Photography By: Kit Palmer
It came down to the final moto but Blake Baggett held on to win the 2012 Lucas Oil AMA 250 Pro Motocross Championship at the season-ending round today at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, California. It was the first time the venue hosted a National Championship round and ended up being well liked by most of the riders and also by the many fans who attended.
On what was an extremely hot and sunny day in Southern California, Baggett came into round 12 holding on to a modest 14-point lead over GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac and 18 points over Tomac's teammate Justin Barcia. But a first-moto win over Tomac and Barcia pretty much sealed the deal for Baggett who basically needed to finish just in the top 10 in the second moto to win the championship. However, it ended up being much easier than that for Baggett when Tomac went down early in the final moto of the year and had to start all over again in last place. Despite getting off to a horrible start, Baggett worked his way up to second, which also gave him the overall win for the day.
"I came out swinging today," said Baggett. "I knew I would either go to the front, or it would all go down the drain. The first moto was crazy battling with Justin [Barcia] and Eli [Tomac]. In the second moto, I got a horrible start and I don't even know, I couldn't even see. I just needed to get to the front and finish as good as I could, so I did. I really wanted to make a push at the end just to show that I was still giving it all I had."
Tomac finished out the moto in 14th place for seventh overall. The crash also cost Tomac second in the championship, which ended up going to Barcia.
Baggett finished out the 2012 season with 519 points and five overall wins to Barcia's 499 points and two overall wins. Tomac ended up third in the series with 487 points and four wins.
Red Bull KTM riders Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin rounded out the top five in the season.
Musquin completed the day third overall with a 4-3, while GEICO Honda's Wil Hahn (5-4) and JDR/J-Star KTM's Malcolm Stewart (7-6) rounded out the top five overall.
1. Blake Baggett (Kaw) 1-2
2. Justin Barcia (Hon) 3-1
3. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 4-3
4. Wil Hahn (Hon) 5-4
5. Malcolm Stewart (KTM) 7-6
6. Ken Roczen (KTM) 6-7
7. Eli Tomac (Hon) 2-14
8. Blake Wharton (Suz) 8-8
9. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 10-10
10. Jessy Nelson (Hon) 9-13