CORONA, CA – June 23, 2013 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Coming into last Saturday’s annual visit to Southern Maryland for the Budds Creek National, reigning 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett had yet to finish outside the top five overall this season. With a seven-year winning streak for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki on the line at Budds Creek, Baggett seized the opportunity to make a statement to his competitors, securing his first overall victory of the 2013 season and maintaining the team’s dominance at the legendary facility. Baggett ultimately led the way for an all-around solid day for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki in the 250 Class.
Baggett Returns to His Winning Ways
The 2013 season has been a true showcase of Blake Baggett’s resiliency as the defending national champion has had to battle through the adversity of a surgically repaired wrist that has been slow in its recovery. Baggett has admitted that he isn’t riding at 100%, but he’s refused to let it hold him back. At Budds Creek, Baggett put on his trademark late charge to claim his first checkered flag of the season in Moto 1, and backed it up with a solid runner-up effort in Moto 2 to ensure victory. The win was Baggett’s first since carrying the No. 1 plate on his Kawasaki KX250F.
“This has been a long time coming, but I knew we’d get here eventually,” said Baggett. “It’s been tough to not be in the mix for the win before this, but I’ve kept pushing and even changed things up a bit coming into Budds Creek. This proves that everything I’ve been doing has paid off and now I just want to use this as a launching pad for more wins. The toughest part is out of the way now and my wrist won’t hold me back. I want to get back in this championship fight and defend my title.”
Baggett still maintains control of fourth in the 250 Class standings, but moved to within 11 points of third.
Durham Impresses En Route to Top 10 Result
Feeling almost fully recovered from the effects of an injury suffered in a crash at the opening round of the season, Darryn Durham knew he had to take advantage of the opportunity to show the field what he’s capable of. Durham grabbed great starts in each of the day’s motos and found himself running at the front portion of the field for most of the afternoon. In Moto 1, Durham fought hard to keep the pace of the front-runners en route to a 13th-place finish. In Moto 2, Durham capitalized on a top-five start to take over the lead early and lead most of the race, ultimately posting a season-best third-place finish. Durham’s 13-3 moto scores landed him seventh overall, but more importantly his confidence is high as a result of his performance.
“It felt amazing to get out there and lead some laps,” said Durham. “This is the best I’ve felt since Hangtown and I think it showed. My Kawasaki KX250F was flying. That second moto did a lot for my confidence because I know I have the speed to run up front. It makes me a little frustrated with how things went in Moto 1, but it’s about building momentum. There’s still a lot of racing left and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Durham sits 16th in the championship, six points behind teammate Martin Davalos for 15th.
Hill Grabs Hard-Fought Top 10
Justin Hill showed the speed and tenacity that earned him a spot on Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad this season with one of the rookie’s best outings of the year. Hill grabbed a top 10 start in the opening moto and maintained that pace throughout despite some intense shuffling around from his fellow competitors. In Moto 2, Hill had his work cut out for him when he crossed the line in 18th. However, he put his head down and put on a charge, ultimately passing eight riders to post consistent 10-10 results for 10th overall.
“I’m pretty happy with how I rode today, the Kawasaki KX250F was dialed in and I just put it all out there in each moto,” said Hill. “Being able to run with the fast guys in the first moto actually helped me for the second moto because I knew I could make some passes and get back up to where I belong. To get 10th is definitely something solid to build off of and I feel like I’m getting better with each passing week. Hopefully that means more top 10 rides.”
Hill moved into 11th in the 250 Class standings, and sits just eight points from a spot inside the top 10.
Cianciarulo Learns What it Takes in Pro Debut
One of the most anticipated pro debuts in recent memory took place at Budds Creek when amateur sensation Adam Cianciarulo rode the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250F for the first time in competition. Cianciarulo was supposed to compete at the opening round from Hangtown, but a bout with salmonella poisoning postponed his debut to last Saturday.
As the gate dropped on his first pro moto, Cianciarulo found himself up front early thanks to a stellar start. He ran with the front-runners for a significant portion of the moto and eventually settled into a pace, ultimately finishing 14th. In the second moto, Cianciarulo found himself on the opposite end of luck, crossing the line in 37th place. Staying true to the championship-caliber mentality that most expect from the rookie, Cianciarulo put on a charge through the field, passing 20 riders en route to a 17th-place result. With 14-17 moto scores, Cianciarulo recorded a 16th-place finish in his pro debut.
