CORONA, CA – July 1, 2013 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Known for being one of the world’s toughest circuits, the sand track of Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass., hosted its final AMA Pro Motocross National this past Saturday as the season reached its halfway point. The five-rider lineup at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki was challenged by the ever-changing conditions of the track and following a pair of motos in both the 250 Class and 450 Class, they fought their way to solid results, with each rider posting a top-15 overall finish.
Baggett Moves Up Championship Standings
Coming off his first overall win of the season one week ago, Blake Baggett was hoping to defend his Southwick victory from a year ago on Saturday. He began the afternoon with an impressive run in the opening moto by finishing second, battling his way back from a mid-pack start in Moto 2 to finish eighth. As a result, Baggett missed out on a second consecutive podium result by one point, finishing fourth. Thanks to his resilient outing, Baggett made progress in the 250 Class standings, taking over third position and giving him some momentum heading into the second half of the summer.
“I definitely would have liked to have been on the podium today, but from a big picture standpoint we made some progress in the championship,” said Baggett. “I’ve been fighting to get back into the top three in points and it paid of this weekend. We’ll take the positive from this afternoon and use it to our advantage next weekend.”
Now in podium position in the championship, Baggett sits 35 points out of second.
Cianciarulo Grabs First Career Top 10
Rookie Adam Cianciarulo made his long-awaited pro debut last weekend and after gaining valuable experience in his first career set of motos, he used it to his advantage at Southwick by making himself a fixture in the battle for the top 10. Cianciarulo seized the opportunity of a strong start in the opening moto to finish ninth, and then backed in up with a 12th-place effort in Moto 2 to secure ninth overall.
“I definitely felt more comfortable out there today after learning what kind of pace these guys run,” commented Cianciarulo. “I already see how important the start is and putting myself up front early really helps in my understanding of the level I will eventually need to push myself too. We’ve made a lot of progress in just one week so I’m pumped on how things went.”
In just four motos, Cianciarulo already sits 19th in the 250 Class standings with a chance to take over even more positions in the coming weeks.
Hill Just Misses Back-to-Back Top 10’s
Justin Hill enjoyed one of the best outings of his rookie season last weekend at Budds Creek and carried that momentum into Southwick on Saturday. Hill posted a pair of mid-pack starts in each moto, but fought his way through the sand to post solid moto finishes in the stacked field of 250 Class competitors. Hill’s 14-10 moto scores left him just one point shy of his second straight top-10 overall finish in 11th. In total, Hill passed 22 riders across both motos.
“I really wanted to duplicate what I did last weekend, but I’m happy to come out of here with some solid results,” said Hill. “I know I need to work on my starts because it will make things a little easier on me in the moto, but having the opportunity to battle alongside all these fast guys has helped me develop my race tactics.”
Hill maintained his hold on 11th in the championship, just four points from breaking into the top 10.
Durham Claws His Way to a Top-15 Effort
After a breakout weekend in Budds Creek, Darryn Durham entered Southwick with hopes of continued success as he continues to make his return to top form after an early season injury. At Southwick, Durham was faced with adversity in each moto after first-turn incidents claimed the veteran each time the gate dropped. Despite his hard luck off the holeshot, Durham refused to quit and charged hard in each moto, passing a total of 33 riders to post 11-14 results and earn a well-earned 13th-place overall finish.
“I definitely had my work cut out for me today,” said Durham. “I somehow got caught up in the first turn chaos in both motos and had to just lay down some laps at that point. I didn’t really think about anything but passing as many guys as I could. I knew if I did that I’d be satisfied with my results no matter where I finished. To almost come out of here with a top 10 after everything that happened, I have to say I’m pretty pumped.”
Durham moved into 15th in the 250 Class standings and sits five points out of 13th.
Rattray Endures Misfortune to Show His Affinity for Sand
Much like his 250 Class teammate Durham, veteran Tyla Rattray had his work cut out for him in the 450 Class after being involved in first-turn incidents in each moto at Southwick. A former two-time overall winner in the 250 Class and a moto winner in the 450 Class at Moto-X 338, Rattray has established himself as one of the most formidable competitors in the sand. Thanks to his affinity for the surface, Rattray’s early misfortune was all but erased thanks to pair of incredible rides. In Moto 1, Rattray battled his way from 33rd to 10th and followed it up with a 25th to 8th ride in Moto 2, ultimately passing 40 riders en route to finishing sixth overall.
“This is one of the most interesting days of my career,” said Rattray. “I had to watch the entire field pull away from me in each moto and it was absolutely chaotic to work through the field. This track is so tough and all I could to was just try to get past as many people as possible. I wasn’t sure where exactly I was in the standings, but I knew I was riding well. I’m really happy to battle back the way we did because it could have been a bad day, but I can’t help but think where we’d be if not for those incidents.”
Rattray continues to hold on to seventh in the 450 Class standings, 21 points out of sixth.
Davalos Still on the Mend
Martin Davalos missed his second straight race as he continues to recover from an illness. The veteran rider is doing all he can to get back to full health and hopes to be back in action next weekend at RedBud.
Davalos currently sits 16th in the 250 Class standings, 11 points behind his teammate Durham in 15th.
Photos courtesy Steve Cox
Round 6: Moto-X 338 National – 250 Class (Moto Results)
1. Eli Tomac (1-2)
2. Ken Roczen (3-1)
3. Zach Osborne (5-3)
4. Blake Baggett (2-8)
9. Adam Cianciarulo (9-12)
11. Justin Hill (14-10)
13. Darryn Durham (11-14)
Martin Davalos DNR
Round 6: Moto-X 338 National – 450 Class (Moto Results)
1. Ryan Dungey (1-2)
2. Ryan Villopoto (4-1)
3. Justin Barcia (3-3)
6. Tyla Rattray (10-8)
Dean Wilson DNR
CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS >>
1. Ken Roczen – 265 points
2. Eli Tomac – 258 points
3. Blake Baggett – 223 points
11. Justin Hill – 109 points
15. Darryn Durham – 84 points
16. Martin Davalos – 73 points
19. Adam Cianciarulo – 32 points
1. Ryan Villopoto – 283 points
2. Ryan Dungey – 271 points
3. Justin Barcia – 169 points
7. Tyla Rattray – 119 points
20. Dean Wilson – 33 points
Looking Ahead >> RedBud
With half of the season behind them, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad sets its sights on the second half of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, which kicks off with the annual Independence Day celebration from legendary RedBud next Saturday. The team has been dominant at the facility, taking the win in the 250 Class for seven of the last eight years. Baggett will look for his third straight victory at RedBud, while Rattray will look to improve on his fourth-place finish in the 450 Class one year ago.
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