Stoppin’ In: Blake Baggett
The 250 class points leader talks racing.
Blake Baggett Interview
Story and photos by Shan Moore
After finding his stride at the midway point of last year’s race for the 250-class AMA Motocross championship, Blake Baggett struggled during the second half of the schedule and ultimately finished out the championship chase with less than desirable results, leaving him third overall behind Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray in the final standings.
At the halfway mark of this year’s series, Baggett is in a similar position, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider now holding a 19-point lead in the standings. However, the SoCal rider seems determined to avoid his inconsistencies of last year, and finish out the season with the 2012 title.
Motocross.com caught up with Baggett after the Millville round, as he spoke about the series.
You pretty much had the Millville overall win in the bag until you went down in the second moto. What happened?
I just had a little mishap. I went down on the backside of a jump and I was trying to get the flagger’s attention so I wouldn’t get landed on while I was picking up my bike. It was just a little mistake. I felt everything was going my way and I was just clicking along. It was just one of those errors that kind of sneaks up on you.
So far, the 250 class has been super-competitive with no less that five guys capable of winning any given race. What is it going to take to win this title?
You’re going to have to be on the podium in every moto, and still at the end you might not get it. So you’re going to have to be one or two every race and hopefully things fall your way.
We’ve had a lot of races that have been really close. I think everyone has just stepped up their game this year. Roczen’s going fast; Musquin’s going fast, Eli’s going fast; Barcia’s going fast. It’s just kind of a roll of the dices as to who is going to come out on top each week, because everyone has put in the work. Everyone’s going to twist it and try to catch the next guy. You kind of never know what’s going to happen.
You had kind of screwy thing happen at the start of the Lakewood race. Can you tell us about that?
Yeah, well we’re riding at altitude at Lakewood so we don’t have as much power as we usually have, so at that track we all start in first gear. It’s the only track where we start in first gear, so in the first moto, I got a good jump out of the gate and went to put it in second and I hit neutral. Everybody was gone by the time I figured it out.
It seems like in every race you are coming from the back after getting off to a bad start. And you do it so well that some people think you do it on purpose. Do you like to wait until the second half of the race to start your move?
No, not at all. If I knew how to stop getting a bad start, believe me, I would do it right now. I’m tired of coming from behind. It’s not planned, it just happens.
You are from southern California, and most of your competitors during the summer move out of California to Texas or Florida, someplace that is more eastern where it is more humid and the dirt is difference. Have you considered going back east to train?
Normally, I stay in California the entire year. This year I went to Villopoto’s house in Florida for two weeks, which is sandy and loamy. But I still prefer the tracks that are hard-packed.
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