“I think I got a taste of everything this weekend,” said Cianciarulo. “I had the chance to run up front and I had to come from behind. Needless to say I think I learned a lot about what it’s going to take to be successful in this division. I’m still working to be back at my best physically, but I’m feeling good and I’m confident that I’ll continue to learn from my competitors and eventually battle towards the front more consistently. This was all just a dream come true. That Kawasaki KX250F is a dream to ride.”
With one race under his belt, Cianciarulo sits 23rd in the points.
Rattray and Davalos Hit With Misfortune
After capturing a spot on the overall 450 Class podium at the previous round, Tyla Rattray was looking for continued success at a track he has always performed well at. Rattray did what he needed to do in the opening moto, overcoming a start outside the top 10 to eventually put himself in a battle for the top five. Rattray had climbed his way into seventh by the halfway point and appeared to be on a continued path forward before crashing hard. The effects of the misfortune resulted in a DNF for the moto and left Rattray on the sidelines for Moto 2 as a result of a sore wrist.
“Everything was going pretty well and then it all just changed in an instant,” said Rattray. “This was a tough decision to make, but I didn’t want to take any risks in the second moto and potentially make matters worse. I’m going to take some time to try and let my wrist heal up so that I can try and be back out there next weekend. Things were really starting to go in a good direction with the Kawasaki KX450F so I hope I’m able to get back out there soon so I can keep fighting for results.”
Despite missing a moto, Rattray still sits in a tie for seventh in the 450 Class standings.
Unlike his 450 Class teammate, Martin Davalos never had the chance to line up on the gate in the 250 Class at Budds Creek. Davalos was feeling under the weather coming into the weekend, but still wanted to give it a shot and try racing. Following a pair of practice sessions on Saturday morning where he posted the 18th-fastest time, Davalos made the tough decision to sit out the action with his sights set on being healthy next weekend.
“You never want to have to miss a race, but I just felt it was best to not force this issue this weekend,” said Davalos. “I know I can push and ride at a good pace for a short period of time, but it’s a different story when you’re looking at over 30 minutes of all out effort. My body isn’t where it should be physically to be safe and ride like I know I can, so I’m focusing on getting healthy and coming back strong next weekend.”
Davalos now sits 15th in the 250 Class standings, four points out of 14th.
Photos courtesy Steve Cox
Round 5: Budds Creek National – 250 Class (Moto Results)
1. Blake Baggett (1-2)
2. Eli Tomac (5-1)
3. Marvin Musquin (2-7)
7. Darryn Durham (13-3)
10. Justin Hill (10-10)
16. Adam Cianciarulo (14-17)
Martin Davalos DNR
Round 5: Budds Creek National – 450 Class (Moto Results)
1. Ryan Dungey (2-1)
2. Ryan Villopoto (1-2)
3. Trey Canard (6-4)
40. Tyla Rattray (35-40)
Dean Wilson DNR
CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS >>
1. Ken Roczen – 220 points
2. Eli Tomac – 211 points
3. Marvin Musquin – 199 points
4. Blake Baggett – 188 points
11. Justin Hill – 91 points
15. Martin Davalos – 73 points
16. Darryn Durham – 67 points
23. Adam Cianciarulo – 11 points
1. Ryan Villopoto – 240 points
2. Ryan Dungey – 224 points
3. Justin Barcia – 179 points
7. Tyla Rattray – 95 points
20. Dean Wilson – 33 points
Looking Ahead >> Moto-X 338
The AMA Pro Motocross Championship will hit the halfway point next weekend with its annual visit to New England and the iconic sand track at Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass. This season will bring a 35-year legacy of racing in Southwick to a close as the event will host its final round of the championship next Saturday. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki has won six of the last eight races at Moto-X 338, included three straight. Baggett claimed the overall win in Southwick last season while Rattray is a two-time overall winner in the 250 Class. Rattray secured his lone moto win in the 450 Class at Southwick last summer.
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