Baggett Holds On To Points Lead For Eighth-Consecutive Round with Podium Finish at Washougal
Irvine, Calif. (July 22, 2012) - After two hard fought motos at Round 8 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Wash., Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett finished third overall in the 250 class with a 6-1 moto result. His hard charging style paid off in the second moto where he made a late-race pass to secure the win and retain the coveted red plate on his KX™250F. In the 450 class, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jake Weimer put together a couple solid rides to finish fourth overall with a 3-5 moto result. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Broc Tickle powered his KX™450F to fifth overall after going 6-4 while Tyla Rattray struggled to find his groove on the tricky Washougal dirt and finished 19th, with a 15-18 result. In the 250 class, Ivan Tedesco finished 19th overall after going 15-37 on the day.
After a frustrating first moto that left Baggett finishing in sixth, he came out swinging in the second moto aboard his KX250F. When the gate dropped, he powered to the front of the pack and three laps later he was right on the heels of the leader. He paced the leader for 11 laps waiting for a mistake and scoping new lines where he might make a move. With three laps remaining, Baggett made his move and took command of the race. The moto win earned him third overall and allowed him to keep the red number plates on his Kawasaki for an eighth-consecutive round. Baggett currently holds an 11-point lead over second in the championship standings.
"I was feeling really good during practice," said Baggett. "I was second fastest in qualifying, but the first moto didn't go that well. I found myself on the ground twice, almost three times, but I saved it. I just struggled, started second and went backwards after a few crashes and ended up sixth. We made some tire changes and a little bit of a suspension change going into the second moto. I got a good start and was able to hunt them down and get to the front. It was a battle with four laps to go, but I was able to get it done and salvage some points. I lost some points so now I'm going to have to come out swinging at Southwick. My goal is to have my name on Mitch's (Payton) door by the end of the year."
On the Bubble
After finishing on the podium last weekend at Millville, Weimer's confidence was high coming into Washougal. In 450 Moto 1, he got a good start and rounded the first lap in third. He maintained a fast pace over the deteriorating track for the entire 30-minute plus two-lap moto, never allowing anyone by and finished in third place. In 450 Moto 2, he got another good start and by the fourth lap had worked his way into fourth. A couple mistakes on lap five dropped him to seventh, but Weimer worked his way back into fifth place before the finish leaving him with fourth overall on the day. He currently sits third in the championship standings.
"It was a tough day," said Weimer. "I struggled in practice. I was on the podium in the first moto, but I felt like I should have done better. Second moto I didn't get a great start, but was in a position to end the day on the podium and crashed. There are trees all around the track so as the day got later it got harder to see the sections of track in the shade. The track was pretty rough and it got sketchy flying though those dark, bumpy sections. You just had to commit to a line and never change because you never know what you're really going to run into. It's pretty sketchy. I actually like this track; it's tough and it's different."
After putting in countless hours training and testing since his move up to the 450 class, Tickle's hard work and determination is really showing. In 450 Moto 1, Tickle got pinched off after the start and found himself in 13th place rounding the first lap. He immediately went to work picking off riders and maneuvered his way through the pack to finish sixth. In Moto 2, Tickle got a better jump off the gate and rounded the first turn in fifth, behind Weimer. Throughout the next six laps he battled back and forth with Weimer and by the seventh lap, Tickle was able to make the pass stick and later finished the race in fourth place. Tickle earned fifth overall for the day and currently sits fifth in the championship points.
"Things got better as the day went on," said Tickle. "I qualified seventh and was feeling pretty good. In the first moto I just got caught in the pack and had to work through it. We made a few changes between motos and my Kawasaki was feeling really good even though the track was breaking down. The second moto I got a pretty good start and battled with Weimer for most of the race. I was happy to finish fourth and take fifth overall. I am just going to keep working hard and hope to get back on the podium at Southwick."
Working Out the Bugs
Since Rattray made the move up to the 450 class, he had only been able to compete in two outdoor national events on the new bike coming into Washougal due to an injury he sustained at the opening round. In the first moto, he got pinched off after the start and found himself in 12th position. Rattray tried to battle through the pack, but a few mistakes and several yellow flags during the moto left him finishing 15th. After making changes to the bike for the second moto, Rattray went out and had a similar experience and finished 18th to earn 19th overall.
"Practice didn't start too bad," said Rattray. "I struggled a little in the first one then we made some changes and that was better so I qualified 11th. The motos didn't go how I wanted at all. I struggled a bit and just feel I need more time to get used to the bike. We've got a couple weeks off and I plan to do as much training and testing as possible. I've won the last couple years at Southwick in the 250 class so I feel pretty confident with the sand and the track. This year I'm racing a different machine, it's a lot heavier and has way more power. I need to see how it goes this week after we get some good testing in and then I'll be looking forward to Southwick."
