Same Results, Different Race
The motocross riders were treated with a two-week break following the Budds Creek National and it seemed like there wasn’t much that had changed once they returned. The same two riders, Ryan Dungey and Blake Baggett, that captured wins in Maryland followed them up with wins in Michigan.
One thing that was different than the race at Budds Creek was that Dungey pulled off the win even with the return of James Stewart. After crashing at Thunder Valley, Stewart had taken time to heal up to make a healthy return for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately for the fans that have watched Dungey run away with every win since Stewart crashed, Bubba wasn’t able to run the same pace. It was definitely disappointing, especially since Stewart didn’t even look that great while out on the track. While it was tough to say if it was the bike or the rider, let’s just hope he’s able to pull together a good ride at Millville.
Another face that made his return to the paddock was Ryan Villopoto’s interim rider on the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, Tyla Rattray. With Rattray’s jump to the 450 class to help out the factory Kawasaki team, we wanted to see just how well Rattray would do in his U.S. 450 debut, but was sidelined during the first moto at Hangtown. At RedBud, we were able to see just where he was at, posting a 4-5 moto result. The fourth overall finish was just a single point shy of tying Stewart for the podium spot (thought Stewart would have won the tie breaker). It’s definitely proof that Rattray is comfortable on the bigger bike, and as he feels more race-ready, it could be argued that he could be the one that steals a win before the end of the season.
The 250 class had been the saving grace for spectators, and while the opening moto at RedBud was exciting, the results remained the same. Baggett picked up where he left off at Budds Creek and was able to claim his second perfect weekend of the season and third overall win. That may not be surprising to some because Baggett has been slated as the favorite since Dean Wilson pulled out of the championship at Hangtown, but was a little surprising that Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen weren’t able to step up to Baggett’s call. The only one staying remotely close is Justin Barcia, who now sits 19 points back of Baggett.
There is a correlation that could be made with how Tomac is riding this year and how Baggett rode last year. When Baggett was on, he was brilliant. But there were too many bad motos to keep up the momentum for a championship. This year, Baggett is showing consistency, which has helped him maintain the red plate since Moto 1 of Round 1. While Tomac has won twice, his other overall finishes were off the podium. Dean Wilson will probably tell you that his consistency last year kept him in the fight for the title, considering his first overall win didn’t come until Round 9 at Unadilla.
With Red Bud marking the halfway point of the 2012 Lucas Oil Motocross Championship Series, its all downhill from here. With six races left, it will be interesting if anyone can put a stop to Dungey’s ever-increasing win-streak, and if Baggett can continue his own streak of consistency.