Series Rookie Moves Up to Third in 450 Motocross Championship
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Blake Baggett added yet another memorable 2015 journal entry Saturday, in what has already been a year filled with red-letter days. Baggett raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to an overall podium finish in round three of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship in the True Value Thunder Valley National from Thunder Valley MX Park, in front of a national television audience on NBC Sports Network.
Baggett went 4-3 in the Lakewood motos earning his first-career podium in the AMA Pro 450 Motocross Championship in only his third race on the 450s for the series rookie.
At nearly a mile high in elevation and a track filled with massive climbs, Thunder Valley is a true test of raw horsepower and on that front the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 came through in flying colors with the supremely fit Baggett on the throttle.
It all started in timed qualifying where Baggett blistered the Lakewood circuit right out of the box with a time of 2:08.640 in the first session to qualify third. It marked the second consecutive standout qualifying performance for Baggett. Typical of Blake though, he was laser focused on the motos after the qualifying session.
“It was a good practice session and it gives me the third gate pick,” Baggett said. “I’m going to try to get a good start, race to the first turn and get up the hill and from there it’s just moto laps. We’ll see how far up we can make it.”
In the first moto Baggett ran sixth in the early going then made steady progress throughout the moto, using the ample power and sharp handling of his Suzuki RM-Z450 to make it up to fourth.
It was an even bigger climb for Blake in Moto 2, which saw him start off in ninth on lap one before mounting a strong charge through the field that ended with a podium finish in the moto, with third, and an overall podium, also third. It was another of those breakthrough weekends for Baggett, which are becoming the norm in his remarkable rookie 450 season.
“It was definitely a good week,” Baggett said. “Practice went well, got a fourth in the first moto and then in the second moto I was fortunate enough to get a little bit of a gift when the leader went down and I was able to finish third. I’m just plugging away and each week is getting better and better. I got third overall, so my first podium on the 450. I’m just excited to keep improving and I’m looking forward to next weekend.”
Yoshimura Suzuki will be back in action in the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship next Saturday, June 6, with the Red Bull Tennessee National from Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee.
Fans will get the chance to meet and get an autograph from Baggett on Friday, June 5, at Atlas Suzuki, 2377 Lee Highway, Bristol, VA, 24202, from 6-7:00 pm.
Lakewood 450 Motocross Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (2-1)
2. Ken Roczen (3-2)
3. Blake Baggett (4-3)
4. Broc Tickle (5-5)
5. Cole Seely (8-4)
6. Justin Barcia (7-6)
7. Eli Tomac (1-33)
8. Christophe Pourcel (11-7)
9. Phil Nicoletti (10-9)
10. Justin Brayton (9-10)
450 Motocross Standings:
1. Ryan Dungey, 128
2. Eli Tomac, 125
3. Blake Baggett, 99
4. Ken Roczen, 93
5. Justin Barcia, 87
6. Weston Peick, 79
7. Broc Tickle, 75
8. Jason Anderson, 72
9. Christophe Pourcel, 72
10. Phil Nicoletti, 62