CORONA, CA – August 19, 2013 – (Motor Sports Newswire) - The 11th stop of the 12-round AMA Pro Motocross Championship paid visit to the series’ newest venue at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The specially-built motocross track within the infield of the facility’s 23-turn road course presented a unique challenge to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad and the rest of the 250 and 450 Class fields. In the end, it was Blake Baggett who took advantage of the increasingly rough conditions to put forth an impressive runner-up performance and lead the way for the team.
Baggett Back on the Box
Blake Baggett began the day with another impressive outing in practice that carried over into the motos. In the opening moto, Baggett positioned himself just outside the top 10, but quickly began a charge through the field that would last the entire moto. The reigning 250 Class Champion moved into podium position just past the halfway point and grabbed one more spot by the checkers. In Moto 2, Baggett faced the same challenge and once again marched his way to the front. He picked off riders throughout the moto and put on a late charge in the closing laps to once again finish second and secure a runner-up effort.
“The track was really dry and rough and it made it really difficult out there,” said Baggett. “I didn’t have the best starts, but I was able to push the Kawasaki KX250F to the front. I felt great but it wasn’t easy. You had to be really aggressive and never let up in order to gain ground. Now I want to finish the season out with a win.”
Baggett maintained his lock on fourth in the 250 Class standings, 15 points out of third.
Career Outing for Cianciarulo
The progress of Adam Cianciarulo was on full display in Utah. The rookie rider was the second-fastest rider in practice and he turned even more heads in the opening moto. After starting inside the top five, Cianciarulo quickly moved into podium position and soon claimed second just a couple laps later. He asserted himself in the spot until the closing laps, capitalizing on his best effort of the season to capture his first-career podium finish. Cianciarulo’s fortunes were hit with some bad luck in Moto 2 when he was entangled in a first-turn crash. He began the moto in last place, but wasted no time in picking off riders. He broke into the top 10 just past the halfway point to salvage 3-9 moto scores and finish fourth overall.
“I felt really confident on this track and the KX250F did pretty much whatever I needed it to,” said Cianciarulo. “It felt amazing to grab my first podium and I had high hopes to do it again, but racing luck forced me to work a little harder for my finish. I got ran over in that crash so I’m feeling pretty sore, but I’m happy to have my best day of the season. Hopefully it means bigger things next weekend.”
Cianciarulo sits 16th in the 250 Class standings, 11 points out of the top 15 heading into the season finale.
Durham On His Game
Veteran Darryn Durham has had to battle hard throughout the 2013 season, but in Utah he showed why he’s part of the six-rider lineup at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. Durham grabbed a top-10 start in the opening moto and stayed in the thick of the battle throughout the entire moto. He put forth a solid effort en route to eighth and stepped it up in Moto 2. Durham was second out of the gate in the final moto and fought valiantly to claim fifth place in the challenging conditions, ultimately capturing one of his best overall finishes of the season in sixth.
“This was by no means an easy day, but it feels good to get a solid result,” said Durham. “We got some good starts and we were able maintain that advantage. The KX250F was awesome and this is the kind of boost we’ve been looking for. I’m looking forward to finishing out the season strong.”
Durham’s strong ride moved him into 13th in the 250 Class standings.
Hill Returns to the Top 10
Justin Hill helped give Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki four riders inside the top 10 at Utah after he rebounded from a tough day at Unadilla the week prior. The rookie started in the top 10 in Moto 1 and was in an intense battle to stay there throughout the moto, ultimately prevailing with a 10th-place finish. In Moto 2, Hill was in similar position and once again waged war with his fellow riders. He stayed strong through the finish to finish 14th and capture 10th overall.
“Pretty pumped on the top 10 after everything we went through at Unadilla,” said Hill. “The track was extremely rough and I was constantly in a fight for position the entire moto, but it was fun out there. I’m glad to be back on a upward swing and can’t wait for the finale.”
Hill moved back into position to break into the top 10 of the 250 Class standings, currently occupying 12th and sitting 18 points from 10th.
Davalos’ Strong Start Ends Prematurely
Veteran Martin Davalos wanted to make his presence felt at Miller Motorsports Park and he did that early by capturing the holeshot in the first moto of the day. Davalos held onto the lead for a short time before engaging in battle with the front-runners for the remaining laps and ultimately brought home an 11th-place result. In the second moto, Davalos’ day came to an end on the opening lap following an apparent mechanical issue. The misfortune ultimately dropped Davalos to 16th overall.
“It’s tough to have your day cut short because of bad luck, I was really feeling good on the KX250F,” said Davalos. “I felt like we had a top 10 in us this afternoon but sometimes that’s just racing. We know we have the speed and we’ll come out swinging next weekend.”
Davalos currently sits 14th in the 250 Class standings, 11 points out of 13th.
Rattray Experiences Heartbreak
Tyla Rattray was at the top of his game in Utah and had his sights set on a podium, only to experience heartbreak during that charge. Rattray started just outside the top 10 in the first 450 Class moto, but it didn’t take long before he became one of the riders to watch. The veteran methodically marched his way forward and ultimately moved into the top five by the halfway point. He kept moving forward and finished fourth. In Moto 2, Rattray once again needed to fight his way forward and did so by breaking into fifth at the midway mark. Shortly thereafter, Rattray’s day came to an abrupt end when he experienced apparent mechanical issues, dropping him to 25th for the moto and 12th overall.
“We were definitely headed for a top five and possible even a podium, but sometimes that’s just the way things go,” said Rattray. “It’s a tough one to swallow given how strong the Kawasaki KX450F was, but we’re leaving here healthy and knowing we have the ability to get back on the box next weekend. We’ll be back for sure.”
Rattray sits 14th in the 450 Class standings, 15 points from jumping to 11th.
Round 11: Utah National –
250 Class (Moto Results)
1. Eli Tomac (1-1)
2. Blake Baggett (2-2)
3. Ken Roczen (4-3)
4. Adam Cianciarulo (3-9)
6. Darryn Durham (8-5)
10. Justin Hill (10-14)
16. Martin Davalos (11-37)
450 Class (Moto Results)
1. Ryan Villopoto (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey (2-2)
3. Trey Canard (3-3)
12. Tyla Rattray (4-25)
Dean Wilson DNS
CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS >>
1. Eli Tomac – 505 points
2. Ken Roczen – 454 points
3. Marvin Musquin – 388 points
4. Blake Baggett – 373 points
12. Justin Hill – 196 points
13. Darryn Durham – 157 points
14. Martin Davalos – 146 points
16. Adam Cianciarulo – 131 points
1. Ryan Villopoto – 513 points
2. Ryan Dungey – 463 points
3. Justin Barcia – 375 points
14. Tyla Rattray – 169 points
26. Dean Wilson – 33 points
Looking Ahead >>
Lake Elsinore National
The 2013 AMA Pro Motocross Championship comes to an end with its lone visit to Southern California and the second annual Lake Elsinore National. The one-of-a-kind track in the heart of the motocross industry is sure to be the site of some of the best action of the summer and the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad will look to end the season on a high note.
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