Irvine, Calif. (June 27, 2011) -– Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett earned his fourth and fifth moto wins aboard his Kawasaki KX™250F on the way to his third overall 250-class victory of the season at Thunder Valley MX in Lakewood, Colo. The fifth round of the AMA Motocross Championship also saw Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto capture his third moto victory of the season in the 450 class as he finished second overall with a 1-2 moto result on the difficult Colorado track. Dean Wilson’s solid 2-2 finish in the 250 class pushed him to the top of the point standings over teammate Rattray, who finished the day fifth overall with a 5-5. After a solid Moto 1, Broc Tickle was forced to retire early in Moto 2 with a punctured radiator and finished the day 15th overall. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer overcame crashes in both motos to finish 18th overall with a 19-16 moto finish.
Going for another undefeated day, Baggett put together two solid motos to finish the day 1-1. Unlike his come-from-behind moto finishes during his last victory at High Point, Baggett got out front early and put a gap on the rest of the field. His perfect day put him closer to his teammates Wilson and Rattray in the point standings where he now sits 20 points out of first.
“I think this was one of my best weekends so far this season,” said Baggett. “After practice I wasn’t sure because it didn’t look like my times were up there, but once we got out racing, I felt great. It was definitely a difficult track and the second moto it was a little unpredictable. I tried to ride smart and smooth and it worked out. I hope I can try and get two in a row because I haven’t been able to put together back-to-back weekends.”
Wilson has been searching for his first overall win all season, and although he didn’t reach the top of the podium, his fifth podium finish in as many races has once again put him in the points lead. After five rounds, Wilson has four runner-up finishes and one third-place, leaving him eight points ahead of teammate Rattray in the standings.
“I didn’t have a win in me today, but I am happy to take over the points lead again,” said Wilson. “I want a win, but ultimately it’s about the championship and I’ll take the points. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and eventually a win will come. It is a little hard because I know I have the ability to win, but I’m focusing on the championship.”
The altitude didn’t seem to affect Villopoto at Thunder Valley as he charged to a 1-2 moto result. In the first moto, it didn’t take long for Villopoto to get out front and gap second place. Even with a small tip over, Villopoto was able to maintain an eight second margin of victory at the end of the moto. While the second motos have been tough on Villopoto, he looked strong the entire 30 minutes plus two laps.
“The second moto was my best second moto of my season,” said Villopoto. “I didn’t win, but it is definitely something to build on and I know it will only get better from here. The track was pretty tough, especially the second moto, but we were able to pick up some points today, which is the main goal.”
Rattray has already proven twice that he is capable of standing on top of the podium and still is close to Wilson in the points. He did his best to conquer the rough track and finished with a solid 5-5 moto result for fifth overall.
“I didn’t feel like I rode to my potential and that makes me a little frustrated,” said Rattray. “I know I am capable of much more, but I’ll have to put this one behind me and put in a solid week to get ready for the next race. I have had good results at Red Bud and maybe I can get another win there.”
Look at the Good
Tickle came out in the first moto and put together another solid ride on his Kawasaki KX250F for a seventh-place finish. While a punctured radiator in the second moto ended his day early, Tickle is looking to his good finishes to help him keep the momentum rolling in his favor.
“I’ve been getting better each weekend and although I had a bad moto, I am thinking back to those good motos for confidence,” said Tickle. “It would be easy to get bummed out and while I’m not happy, we still have seven races to look ahead to. I’m really happy with how I’ve been riding and I want to keep trying to get on the box.”
Weimer’s weekend didn’t go how he had hoped, but is already focused on coming back strong at Red Bud next weekend. Weimer’s first moto had him coming back from an early crash where he charged from 34th to finish 19th. The second moto also didn’t start out well as another rider crashed in front of him in the first turn, which put him in 34th on the first lap. He pushed the entire moto to make his way up to 16th.
“There are some days that don’t seem to go your way and for me, that day was today,” said Weimer. “I have to move on from this race. I can’t dwell on it too much because a lot of it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t ride great in the first moto, but I think I improved as the day went on and that is something to take away.”
Throughout the years, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders have helped the Kawasaki KX250F stay undefeated at the Thunder Valley MX track since the series started racing at the facility in 2005. Ivan Tedesco started it all in 2005 with his 1-1 finish and then Villopoto went 1-1 as well in 2006. Villopoto split motos with Ben Townley in 2007, who ended up with the overall. Villopoto went 1-1 again in 2008, while Christophe Pourcel split motos with Weimer in 2009 as Weimer earned the overall. Last year, Pourcel claimed the 1-1 victory, and Baggett put together a 1-1 finish in 2011 to keep the Kawasaki KX250F undefeated.
The next race will bring the Kawasaki riders to the halfway mark in the series. The sixth round will take the circuit to Red Bud in Buchanan, Mich., where the fans are notoriously loud and proud. The fans will be helping all the Monster Energy Kawasaki riders around the track as Villopoto looks to close the eight-point gap in the 450 class standings and Wilson tries to hold off his teammates in the 250 class.
AMA Motocross Series
Thunder Valley MX – Lakewood, Colo.
June 26, 2011
AMA 450 Motocross Class Results (Moto Finishes)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 2-1
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, SEATTLE, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 1-2
3. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 3-3
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 4-4
5. Andrew Short, Colorado Spring, Colo., KTM, 7-8
6. Tommy Hann, Grand Bend, Kansas, Yamaha, 11-5
7. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki, 9-7
8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda, 6-15
9. JAKE CANADA, CORONA, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 10-13
10. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha, 14-10
18. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 19-16
AMA 250 Motocross Results (Moto Finishes)
1. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 1-1
2. DEAN WILSON, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 2-2
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 3-3
4. Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda, 4-6
5. TYLA RATTRAY, WILDOMAR, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 5-5
6. Ryan Sipes, Elizabethtown, Ky., Yamaha, 15-4
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 13-7
8. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda, 10-10
9. Justin Barcia, New Jersey, N.J., Honda, 9-12
10. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda, 11-13
15. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 7-35
AMA 450 Motocross Class Points Standings
1. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 223
2. RYAN VILLOPOTO, SEATTLE, WASH., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 215
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 202
4. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda, 148
5. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha, 145
6. Brett Metcalfe, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Suzuki, 144
7. Ricky Dietrich, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 109
8. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM, 102
9. JAKE WEIMER, RUPERT, IDAHO, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 100
10. Christian Craig, Hemet, Calif., Honda, 97
AMA 250 Motocross Points Standings
1. DEAN WILSON, MENIFEE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 214
2. TYLA RATTRAY, WILDOMAR, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 208
3. BLAKE BAGGETT, GRAND TERRACE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 194
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 176
5. Justin Barcia, New Jersey, N.J., Honda, 137
6. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha, 127
7. BROC TICKLE, HOLLY, MICH., MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI, 113
8. Gareth Swanepoel, South Africa, Yamaha, 106
9. Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda, 94
10. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda, 89