Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett ruled the day in Colorado, winning both motos to claim his second overall victory of the 2011 AMA Motocross season at Thunder Valley. Baggett’s teammate, Dean Wilson, earned second after challenging Baggett in both motos, and regained the lead in the 250 series ahead of his other Pro Circuit teammate, Tyla Rattray. Meanwhile Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac rounded out the overall podium during his home race with back-to-back third-place finishes.
Geico Honda’s Justin Barcia snagged a solid holeshot in the first moto ahead of Wilson, Volcom/FMF Honda’s Darryn Durham, DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Gareth Swanepoel and Kyle Cunningham. After settling into a groove Baggett moved up to fourth and was making up time on his competitors as Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Martin Davalos pulled off track with a mechanical issue. At the start of Lap 2, Baggett pulled around Durham to put himself within striking distance of Barcia and Wilson. Meanwhile Cunningham continued to make progress toward the front by snaking his way around Durham for fourth, but shortly after Cunningham’s bike started suffering power failure and he eventually had to pull into the pits.
Rattray, the current leader in the series, was nowhere to be seen in the top-10 after getting a poor start. The South African was running 13th, but by the halfway point he began moving up through the field. Outside the top-five was Durham, Swanepoel, TLD Honda’s Cole Seely, Tomac, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle, TLD Honda’s Travis Baker and Rattray. Wilson and Baggett started closing in on Barcia for the lead as Baggett also started making up ground on Wilson. It wasn’t long before Wilson snatched the lead from Barcia, but the Scotsman’s greatest threat came from his own teammate as Baggett also got around Barcia for second. The two Kawasaki teammates
Dean Wilson has once again taken the lead in the 250 standings after earnning 2-2 moto scores in Colorado.
were going side by side around the track, refusing to give in. After swapping the lead multiple times, Baggett eventually pulled ahead of Wilson just as Barcia became cross-rutted behind the duo and went down.
Baggett went on to claim his fourth moto win of the year ahead of Wilson and Tomac. Durham continued his excellent pace despite lacking factory support, finishing fourth just ahead of Rattray.
“I didn’t think it was going to be my day after practice,” said Baggett. “The bike just never felt good. I went into the race open minded and once the laps wound down, I just kind of began to get more comfortable and kept it going from there.”
Barcia went two for two after taking another holeshot in the second moto ahead of Baggett, Fox/Smith Honda’s Lance Vincent, Wilson and Tomac. It was easy for Baggett getting around Barcia, who quickly after lost his front end in a rut. One of the highlights of the race was Vincent’s battle with DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes for second. Vincent absolutely refused to give up his place behind Baggett. The two went back and forth with Vincent displaying tremendous grit to hold his ground. In the end though someone had to budge, and that person was Vincent. The Honda rider’s race only got worse from there as he crashed out shortly after.
By the end of the race Baggett had established a 10-second margin on Wilson, who pushed through the top-five but couldn’t overcome Baggett’s lead. In the end Baggett took another well-earned win in Colorado’s thin air. One of the major development to come out of Thunder Valley is Wilson’s rise to the top of the standings again just eight points ahead of Rattray. The result was made possible by the South African’s poor starts in both motos, which led to Rattray leaving Round 5 with a disappointing fifth overall.
“My day was really good,” Wilson said. “I got tight in the first moto, but still rode well. In the second moto, I just had a hard time getting around guys early. I felt great though. I just need to get up front a little faster. I’m pumped on points lead. I was bummed that I lost it. I just need to keep the ball rolling.”
250 Motocross Thunder Valley Results:
1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 2-2
3. Eli Tomac (Honda) 3-3
4. Darryn Durham (Honda) 4-6
5. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 5-5
6. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) 15-4
7. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki) 13-7
8. Travis Baker (Honda) 10-10
9. Justin Barcia (Honda) 9-12
10. Alex Martin (Honda) 11-13
11. Nick Paluzzi (Suzuki) 14-11
12. Cole Seely (Honda) 8-17
13. Nico Izzi (Honda) 12-15
14. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 6-21
15. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 7-35
250 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Dean Wilson, 214
2. Tyla Rattray, 206
3. Blake Baggett, 194
4. Eli Tomac, 176
5. Justin Barcia, 137
6. Kyle Cunningham, 127
7. Broc Tickle, 113
8. Gareth Swanepoel, 106
9. Darryn Durham, 94
10. Cole Seely, 89