As far as the track goes, well, let’s just say it was unrecognizable at first sight. Massive jumps, deep dirt, and a completely new section added to the north end of the facility utilizing the off-road truck course were amongst some major changes. On top of it all, the standard portion of the track was run backwards from normal. Overall, the track builders outdid themselves and went big to provide a surface for some tremendous racing. The only problem was ability to see the entire track, although a few lucky fans were able to see most of the racing action from their coveted seats.
The top step of the podium belonged to the champ Ryan Dungey in both 450 motos, finishing with 1-1 scores over MotoConcepts Mike Alessi (2-2) who would holeshot and lead both motos early on only to be run down by Dungey’s KTM. RD would finish out the season with ten consecutive victories in the 450 class.
“It was a great season for me,” said Alessi. “To end the season second in the championship and with a 2-2 score today I am happy. I was really trying to get the win but I just didn’t have enough. The track conditions along with the heat made it really tough but it was good. I am happy about the season and happy with my team MotoConcepts and to be continuing with them in the future. Come Monday morning we will be out at the track testing and getting ready for Supercross.”
Third place in the championship would come down to the final moto between Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer and Honda CRF450 ace Andrew Short. Due to illness, Short would come up short and finish the day with 8-13 scores while Weimer would go on to finish with 5-9 scores and enough points to secure third overall in the championship over Short (fourth) and Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle (fifth).
(Top) Baggett went down in Moto 2 but was able to remount quickly and made it back up to second by the checkers.
(Bottom) Blake Baggett became the 2012 250 motocross champion at Lake Elsinore.
The 250 Class championship was the one to watch on Saturday as the point battle for the title wouldn’t be decided until the checkered flag flew at the conclusion of the final moto of the season. Four riders entered Lake Elsinore with a shot at winning the 250 Class title.
In Moto 1 it was GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia who put himself in the lead early only to be taken over by Pro Circuit’s Blake Baggett. Carrying the red plate since Round 1, Baggett would go on to finish the moto with a promising win over teammates Eli Tomac, another contender for the title, and Barcia.
In Moto 2 it was once again Barcia out front early. Points leader Baggett would have his work cut out as he needed a 13th-place finish to secure the title but it wouldn’t be easy after a back-of-the-pack start. Barcia began to open up a gap up front but Baggett was not going to let him have it that easy. The Pro Circuit riders charged through the field until a small would drop him back a few seconds. Baggett would make up the lost ground a secure a second place behind Barcia, securing not only the overall victory but the 2012 Lucas Oils Pro Motorcross 250 Class title.
The championship marks the 10th for Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team and also the 100th win for Pro Circuit in the Lucas Oils Pro Motocross Championship.
“I had to fight so heard for this championship, all 24 motos,” said Baggett. “Today was crazy for me with the heat and crashing in Moto 2 but that’s what it takes to come out on top. Last year I had moto wins but couldn’t put it together for the championship. This year, I held onto the red plate since Round 1 at Hangtown and am just glad I could do this in front of all my family and friends.”
Make sure to follow Blake Bagget and Justin Barcia as they team up with Ryan Dungey for their next challenge…Motocross of Nations.
Some of the biggest news coming into the final round of the season had nothing to do with the men but rather the women of American motocross racing. Announced about a week and a half ago was the decision to move the WMX series to Sunday’s amateur day for the 2013 season. That is IF they even include a woman’s pro series next year. Woman riders and supporters wore stickers at Lake Elsinore stating “I’m here for the ladies, support WMX.” Stand by for more information as we receive it.
Heading into the final of eight rounds of the WMX series saw 10 points separating the top three riders in the standings. But none of the three women would win either moto. It was Italian rider Chiara Fontanesi who made a guest appearance after recently clinching the Women’s World Motocross Championship. Fontanesi finished the day with 1-1 scores but the fight for the championship was what fans came out to see.
Coming into the final round Rockstar Suzuki’s six-time WMX champion Jessica Patterson led the points chase with a five point advantage over American Honda’s Ashley Fiolek and Troy Lee Designs Tarah Gieger. Patterson would enter the weekend with an injured ankle she suffered from a practice crash during the week prior. At the end of Moto 1 it was Fiolek with a second-place finish with Patterson finishing fourth. This put the Suzuki pilot only one point ahead of Fiolek heading into the final moto.
Patterson would run into a few issues with running off the track and eventually pulled off unable to finish due to her hurt ankle. Patterson’s DNF handed the 2012 WMX Championship to Fiolek despite missing a round earlier in the season due to a concussion. Ashley would finish third on the day with 2-3 finishes while MotoConcepts rider Mariana Balbi placed second with 3-2 scores.
That’s a wrap folks of the 2012 Lucas Oils Pro Motocross Series is complete and now we begin the long await for the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.