The Finale of the 2012 Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX Series – Lake Elsinore in southern California. Ryan Dungey had already clinched the 450 Motocross Championship – but that didn’t stop him from winning both motos here today. And the big news of today – Blake Baggett has won the 2012 AMA 250 National Motocross Championship!
Lake Elsinore MX
For any race, but especially for a venue hosting a major event for the first time – things here at Lake Elsinore are incredibly organized. Traffic flow. Parking. Access to watch. Amenities. Very impressive. The weather – warm and sunny already this morning. Should become hot later today for the racing. The track is very, very long and spread out. Looking at the number of people driving into the facility, there should be a great crowd today for this race.
250 Class qualifying – Lap times are long – in the 2 minute 40 second range. The top lap time for the 250’s? Eli Tomac on top with 2 minutes 36 seconds! Kenny Roczen second at 2:38. Then Marvin Musquin, Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia round out the top five. Did you expect anything different than the top five guys all season long on top today? Sixth thru tenth – Jason Anderson, Wil Hahn, K Cunningham, J Bogle, and M Stewart at 2:44. 68 riders attempted to qualify.
450 Class qualifying – It’s Mike Alessi on top with 2 minutes 36 seconds. Ryan Dungey is next at 2 minutes 38 seconds. Then Broc Tickle, Josh Grant, Tyla Rattray, Justin Brayton, Jake Weimer, Nico Izzi, Ben LaMay, Andrew Short, Christian Craig, Davi Millsaps and Austin Politelli at 2:43 … out of 78 riders attempting to qualify today.
450 Class Moto 1 – At 1:04pm Pacific Time, the gate drops. The holeshot goes to … Mike Alessi! This race will go 30 minutes plus two laps. As they complete the first lap, it’s Alessi leading, Tyla Rattray second, and Ryan Dungey third. Then Tickle, Short, Politelli, D Anderson, W Peick. The race right now is between Dungey and Rattray.
Dungey moves past Rattray on the second lap. Running order now – Alessi, Dungey, Rattray, Tickle, Poletelli, Short, Anderson, C Craig. Millsaps 14th, Weimer 16th, Brayton 24th.
Lap five – Mike Alessi leads Ryan Dungey by just over 2 seconds. Tickle in third, then Tyla Rattray, Austin Politelli, Andrew Short, Christian Craig, Kyle Regal, Jake Weimer. Dungey is getting closer to Alessi …
Lap seven – Dungey goes inside on a right hand sweeper – and takes over the lead from Alessi. Alessi briefly pulls up even with Dungey a few seconds later … but Dungey accelerates ahead.
At the 30 minute mark of this race, Ryan Dungey is in complete command – 14 second lead over second place Mike Alessi, who in turn is 56 seconds ahead of third place Broc Tickle. Then it’s Tyla Rattray, Jake Weimer, Kyle Regal, Christian Craig, Andrew Short, F Noren, and Ben LaMay rounding out the top ten.
Dungey wins! He’s goes 14 laps total. Then Alessi, Tickle, Rattray, Weimer, Regal, Craig, Short, Noren, LaMay.
250 Class Moto 1 – It is just a tick under 100 degrees as the 250’s get ready for their first moto. The holeshot goes to Marvin Musquin! Teammate Ken Roczen is second … then it’s Justin Barcia, Eli Tomac and Blake Baggett!
Justin Barcia has moved into the lead at the end of lap 1. Musquin second. Blake Baggett is third … then Wil Hahn, J Nelson, Eli Tomac, C Thompson … where is Roczen? Roczen is 23rd.
Tomac is working very hard to get around teammate Hahn. Up front – lap four now – it’s Justin Barcia leading Blake Baggett by one second. Marvin Musquin is third – about two seconds back of them. Eli Tomac has moved to fourth. The track is drying out and roughing up, making it slippery in some places. Top lap times are around 2 minutes 47 seconds.