Rolling With the Punches
After sustaining an injury at Budds Creek, Tedesco took a few weeks off to heal and was excited to get back into the action at Washougal. In the first moto, he got a mid-pack start on his KX250F and rounded the first lap in 12th. He tried to battle through the congested pack, but kept losing ground. Halfway through the race he went down, injured himself and had to slow down. Tedesco finished the race in 19th place, but was unable to compete in the second moto due to the knee injury.
"I was excited to get back to competition," said Tedesco. "I like the track out here and was feeling good during qualifying. I threw down some solid laps and qualified 14th overall. I didn't get the start I needed during the first moto and went down. I think I re-injured the same knee I did earlier this year at Freestone. I'm going to get it checked out this week and will know more after I get the results of the MRI."
Still the Champ
Due to a torn ACL that Ryan Villopoto sustained while competing at Seattle Supercross, he was left unable to defend his 2011 AMA Pro Motocross 450 Class Championship. Although he can't compete, Villopoto has still been attending select races throughout the year to support his teammates and to visit fans. Growing up in Washington state, Washougal MX Park is a home track for Villopoto where he has been competing since his amateur days. A local fan-favorite, when word spread that the local champion was in town, people came out of the wood work to say hello. From the Kawasaki dealership he visited on Friday night before the race, to the autograph session under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent on race day, it seemed like there were people cheering around every corner and from behind every tree.
"Washougal is probably one of the most unique tracks we ride," said Villopoto. "There a lot of shadows from the trees and the dirt is really different. By different I mean it looks like it's very tacky, but it's actually pretty slippery. You have to work on throttle control and line choice is really important out here. It's definitely one of the most beautiful places we visit during the outdoor nationals. This is really like a hometown track for me since I grew up not too far from here and raced here as an amateur."
More Than a Racetrack
Dubbed "The World's Most Scenic Raceway", Washougal MX Park has many facets which set it apart from all of the other tracks on the outdoor national circuit. Just driving to the track feels more like you are embarking on a camping trip deep into the Pacific Northwest rather than visiting a popular race track. Set in the middle of a dense forest and surrounded by lush vegetation and beautifully clean rivers, the track stays much cooler than most tracks. The large Pine and Hemlock trees which surround the track also provide much needed shade for spectators and competitors alike.
After a three week break from competition, the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship will reconvene on August 11, for Round 9 at MotoX-338 in Southwick, Mass. Known for its deep, sandy turns, Monster Energy Kawasaki's racers plan to take advantage of the three week break by heading to California to put in some time on sand tracks and get their bikes dialed before heading back East.
Getting Warmed Up
Villopoto brought a glove and ball to the track at Washougal MX Park to warm up his throwing arm for Sunday's baseball game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. While he typically visits Angel Stadium a couple times a year to race supercross, this weekend Villopoto will be throwing out the first pitch prior to the Angels-Rangers game which begins Sunday, July 22 at 5:00 pm PDT.
AMA Pro Motocross Championship - Round 8 of 12
Washougal MX Park – Washougal, Wash.
July 22, 2012
450 Class Race Results
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-1)
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (1-2)
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (4-3)
4. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI (3-5)
5. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (6-4)
6. Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Honda (7-7)
7. KYLE CHISHOLM, VALRICO, FLA., JWR KAWASAKI (8-10)
8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (10-9)
9. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (9-11)
10. JOSH GRANT, RIVERSIDE, CALIF., JWR KAWASAKI (17-6)
19. TYLA RATTRAY, WILDOMAR, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (15-18)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 383
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 303
3. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 280
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 247
5. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 220
6. Justin Brayton, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 183
7. JOSH GRANT, RIVERSIDE, CALIF., JWR KAWASAKI, 169
8. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 151
9. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 142
10. KYLE CHISHOLM, VALRICO, FLA., JWR KAWASAKI, 137
19. TYLA RATTRAY, WILDOMAR, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 58
250 Class Race Results
1. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (1-2)
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (2-3)
3. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (6-1)
4. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (3-4)
5. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (4-7)
6. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki (7-6)
7. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (9-5)
8. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (5-10)
9. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha (8-8)
10. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki (10-9)
19. IVAN TEDESCO, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (15-37)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 355
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 344
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 323
4. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 305
5. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 256
6. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 218
7. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 185
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M, Suzuki, 168
9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 144
10. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda, 134
13. IVAN TEDESCO, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 105