CORONA, CA – August 19, 2014 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The 11th stop of the 12-round AMA Pro Motocross Championship was expected to be a showdown amongst the 250 Class’ elite at the series’ newest track, Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Instead, the inaugural Thor Indiana National proved to be a battle of survival as Mother Nature took center stage and provided arguably the most challenging conditions in recent memory. In the end, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki lineup of Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson and Chris Alldredge endured what was likely one of the toughest challenges of their careers to each walk away with top-15 finishes on a day where every rider was pushed to his limits.
Wilson Soldiers Through
As a native of Scotland, one might think that Wilson possesses a natural born talent of navigating through the mud. On a day when conditions were at their worse, he rose to the occasion in each moto by finishing higher than where he started – a challenging task in itself for the majority of the field. When all was said and done, Wilson led the way for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki with a sixth-place effort overall.
In Moto 1, Wilson emerged with a top-10 start as riders were all over the track looking for the cleanest line available. From there patience set in for the former champion. He moved his way into eighth by Lap 3 and maintained the spot for the remainder of the moto by logging consistent laps and avoiding misfortune. In Moto 2, a better start positioned Wilson in seventh on the opening lap and despite losing several positions early, he fought his back towards the front to move into sixth late in the moto and complete the afternoon with 8-6 scores.
“We came into Indiana thinking we’d be doing battle in perfect conditions, but today proved to be anything but that,” said Wilson. “It was hard to really do much of anything since the mud was so thick, so it really became more about keeping it on two wheels than trying to push the pace. I was able to keep the Kawasaki KX250F clean for the most part and walked away with some solid results. Not great, but I’m glad to lead the way for the team and move on to the finale next weekend.”
Wilson remains 10th in the 250 Class standings, 34 points out of ninth.
Baggett Refuses to Back Down
Even when conditions are much less than ideal, Baggett showed he’ll continue to push himself and his bike to the limits in search of success. While adversity struck the veteran early, he never gave up and rode with the same spirit that ultimately won him a championship two seasons ago. While his results weren’t necessarily an indicator of how well he performed on Saturday, Baggett still grabbed the spotlight thanks to his all-out pursuit of strong results and earned a hard-fought 10th-place overall finish.
Baggett put his Kawasaki KX250F near the front out of the gate in Moto 1, but soon found himself on the ground to start the race off in 29th position. No doubt motivated to fight his way forward, he made an impressive march through the field to break into the top 20 by Lap 4 and continue his upward progression through the remainder of the moto en route to 14th. In Moto 2 Baggett experienced better fortune and started the moto in 10th. Learning from his experience in the first moto, he seemed to have the ability to make passes better than anyone else on the track and soon found himself inside the top five in fourth, where he would finish just off the podium to finish the afternoon with 14-4 results.
“I honestly couldn’t really tell you what position I was in at any point in the motos, but I knew I needed to just try and make passes happen,” said Baggett. “I actually think I learned a lot in that first moto in coming from behind, which worked to my advantage in Moto 2. I would have much rather been battling for the podium all day, but we survived and salvaged a top-10 finish when things could have definitely been worse. Bring on Utah, because I’m ready.”
Baggett maintained his hold on second in the championship standings thanks to his resiliency and will carry a two-point advantage over third into the final round.
Rookie Alldredge Endures
Just one week removed from his professional debut, Alldredge’s talents were put to the test on Saturday. The Oregon native is no stranger to challenging conditions, but the track in Indiana got the best of the bulk of the 250 Class field at some point. He endured throughout each moto and was able to show an ability to move forward in the conditions despite some adversity, ultimately resulting in a 14th-place result overall.
Alldredge began the day with a 17th-place start in the opening moto and was quickly challenging for the top 10 just one lap later. Unfortunately he encountered misfortune on Lap 3 and lost several positions, but still battled his way back towards the top 15 to salvage a 16th-place finish. In Moto 2 Alldredge looked to take advantage of a top-10 start by making early moves towards the front, but once again was hit with misfortune. The rookie had his work cut out for him the remainder of the moto and was able to fight his way from outside the top 20 to finish an impressive 12th and record 16-12 scores for the afternoon.
“I’m definitely a little bummed with the couple mistakes I made out there today because I felt like we had another top 10 in us,” said Alldredge. “There’s just so much talent at this level that you really need to learn when to push and how hard to push, and I think that’s what I really took away from this weekend. The Kawasaki KX250F withstood everything I threw at it and I’m happy with how I was able to rebound from the adversity we faced early in each moto. I’m looking forward to the final round.”
Alldredge jumped up five spots in the 250 Class standings to 21st and faces a 20-point deficit to break into the top 20 by season’s end.
Photos courtesy of Steve Cox and Hoppenworld
Looking Ahead >> Utah National Finale
Just one round and two motos remain in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship season, with the second annual visit to Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park looming. Of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki trio, only Baggett brings past experience into the season finale, finishing in the runner-up spot one year ago with a pair of second place moto scores. A revamped layout will provide new challenges for the field, but each of the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders are ready to let it all hang out and end the season on a high note.
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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.
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