Blake Baggett nabbed his first moto win of the year. Photography by Hoppenworld.com.
It was a fast start for Kawasaki at Budds Creek for round five of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett coming away with the first moto wins.
For the first time this season, Mike Alessi, on the MotoConcepts/SmartTop Suzuki, grabbed the MotorcycleSuperstore.com Holeshot, but it wasn’t long before Villopoto motored passed Alessi and into the lead.
From the first lap on, the race was all Villopoto’s, although Dungey, who also got by Alessi in the early moments of the race, kept him fairly honest for most of the race and was actually gaining on him a bit when he went down about the halfway point.
Dungey hit the ground fairly hard, knocking the wind out of him, and was slow to get going again. Luckily for him, he and Villopoto had built up such a lead over the rest of the pack that he managed to keep second.
Villopoto breezed to victory, taking the win 50 seconds ahead of Dungey, who held a comfortable advantage over Alessi.
After the race, Villopoto said he was struggling early on with one particular section of the track, which disrupted his rhythm around the rest of the track. But once he got it all figured out, he was able find his groove and pull away, grabbing his eighth moto win of the season.
Fourth place went to Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia, followed by Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Ryan Sipes.
James Stewart, on the Yoshimura Suzuki, had another frustrating outing. The top 450-class qualifier was running up front and looked to be on the move when he went down on a wet section of the track. He got up in 15th but was only able to get a few positions back, finishing out the moto in 11th.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray, a podium finisher at the previous rounds, also went down, putting in only 12 of 17 laps.
Chad Reed, on the TwoTwo Motosports Honda, hovered just outside the top 10 all moto and eventually finished 13th.
In the 250 class, the first moto came down to a three-rider battle at the end. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin got out in front early and pulled away, while his teammate Ken Roczen worked his way up into second. But it was Baggett who had the crowd on its feet.
The Kawasaki was not on the radar until well after the halfway point when he started to make his traditional second-half attack, which we haven’t seen since last year. Baggett reeled in Roczen, passed him, and then went after Musquin, who was right in front of him. With a few laps left, Baggett charged passed Musquin and actually pulled away in the waning minutes of the race.
Musquin held on for second, while Roczen, who is still recovering from an illness he had over the two-week break finished third.
“It was tough out there, it’s getting warm, but I finally felt good on the bike,” Baggett said.
Rockstar Suzuki’s Jason Anderson had a strong ride and finished the race in fourth, while GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, who had a terrible start, worked his way up to fifth.
GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn, who was making his outdoor debut since injuring his wrist at the Las Vegas Supercross, ended up sixth after pulling the MotorcycleSuperstore.com Holeshot.
Adam Cianciarulo finally got his pro motocross career started at Budds Creek. It started off well and was running second early in the race, but he faded to 14th before it was all over. Cianciarulo had been sidelined due to illness.
450 MOTO 1:
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
3. Mike Alessi (Suz)
4. Justin Barcia (Hon)
5. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
6. Trey Canard (Hon)
7. Justin Brayton (Yam)
8. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
9. Malcolm Stewart (Hon)
10. Broc Tickle (Suz)
250 MOTO 2:
1. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
2. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
3. Ken Roczen (KTM)
4. Jason Anderson (Suz)
5. Eli Tomac (Hon)
6. Wil Hahn (Hon)
7. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)
8. Joey Savatgy (KTM)
9. Jeremy Martin (Yam)
10. Justin Hill (Kaw)