Lap five – Tomac has moved past Musquin now. It’s Barcia leading Baggett by just a few bike lengths. Tomac three seconds back in third. Musquin fourth, Hahn fifth. Baggett is right on Barcia rear wheel … Tomac is just behind, close enough to see the action up front …
The top three in points are putting on a show. On lap six, Baggett decides he’s going for his first AMA National Motocross Championship is style – by winning. He gets past Barcia. And Tomac is right behind the two of them … Baggett and Barcia lowered their lap times to 2:45 … and Tomac goes 2:43!
The top four – Baggett, Barcia, Tomac, and Musquin are going at a frenzied, kinetic pace. All four seem to be riding their motorcycles to the fullest capabilities.
Now Baggett is pulling just a slight gap on second place Barcia. And Barcia has a slight gap on teammate Tomac. And Musquin is just off their pace. Then it’s Wil Hahn, Malcolm Stewart, Blake Wharton, … and Kenny Roczen has moved up to eighth place here on lap eight.
Lap nine – Tomac has made a move on teammate Barcia – moves into second place. As they start lap ten – it’s Baggett out front, his closest challenger in the championship, Tomac, six seconds back. How fitting they are 1/2. Barcia third, then Musquin, Hahn, Stewart, Wharton, and … Roczen! Baggett burns a 2:42 lap. And now Tomac has burned a 2 minute 41 second lap!
With just minutes to go in this moto, Tomac is closing on Baggett! He’s two seconds back!
Lap 12 – Tomac has some problems on this lap – going 2 minutes 51 seconds. He’s also not wearing any goggles now.
Baggett is going to take this moto. He moves one step closer towards that first ever AMA National Championship! Blake Baggett wins this 14 lap first moto! Tomac finishes second – 14 seconds behind … and Baggett has gained another 3 points in the championship chase. He will lead Tomac by 17 points to start the second moto, and Barcia by 23 points. The top ten of this race – Baggett, Tomac, Barcia, Musquin, W Hahn, Kenny Roczen, M Stewart, B Wharton, J Nelson, and J Martin.
450 Class Moto 2 – Guess who the holeshot went to? Did you guess Mike Alessi? You’d be right! Christian Craig is running in second, followed by Ryan Dungey. Then it’s Broc Tickle, Justin Brayton, Tyla Rattray, Josh Grant, Kyle Chisholm, Nico Izzi, and Andrew Short tenth.
Dungey moves past Craig and into second place on lap two. Then Tickle goes past Craig as well. It’s Alessi, Dungey, Tickle, Craig, Brayton, Rattray, Grant, Chisholm, Izzi, and LaMay tenth.
Motocross is sometimes described as controlled crashing. Guys riding at this level are giving it 100%. As Ryan Dungey chases down Mike Alessi – he bobbles just a bit … and goes off the track. Back in the ‘old’ days, this would of been an almost for sure disqualification from this moto. But since Dungey did not gain any advantage, as with many off-track excursions, no-harm no foul. So 20 minutes now into this race … Dungey has closed right up on Alessi … and makes the pass.
Running order now – Dungey, Alessi, Broc Tickle in third about 25 seconds back, then Brayton, Rattray, Grant, Izzi, Chisholm, Craig, Weimer, LaMay, Peick, Short, Friese, and Albertson 15th.
Ryan Dungey crosses the finish line after 14 laps – winning another moto, and another overall, to put quite a cap to his domination of 450 AMA Motocross this season. Ryan won 19 out of the 24 motos. Next stop for Ryan – Lommel, Belgium as Team USA looks to repeat at the Motocross of Nations. Mike Alessi finishes in second place again, for second overall. The rest of the top ten in this moto – Broc Tickle, Tyla Rattray, Justin Brayton, Josh Grant, Nico Izzi, Kyle Chisholm, Jake Weimer, and Christian Craig.
250 Class Moto 2 – Blake Baggett only needs to finish 13th or better in this moto to clinch the championship – no matter what Tomac and Barcia do.
