MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI’S SHAWN IRWIN
HOMETOWN: Los Olivos, California
YEARS WRENCHING: 6
PAST RIDERS: Kyle Lewis, Timmy Ferry, Branden Jessemen, Jake Weimer
CURRENT RIDER: Blake Baggett
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett has had a great 2012 season. After what he considered a disappointing Supercross season, Baggett went on to dominate the grueling 24-moto Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship, never relinquishing the red plate as he took home his first major professional championship. But behind every great rider is an equally as capable mechanic.
Shawn Irwin has been spinning wrenches for a few seasons now, helped Jake Weimer take home his first Supercross Championship a couple years ago, and knows what it takes to win. Wondering exactly what went into Blakes incredible season, we decided to corner Irwin to get a closer look at what makes Baggett’s Kawasaki KX250F scream.
Over the year’s the Pro Circuit machines have become known as the fastest bikes in the pits. Mitch Payton and his talented crew spend countless hours fine-tuning the engines on the bikes in order to squeeze every last horsepower out of them. Irwin explained the process, “Zach White is in charge of engine development, so he’s always in the Dyno room working on something,” Irwin said. “It’s a continuous evolution throughout the year. Most of the changes or updates to the motor are discovered through racing or the Dyno. We do try out stuff in testing if we come up with something significant, but usually we just keep adding small changes in as we go through the year.”
As is the case with any factory level team, Pro Circuit knows every trick in the book to make the bikes perform at the top level. So much so that even the airbox, subframe, and sidepanels aren’t stock. ” The back end of the bike that he was racing with was off the current 2012 450—the airbox, fender, seat, and sidepanels,” Irwin said. “It’s actually the bodywork and rear end that you’ll find on the 2013 KX250F. During all the sound checking that we were doing before the season, we found out that the 450 airbox is quieter and that’s our biggest reason for running it.”
Check out the November issue of TransWorld Motocross for the complete write-up on Blake’s ride. Also, don’t forget to click through the photos below. There is more information included in there.