Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett came back from disappointing results in the last round for the overall win at High Point.
In Round 3 of the 2011 AMA 250 Motocross Championship Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett took his second overall victory of the season at High Point. Earning the double victory, Baggett overcame a crash in the second match for the win ahead of teammate, Tyla Rattray, and Honda’s Eli Tomac.
Troy Honda’s Nico Izzi took the holeshot in the first 250 moto ahead of Volcom/FMF Honda’s Darryn Durham, DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes and Rattray. Privateer rider and Pennsylvania’s own Durham quickly grabbed the lead as Sipes advanced ahead of Izzi. Suzuki City’s Malcolm Stewart, Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson and DNA Shred Stix Yamaha’s Kyle Cunningham were running fourth through sixth respectively while Honda riders Justin Barcia, Tomac and TLD Honda’s Cole Seely all struggled to overcome bad starts outside the top-10.
Wilson put the moves on Stewart for fifth early on as Durham continued to ride one of the best races of his career in the lead. Sipes put up a brief fight with the leader, but Durham easily pulled ahead on his home turf to maintain the lead past the halfway mark.
Dean Wilson fumbled in the second moto and gave up the lead. He finished fourth overall with 2-8 moto scores.
The most intense racing in the moto occurred in the final half when Baggett began to charge ahead. Wilson kept his fight for the lead going with a solid pass on Rattray, the Scotsman still needing to make up more than five seconds on Sipes for second. Despite getting a bad start, Baggett cruised through the ranks and suddenly was pressuring Rattray for fourth. Durham’s first mistake came when he spun-out in a corner, but he managed to recover quickly to keep his lead. At this point the top-10 running order was Durham, Sipes, Wilson, Rattray, Baggett, Izzi, Cunningham, Barcia, Tomac and Stewart.
Baggett was pulling lap times that were more than four seconds faster than his rivals, allowing him to scrape by Rattray for fourth. Sipes had his strong ride erased when he suffered a hard crash, giving second to Wilson with just minutes remaining. The crowd was on its feet as Baggett went after Wilson. The duo traded positions with Wilson riding extremely smart to keep the No. 57 of Baggett in his exhaust. The Scotsman’s efforts were eventually not enough, however, and his teammate blasted by with Durham next in his sights.
Baggett easily grabbed the lead from Durham, who faltered in the final laps to allow the Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider his second moto win of the season. As Durham’s pace began to slow Wilson managed his way around the privateer rider, with Rattray also getting by in the final seconds for the final podium spot. It was nothing but green on the podium in the first 250 moto.
The second race began with Wilson taking the lead ahead of Rattray, Seely and Baggett. It was cutthroat competition between Kawasaki teammates as Wilson cut through Rattray’s line to take the early lead as Baggett
As tough as Tyla Rattray Is, the South African couldn’t match Baggett’s pace and had to settle for runner-up.
jumped ahead of Seely and Rattray. Wilson threw away his chance at the win by crashing and falling to the back of the top-10, giving Baggett a definite advantage early in the contest.
Rattray and Seely battled for second as Izzi crashed, handing fourth place to Stewart. The track was quickly becoming a mess and claiming riders left and right as Seely moved up to second ahead of Rattray. After getting a mediocre start Barcia was up to fifth and struggling with Stewart as Rattray won second place back from Seely. Meanwhile Durham, who had performed so well in the first moto, was outside the top-20.
Despite suffering from an ear infection, Barcia passed Stewart for fourth as Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle claimed seventh from Alex Martin. Tomac was also on the move, grabbing fifth with Tickle moving right behind him. Baggett then crashed out of the lead but recovered in third before passing Seely again. After his crash Baggett had more than 10 seconds to make up on the South African for the lead.
Baggett’s lap times only improved later in the moto, the 19-year-old making up tremendous ground on Rattray in the process. With just three laps to go Baggett had erased Rattray’s advantage and the two were going at it for the win. It was brutal fighting between the duo as the two teammates never let up. In the end Baggett’s hard-charging tactics prevailed, and he claimed the overall with two moto wins. Tomac improved from previous rounds, finishing on the podium behind Rattray.
“In the first moto I had my work cut out for me,” said Baggett. “I waited until halfway and put on a late charge. In the second moto, it was muddy, and I had a brain fade and just went down. After that, I just went for it. I didn’t know what Tyla (Rattray) had done in the first moto, so I just knew that a 1-1 would win. We actually had a battle there for a while, but I ended up getting around him. I’m looking forward to next weekend.”
250 Motocross High Point Results:
1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 3-2
3. Eli Tomac (Honda) 6-3
4. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 2-8
5. Brock Tickle (Kawasaki) 10-4
6. Justin Barcia (Honda) 8-7
7. Cole Seely (Honda) 11-5
8. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 5-11
9. Darryn Durham (Honda) 4-14
10. Alex Martin (Honda) 13-6
11. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki) 9-10
12. Travis Baker (Honda) 15-9
13. Nico Izzi (Honda) 7-18
14. Nick Paluzzi (Suzuki) 14-13
15. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 12-15
250 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Tyla Rattray, 127
2. Dean Wilson, 125
3. Blake Baggett, 116
4. Eli Tomac, 104
5. Kyle Cunningham, 90
6. Justin Barcia, 79
7. Cole Seely, 68
8. Broc Tickle, 67
9. Gareth Swanepoel, 61
10. Martin Davalos, 53