CORONA, CA – May 16, 2013 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – With a full slate of healthy riders eager to take to the track, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki is prepared for 12 rounds of action for the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, which kicks off this Saturday, May 18, with the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento. Mitch Payton’s squad will roll two big rigs into the pits this weekend for the first time, featuring five riders in the 250 Class in search of an 11th championship in addition to a pair of riders looking to earn the team’s first 450 Class title.
Since joining the AMA Pro Motocross Championship in 1991, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki has established itself as the standard bearer in the smaller displacement, boasting the most consistent and prolific organization in the history of the division. After winning six of the last eight 250 Class Championships, Payton decided to embark on the team’s next endeavor last summer by joining the 450 Class for the first time. With a year of experience under its belt, the team is back for 2013 with a pair of top-level riders and a brand new race rig to chase 450 Class success.
Baggett Sets Sights on Repeating as 250 Class Champion
Blake Baggett enters the AMA Pro Motocross Championship as the reigning 250 Class Champion. In three years with the team, Baggett has captured 10 career wins at the Nationals and 17 career podiums. After sitting out the Monster Energy Supercross season with an injury, he’s prepared to return to competition and defend his crown.
“I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve raced, but I couldn’t be more excited to defend my title this summer,” said Baggett. “I’m back at full health and I’ve been putting in a lot of time on the track to get ready for the battle that lies ahead this summer. Let’s drop the gate and start racing.”
450 Class: Wilson and Rattray Debut New Team Race Rig With Hopes of Success
Dean Wilson’s anticipated move into the 450 Class comes after he captured the 250 Class title in the 2011 season. His chance to defend his title last season in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship was unfortunately cut short due to an injury and he is coming off an extended time off after his Monster Energy Supercross season was also cut short. With many weeks to acclimate himself to the more powerful Kawasaki KX450F, Wilson is eager to get back on track and do all he can to bring success to the second-year Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki 450 Class program.
“Last year didn’t go how I wanted, nor did supercross, but I’m healthy and ready to make the move to the big bikes,” said Wilson. “This has been my lifelong goal since I was a kid and now it’s time to make the most of the opportunity that’s ahead of me. I know the 450 Class is going to be a huge challenge with such a loaded field of riders, but I’m going to go out there and have some fun. That’s when I perform my best.”
Tyla Rattray brings arguably the most experience to the team after winning the FIM World Motocross MX2 Championship during the 2008 season. He has been a member of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki since coming to the U.S. to compete against the best in the world and has been a fixture in the title hunt in three years of 250 Class competition. With six career overall wins in the 250 Class and the chance to gain experience in the 450 Class last season, which was highlighted by a moto win at Southwick, Rattray will look to show his prowess in the premier division.
“It was good to get some experience in the 450 Class under my belt last season, but now it’s time to step it up and make things happen,” said Rattray. “I feel like I know what to expect and I’m feeling great physically. I think the Nationals are my forte and I excel in the rough conditions. The KX450F has been working great and I’m really looking forward to the season.”
Cianciarulo Makes Pro Debut, Joins Veterans Davalos and Durham and Rookie Hill to Round Out 250 Class Lineup
Just last week, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki announced that Adam Cianciarulo would begin his professional career this summer in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship. With 11 career AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship titles tying him for the most all time before turning pro, Cianciarulo enters the Nationals with one of the most decorated amateur résumés in history, instantly making him a high profile contender and one of this season’s biggest storylines.
“I feel like this day has been looming for such a long time and I can’t believe it’s finally here,” said Cianciarulo. “I’ve put in a ton of time making sure I’m prepared for the long season and I know it’s going to be the biggest challenge of my career. I’m going to keep my expectations realistic this summer and just try to learn every time that gate drops.”
Martin Davalos has enjoyed success in his first season with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and following four podium finishes in Monster Energy Supercross, he’s ready to use his seven seasons of professional experience to his advantage.
“We have a lot of momentum coming off the supercross season and I hope it carries into the Nationals,” said Davalos. “Motocross is an entirely different style of racing than supercross and I’ve put in a lot of work to get myself ready physically and make sure the KX250F is as good as it can be.”
Darryn Durham is entering his second year with the team and after an injury forced him to miss the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship and 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season, Durham will look to take advantage of his first full season aboard one of the most elite teams in the sport.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity over the last year or so, but Mitch and everyone at Pro Circuit has been such a huge support through it all,” said Durham. “I want to go out there and succeed for this team as much as I want to for myself and I’m looking forward to getting back out there at Hangtown.”
Justin Hill is one of two rookies that will join Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki in action this summer. The younger brother of veteran Josh Hill gained valuable experience in Monster Energy Supercross before suffering an injury that sidelined him halfway through that championship. He’s healthy and excited about what the future holds.
“It’s been a crazy year so far and despite my recent bad luck, it’s been a dream come true,” said Hill. “To be able to race my rookie season with Pro Circuit is something I never thought could be possible and I just want to go out there and show everyone what I’ve got. I’ve had fun all year long and that’s the plan this summer.”
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Hangtown Motocross Classic
The opening round of the 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championship will be the first challenge of a grueling summer season that will visit 11 different states in 12 rounds of competition. With two motos that last over 30 minutes apiece determining an overall winner each weekend, a total of 24 motos across both the 450 and 250 Classes will require consistency in order to contend for a title while also challenging a rider’s physical endurance in the often warm conditions of the Nationals. With a lineup of riders boasting some of the sport’s most prestigious honors, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki expects to be a contender each and every week.
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About Pro Circuit
Based in Corona, Calif., Pro Circuit Products, Inc. is a leader in off-road motorcycle and ATV exhausts and aftermarket performance parts. Started in 1978, Pro Circuit is the go to shop for recreational riders and professionals for everything from suspension work to complete engine packages, and everything in between.
Created by former desert racer Mitch Payton, Pro Circuit proves its products and services week-in and week-out through its tagline “We Race.” Every product that dons the Pro Circuit stamp stems from the legendary Pro Circuit race team. A staple in the professional paddock, Pro Circuit Racing has earned 28 AMA championships and more than 200 race wins in more than 30 years of competition.