasaki has done their homework, this KX250F is awesome. It’s a whole different animal than the one I rode back in 2005, that bike had a steel frame.”

Off and Running
Next weekend, Monster Energy Kawasaki travels to Freestone Raceway in Wortham, Texas for Round 2 of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

Results
2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship – Round 1 of 12
Hangtown National
Prairie City OHV Park – Sacramento
May 19, 2012

450 Class Result
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (3-2)
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (7-3)
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (5-4)
5. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (4-5)
6. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (6-7)
7. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha (2-14)
8. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (10-6)
9. JOSH GRANT, RIVERSIDE, CALIF., KAWASAKI (9-8)
10. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich., Yamaha (11-10)

450 Class Championship Standings
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 50
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 42
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 34
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 34
5. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 34
6. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 29
7. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha, 29
8. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 26
9. JOSH GRANT, RIVERSIDE, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 25
10. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich., Yamaha, 21

250 Class Result
1. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (1-1)
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (3-2)
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (2-3)
4. IVAN TEDESCO, MURRIETA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (6-5)
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (4-10)
6. Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki (14-4)
7. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Yamaha (9-8)
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki (8-9)
9. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (5-14)
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (7-13)

250 Class Championship Standings
1. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI , 50
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 42
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 42
4. IVAN TEDESCO, MURRIETA, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 31
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 29
6. Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki, 25
7. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Yamaha, 25
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 25
9. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 23
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 22

WMX Class Result
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki (2-2)
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (1-5)
3. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda (3-3)
4. MEGHAN RUTLEDGE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN (8-1)
5. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Honda (5-4)
6. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda (6-6)
7. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda (7-8)
8. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM (11-9)
9. LINDSEY PALMER, CONIFER, COLO., KAWASAKI (10-11)
10. Hailey Larson, Green Brae, Calif., Honda (9-13)

WMX Class Standings
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 44
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 41
3. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda, 40
4. MEGHAN RUTLEDGE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI TEAM GREEN 38
5. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Honda, 34
6. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda, 30
7. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda, 27
8. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM, 22
9. LINDSEY PALMER, CONIFER, COLO., KAWASAKI, 21
10. Hailey Larson, Green Brae, Calif., Honda, 20

If you enjoy reading our Articles, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles and News information on Motorcycles delivered to your feed reader. Thank you and have a great day!

Comments are closed.