Justin Barcia holeshot Moto 1, but the lead was taken away before heading up Washougal’s Horsepower Hill by Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett. Ryan Sipes was the fastest qualifier and he jumped into second early on the first lap. After crossing the finish line the Star Racing DNA Shred Stix Yamaha rider went by Baggett and into the lead. Sipes would hold the point position until Lap 5 when Baggett reclaimed the lead and never looked back.
Points leader, Dean Wilson, rounded the first lap in 13th and was dealing with traffic as a result of his crappy start. By the halfway point he was up to eighth and still pushing would end in fifth. Meanwhile, Sipes succumbed to a mistake that dropped him to an eventual 15th. Hard-charging Kyle Cunningham and the third Monster PC Kawi rider in the championship fight, Tyla Rattray, moved forward with the Kawi rider in front. The South African would not catch his younger teammate, but a runner-up put him in excellent position for the overall. Geico Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia slipped into fourth.
Moto 2 involved some ongoing mathematics as everyone tried to figure out the overall results. Wilson had something to prove and he led all 16 laps. Baggett was nursing an injured shoulder. He said it gets tired but that didn’t seem to show as he tried to repeat his opening victory. Unfortunately he was down in ninth after Lap 1. The #57 bike put on one of his classic charges through the pack and worked up to fourth behind Gareth Swanepoel’s Star Racing DNA Shred Stix Yamaha. He needed to get by the South African in order to win the overall, which he did on lap 13. That’s where he would stay for the remainder of the session to claim the overall, but the action wasn’t finished up front.
“I literally had no clue what place I got,” Baggett said from the podium. “I thought I was somewhere between fourth to eighth. You couldn’t see anything out there, the shadows were really bad, and, hey, I won it. That’s pretty cool.”
Dean Wilson rode like a man possessed in the second moto but a win wasn’t good enough to get the overall. He still leads the championship.
Rattray shaved off a couple seconds with two laps to go and pulled to within a second of Wilson as the white flag dropped. Rattray was not able to try an outside line entering the whoop section as a lapped rider occupied the edge of the track, and he was forced to follow Wilson through the rollers for a narrow 0.6-second deficit at the checkers.
Rattray mirrored his teammate’s comments about the difficult Washougal layout. “It’s a very technical track… I managed to sort it out there at the end and it was just too late,” said the runner-up.
Wilson continues to seek the elusive overall victory, but third overall allows him to keep his lead in the championship.
“I was taking my frustrations out,” he said of the determined Moto 2 ride. “The first moto was such a disappointment – my start was terrible, I fell once – I just didn’t get in my groove. So for that second one I was fired up. I was pissed. I just wanted that one so bad. Tyla was on it… I told myself ‘I came this far I’m not going to let him by now.’”
It was the fifth time that the Kawasaki team has swept the overall podium this season.
2011 AMA Motocross 250 Results:
1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 1-3
2. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 2-2
3. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 5-1
4. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 3-7
Tyla Rattray was 0.6 seconds away from an overall victory. His 2-2-2 keeps him as championship runner-up.
5. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 7-4
6. Justin Barcia (Honda) 4-10
7. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki) 8-8
8. Martin Davalos (Suzuki) 13-5
9. Darryn Durham (Honda) 11-9
10. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 9-16
2011 AMA Motocross 250 Championship Points:
1. Dean Wilson, 346
2. Tyla Rattray, 333
3. Blake Baggett, 329
4. Kyle Cunningham, 233
5. Eli Tomac, 201
6. Broc Tickle, 187
7. Justin Barcia, 181
8. Gareth Swanepoel, 177
9. Martin Davalos, 152
10. Darryn Durham, 144