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Supercross/Motocross | 10/1/2012
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Assists Team USA to the Podium in Belgium
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Assists Team USA to the Podium in Belgium

Irvine, Calif. – At the 66th Monster Energy FIM Motocrossof Nations, Team USA worked through the treacherous sand of Lommel, Belgium, tofinish on the podium in third place. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’sBlake Baggett, representing Team USA for the second-consecutive year, finishedwith a 14-6 moto score to secure second-overall in the MX2 classification. 

Racing the World’s Best

Baggett and Team USA arrived in Belgium knowing the sandtrack would serve as an equalizer for the international field. He started offwith a fairly eventless qualifying race on Saturday where he raced to thirdplace. Baggett’s third was the best finish for Team USA in qualifying, leadingthem to seventh overall gate pick for Sunday. The first of three motos saw theMX2 and MX1 class face off. Baggett got off the gate smooth, but was quicklypushed back by the larger MX1 bikes. Baggett immediately went to work to makehis way forward, but lost his front end on lap three and crashed. Undeterred,he began to once again make his way towards the front from outside the top-20.He progressively made his way through the field and finished in 14thposition.

 

“The track is beyond explanation,” said Baggett. “I learneda lot after the qualifying heat and the track is epic. I had the inside gatefor the first moto and got a decent jump. I had a small get-off that kept mefrom climbing into the top-10. It was insane how much dirt and roost I took on,but I was happy with how I came through the pack.”

Staying Focused

Even though Baggett had less than an hour in between motos,he knew he had a job to do. The second moto was against the Open class, puttinghim again at a disadvantage. Baggett’s KX250F got him off to a great start ashe rounded the first lap within the top-10. He began to find a rhythm in theever-changing sand and fought hard to finish in sixth. Although racing amongst450 machines, Baggett was the third best MX2 rider in Moto 1 and second best inMoto 2, giving him second overall in the MX2 classification.

 

“The track was ruthless out there,” said Baggett. “I got abetter start in the second moto and the track was just getting nasty. The holeswere so deep and I just kept plugging away. I fought with everything I had andcame away with sixth. This year was an awesome experience and I learned a lotfrom watching the best of the best. The closest thing we get to this back homeis our public beaches!” 

Unpredictable Elements

Known to be a hub for motocross in Europe, the country ofBelgium is also known for its endless sand. Baggett and Team USA knew that thiswould be a challenge and came over a week in advance to get some testing in thevastly different conditions. They were able to test at Lommel, as well as twoother tracks in the region, but riding sand takes years of practice to masterthe technique. All three members rode extremely well, but some bad luck keptthem from the top step of the podium. 

Hungry For Gold

Baggett and Team USA came over to Europe with one goal inmind, to win. They have time and time again proven that Team USA are thefastest riders on the planet and were noticeably disappointed on winning bronzemedals. Although Baggett had just wrapped up the 250 motocross championshipback in the United States, he is always striving to better himself as a riderand saw this year as a great learning experience. Next year, Team USA willreturn to Teutchenthal, Germany for the 2013 Motocross of Nations and will behungrier than ever to return home with gold.

 

“I’m really proud of our guys, I thought they rode awesome,”said Mitch Payton, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Team Manager. “I amreally proud of Blake. He rode strong in both motos and came back strong aftertipping over. We obviously came here to win, but coming over and justpracticing in conditions like this just isn’t enough. The luck wasn’t quite onour side today, but our team did great.” 

Supercross Season Begins

The completion of the Motocross of Nations officially marksthe end of the motocross season for Baggett as he will now shift his focus tosupercross. Baggett will be returning to the team to compete in the SupercrossLites class in 2013, but before that he plans to race the Monster Energy Cup ona KX™450F for a chance at one million dollars in Las Vegas, Nev., on October20, 2012.

Results

2012 Monster EnergyFIM Motocross of Nations

Lommel, Belgium –September 30, 2012

 

MX2 Classification

1.    Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (5-4)

2.    BLAKEBAGGETT, USA, MONSTER ENERGY/PRO CIRCUIT/KAWASAKI (14-6)

3.    Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (19-11)

4.    Alex Tonkov, Russia, Honda (18-12)

5.    Priit Ratsep, Estonia, KTM (20-15)

 

NationsClassification

1.    Germany

2.    Belgium

3.    USA

 

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