CORONA, CA – July 29, 2014 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – With teammate Justin Hill sidelined with an injury at his hometown race, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo of Blake Baggett and Dean Wilson looked to provide a strong outing for the team as the AMA Pro Motocross Championship made its annual visit to Washougal, Washington. The veteran tandem was in the mix throughout the afternoon in the 250 Class and ultimately posted a pair of solid results, with Baggett making his return to the podium and Wilson securing another top-10 effort.
Baggett Back Up Front
Following a forgettable outing at Spring Creek the week prior in which he was forced to record his second DNF of the 2014 season, Baggett knew he needed to turn things around at Washougal, where he won during the 2011 championship. He began his afternoon modestly, posting a top 10 time in practice, but was ready to step up his efforts for the motos.
Baggett’s afternoon got off to a solid start in Moto 1, slotting into sixth place within striking distance of the front in the early stages. He wasted little time in making moves forward and was into a podium position by Lap 7. After taking over second just a couple laps later, Baggett looked to assert his control of the spot and soon engaged in a competitive battle for the position that lasted several laps before he crashed and dropped to fifth. He recovered nicely and maintained his top five result at the finish.
In Moto 2, Baggett got arguably his best start of the season thus far, assuming control of third out of the gate and marching to the front. Although he lost a spot early, Baggett stayed in the thick of the hunt out front and was ultimately able to wrap up a runner-up effort in the moto that would secure second overall on the afternoon.
“It definitely stings to give up spots like we did in that first moto, but I’m really pumped to be back on the podium and get second today,” said Baggett. “We were really good and the Kawasaki KX250F felt great. We had some really challenging track conditions to deal with but we were able to fight our way forward when we needed to, got two good starts, and ended up on the box like we wanted. We’ll build of this and be better following the off week.”
Baggett maintained control of third in the 250 Class standings, 11 points out of second and 54 points out of the lead with three rounds remaining.
Wilson Works for His Results
Wilson knew he had the speed to contend at the front of the field following a season-best outing at Spring Creek the week prior, but starts ultimately added to the challenge he faced at Washougal. In the first moto he emerged with a 15th-place start and had to battle his way through the field on a brutal track where passing was at a premium. Wilson fought valiantly and was able to break into the top 10 and climb up to eighth by the time the checkered flag flew.
Wilson was better out of the gate in the final moto, assuming a spot inside the top 10 in ninth and putting himself in striking distance of the lead pack. He patiently moved his way forward, seizing opportunities as they came to him, and put in a solid 16 laps to finish just outside the top five in sixth. Wilson’s combined scores resulted in seventh overall, his fourth top-10 effort in five starts since returning from injury.
“Another top 10 is good, but I’m not really satisfied with how I rode today because I know I’m better than that,” said Wilson. “I didn’t get a great start in either moto and that really made things harder because the track was so rough and tough to pass on. The Kawasaki KX250F was where I wanted it to be, I just wasn’t able to get it up front right away and it made for a pretty tough day battling for positions. It’s still a solid result and I’ll do my best to build off it during the week off.”
Wilson still sits 12th in the 250 Class standings but is closing in on his teammate Hill for the 11th spot due to the sophomore rider’s injury. Wilson sits seven points out of 11th and 13 points from a spot in the top 10.
Photos courtesy of Steve Cox and Hoppenworld
Looking Ahead >> Unadilla National
The AMA Pro Motocross Championship will take its final break in action for the 2014 season before returning to the track on August 9 for the legendary Unadilla National in Central New York. The ninth stop of the championship has been a successful track for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki in the past with a total of 10 victories between seven different riders. Wilson was the most recent victor for the team during his title-winning 2011 campaign.
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About Pro Circuit
Based in Corona, Calif., Pro Circuit Products, Inc. is a leader in off-road motorcycle and ATV exhausts and aftermarket performance parts. Started in 1978, Pro Circuit is the go to shop for recreational riders and professionals for everything from suspension work to complete engine packages, and everything in between.
Created by former desert racer Mitch Payton, Pro Circuit proves its products and services week-in and week-out through its tagline “We Race.” Every product that dons the Pro Circuit stamp stems from the legendary Pro Circuit race team. A staple in the professional paddock, Pro Circuit Racing has earned 29 AMA championships and more than 200 race wins in more than 30 years of competition.