The start – it’s Justin Barcia with the holeshot! Blake Baggett comes around the first lap in 11th place. And Eli Tomac goes down on the first lap – he is 37th.
Lap three – Justin Barcia is leading. He’s chased by Jason Anderson. Alex Martin is third. Wil Hahn fourth. Marvin Musquin fifth, then Ken Roczen, … and Blake Baggett has moved up to seventh. If he just finishes this race in this position, the 2012 AMA 250 National Motocross Championship is his.
News comes in that earlier in the day the temp peaked at 111 degrees. It’s noticably cooler now for this final moto. The track has changed substantially as well. What started off as a soft and spongy racing surface has become more hard pack and slick in places.
At the end of lap five – it’s Justin Barcia in the lead. Seven seconds back is Jason Anderson. Marvin Musquin is third. Blake Baggett has charged up to fourth! Ken Roczen is fifth. Eli Tomac is 24th.
Baggett is not going to settle to just ‘finish’. He’s charging. He’s gotten past Musquin and into third. Running order on lap seven – Barcia, Anderson, Baggett, Musquin, Roczen.
Baggett is on fire. His lap seven time – 2 minutes 40 seconds. Four seconds faster than anyone else. Then, lap eight – Baggett goes down in a tight left hander! Both Anderson and Musquin get by!
At the completion of lap eight – it’s Barcia out front. Musquin has moved to second. Baggett now in third – right behind Musquin! Anderson is fourth, Roczen fifth, W Hahn next, and Wharton, Stewart, Bogle, Cunningham … with Tomac in 19th.
All eyes are on Blake Baggett. It’s his championship to win. He’s now passed Musquin and is into second place – 13 seconds behind leader Barcia with about ten minutes left in the season.
The last lap – and Baggett is closing on Barcia! He’s almost caught him! At the checkers of this 14 lap race, Justin Barcia wins the moto, Blake Baggett finishes second, very close behind. Baggett scores the overall win as well, and with it – Blake Baggett is the 2012 AMA National Motocross Champion of the 250 Lites class!
Top ten in this race – Barcia, Baggett, Musquin, W Hahn, J Anderson, M Stewart, K Roczen, B Wharton, K Cunningham, and J Martin. Tomac finishes 14th.
BB – Blake Baggett
Marvin having a little fun …
Blake Baggett – 12 – 2012 AMA National Motocross Champion 250 Lites
Ryan Dungey said afterwards “I had a lot of fun this season. All the success we had was because of all the guys (working so hard). I’m very thankful to be a part of this (teaming with KTM). It was a big commitment on both sides – my side, and KTM’s side. We learned a lot of things along the way … the bike was always strong and solid. For me it’s about winning races and championships … that’s what I’ve been hired to do. This year was a great start, we have great direction, and looking forward for year’s to come, especially next year.”
Blake Baggett said afterwards “I felt like I was going fast, and was able to battle for the lead. In the second moto, even after falling, I wanted to make a charge to show that I was going for it. The track reminded me a bit of Hangtown. I really thought beforehand the track was going to be bad – but it was really good, for a first time effort. I think I ride my best when I’m a bit stressed. I like to go for the wins. Even when I fell, I just wanted to get back up and head towards the front.”
|1.||R Dungey 1/1||KTM|
|2.||M Alessi 2/2||SUZ|
|3.||B Tickle 3/3||KAW|
|4.||T Rattray 4/4||KAW|
|5.||J Weimer 5/9||KAW|
|6.||J Brayton 12/5||HON|
|7.||C Craig 7/10||HON|
|8.||A Short 8/13||HON|
|250 Lites Results|
|1.||B Baggett 1/2||KAW|
|2.||J Barcia 3/1||HON|
|3.||M Musquin 4/3||KTM|
|4.||W Hahn 5/4||HON|
|5.||M Stewart 7/6||KTM|
|6.||K Roczen 6/7||KTM|
|7.||E Tomac 2/14||HON|
|250 Lites Pts