CORONA, CA – August 16, 2014 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – With just two rounds remaining in the 2014 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, the three-rider lineup at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki enters the penultimate round of the season in hopes of building on the momentum the team achieved at Unadilla one week ago with top 10 results from Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson and Chris Alldredge. The inaugural Thor Indiana National on Saturday, August 16, will mark the first time the series competes at the brand new Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, which also signifies an even playing field for the entire 250 Class.
The championship-winning experience brought to the team by veterans Baggett and Wilson makes each rider a favorite to land on the podium Saturday afternoon, while Alldredge’s impressive pro debut bodes well for even better results in his second career start. Unfortunately, the team will be without the services of Darryn Durham, who had to sit out his anticipated return to action one week ago at Unadilla as a result of a practice crash, and will once again be sidelined for Indiana.
Nothing to Lose for Baggett
From a big picture standpoint, Baggett’s efforts at Indiana will no doubt be directly tied to keeping his title hopes alive. The 2012 series champion currently faces a 66-point deficit to the points leader and holds on to the runner-up spot in the title fight. With three overall wins and five moto victories to his credit this season, Baggett knows how to put his Kawasaki KX250F out front and will look to do just that on Saturday at the brand new facility. If he’s able to come away with a victory and gain 16 points on his championship rival, Baggett will have the opportunity to fight for a second 250 Class crown at the season finale.
“We definitely have our work cut out for us this weekend, but I think it’s pretty simple what we have to do. We need to go out there and put down a 1-1 effort, and see if we can keep this championship going into Utah,” said Baggett. “I’ve said all season that I’ll fight down to the final moto and that couldn’t be more important to our goals right now. This is a new track so no one really has an edge, and my plan is to take advantage of that on Saturday.”
Baggett’s hold on second in the 250 Class standings comes with an eight-point advantage over third.
Wilson Ready to Hang it Out
As Wilson’s time in the 250 Class continues to draw closer to its conclusion, the Scottish rider knows his intensity needs to pick up if he is to break through for another win in the division aboard a Kawasaki KX250F. Wilson has been a consistent threat for the top five since coming back from injury, and at Unadilla he enjoyed his best moto result of the season in fourth. With a good start, he knows he has the pace to battle for the win and a spot on the podium, and in the days leading up to Indiana he has focused on putting himself in a position to do just that.
“It’s been my goal since coming back to get back on top of the podium for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. Time is running out on that opportunity and I really want to make it happen,” said Wilson. “I think Indiana presents a great chance to take advantage of it being so new and unfamiliar to the riders, but I know my chances at running up front will come down to the start. We proved we have the pace last weekend, so it’s really a matter of just putting it all together on Saturday.”
Wilson broke into the top 10 in the 250 Class standings last week and has an opportunity to gain even more ground over the final four motos. He currently sits 10th, 24 points out of ninth.
Additionally, it was announced that Wilson would be making his anticipated return to Team Great Britain for the Motocross of Nations in September from Latvia. It will be the first time Wilson has raced in the prestigious event in two years, and he will represent the team in the Open class aboard a 450cc bike.
Progression is Key for Alldredge
Amateur graduate Alldredge proved immediately that his inclusion on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad for the remainder of the 2014 season was the right decision. An impressive top 10 finish at Unadilla came with a come-from-behind effort in one moto, and a consistent performance in the other. The well-rounded outing provided invaluable experience for the Oregon native and he’s feeling confident in his ability to progress from that result this weekend. As the top-finishing graduate of the 2014 amateur class, Alldredge is ready to continue leading the way for his peers on Saturday.
“Last weekend was such a memorable experience for me and it’s still kind of surreal to think I’m racing for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki,” said Alldredge. “We got a taste of everything at Unadilla and I’ve done my best to learn from it and improve coming into Indiana. We still have no pressure on us, so my goal is to keep being patient and being as consistent as possible on Saturday. Since this track is new, I think you’ll see a little bit of that from everyone.”
Alldredge’s 21 points from last weekend slotted him 26th in the 250 Class standings, just five points from jumping up as high as 21st and 33 points from breaking into the top 20.
More Heartbreak for Durham
The veteran Durham was experiencing the highest of highs one week ago following the announcement that he would return to action at Unadilla following an injury that kept him sidelined since just prior to the start of the Pro Motocross season. Unfortunately, Durham crashed late in the final practice session and was deemed unable to compete, once again halting his 2014 debut. Despite his best efforts to get back on the gate at Indiana, Durham realized he is not 100% healthy and has chosen to sit out Saturday’s inaugural event.
“I’m gutted to say the least, but I really need to be smart about this decision,” said Durham. “I took my time coming back from my initial injury and I firmly believe it was the right approach to take. I’m going with that same mindset right now so I can give myself the best chance to get back on my Kawasaki KX250F and be competitive for everyone at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. I’m staying positive and keeping my hopes up. Just another bump in the road I know I’ll get through.”
Up Next >> Inaugural Indiana National
With fresh dirt and a long, challenging layout full of big air and elevation changes, the new Ironman Raceway presents an exciting new track for the sport. While none of the three Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders have ever laid down a lap on the track, each knows they have the speed and the ability to put the squad back into the spotlight and possibly back on top of the podium on Saturday afternoon.
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