Blake Baggett not only survived, but actually thrived in atrocious conditions at the Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, Maryland at the weekend. Baggett raced to third overall with a 4-2 scorecard, in spite of facing a track turned into a mud bog in the second moto. Thunderstorms hit the facility and delayed the second moto, turning the hilly Maryland circuit into one of the most challenging adventures the riders had faced all season.
The strong podium finish moved Baggett up to fourth in the series standings – just eight points out of third – at the halfway point of the 12-round AMA Pro Motocross Championship. In timed qualifying Baggett provided no clue of the amazing day he was about to have. He clocked a decent 2:17.228 on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450, which placed him ninth. At the start of the first moto he used the power of his RM-Z450 to run fourth in the early going. He ran rock steady inside the top-five the entire moto and had to make his way around fellow Suzuki rider Ken Roczen in the final two laps to take home fourth. The second moto was delayed for a couple of hours after thunderstorms postponed the proceedings. The track was badly flooded in several sections so that also took time for officials to remedy.
In spite of track maintenance’s best efforts, the track was far from ideal in moto two. Throughout the moto riders crashed left and right and many dropped out or blew-up before the end. However Baggett found the tractable motor of his Yoshimura Suzuki working flawlessly despite the conditions. He ran in the top three the entire way in the moto and he and Christophe Pourcel engaged in a torrid battle in the closing laps. Both riders pushed so hard they fell, but it was Baggett finding a way to get past the Frenchman in the closing minutes to earn him second place. The runner-up result in the second moto was the best moto finish so far for Baggett in his rookie 450 Motocross campaign.
“Christophe (Pourcel) went down and I got around him,” Baggett explained of his late battle. “And then I went down and he got back around me. Then I made a last-ditch effort and got him at the off-camber corner there at the end. All in all it was a good weekend. This place is always awesome to me whether I win or I don’t. I love this place and I always love coming back, rain or shine it doesn’t matter. I’ve got to give it up to the whole Yoshimura Suzuki team for sticking behind me.”
Yoshimura Suzuki and Baggett return to racing in the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on Independence Day next Saturday, July 4th, as the series moves to the legendary Red Bud National in Buchanan, Michigan.
Budds Creek 450 Motocross Results:
1. Justin Barcia (3-1)
2. Christophe Pourcel (2-3)
3. Blake Baggett – Yoshimura Suzuki – (4-2)
4. Ken Roczen – RCH Suzuki – (5-4)
5. Ryan Dungey (1-12)
6. Jason Anderson (7-7)
7. Broc Tickle – RCH Suzuki – (6-9)
8. Phil Nicoletti (11-5)
9. Tommy Hahn (12-6)
10. Wil Hahn (8-14)