Thor’s Blake Baggett Puts the No. 1 Back on Top of the Podium

The road back from injury has been a long one for Thor’s Blake Baggett, but the defending 250 Class Champion proved at Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship that he hasn’t lost his speed, capturing his first overall victory of the season at Budds Creek. While still working his way back from a wrist injury he suffered in Monster Energy Supercross, Baggett made his presence felt during the first moto, pushing his way through the pack to claim his first checkered flag of the season. He backed up that winning ride with an impressive runner-up effort in Moto 2.

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Thor’s Ryan Villopoto picked up where he left off at the previous round by collecting another moto win to start the day in Southern Maryland. The 450 Class points leader had to come through the pack during the second moto, ultimately giving him 1-2 moto results for second overall. Villopoto didn’t lose any valuable championship points at Budds Creek and enters the halfway point next weekend with a 16-point advantage in the 450 Class standings.

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Marvin Musquin carried a two-race win streak into Budds Creek and led most of the opening 250 Class moto before being challenged by Baggett. Musquin worked hard during a grueling second moto to finish seventh, and his 2-7 moto score landed him on the overall podium for the third time this season. Musquin sits third in the 250 Class standings, 21 points out of first.

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n addition to Thor’s Baggett and Musquin leading laps at Budds Creek, Darryn Durham also established his place at the front of the field during the second 250 Class moto. Durham jumped out to a great start and held off his competition for 10 solid laps before finishing the race third. His combined moto scores of 13-3 placed him seventh overall, giving Durham his best finish of the season.

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It was looking to be another solid day for Josh Grant after qualifying fourth in morning practice, but the first moto found him playing catch up after a first turn crash. Despite the adversity, Grant was able to put in an impressive ride from 22nd to 14th. Grant started the second moto with a decent jump, but was pushed outside the top 20 when he hit his chest on the handlebars. After regrouping, Grant charged to 11th to finish 13th overall.

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Tyla Rattray carried some momentum from his podium finish at the previous round and was impressive during the opening laps of the first moto. Unfortunately Rattray took a spill in the late stages of the moto and was forced to call it a day.

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Rookie 250 Class rider Justin Hill enjoyed a nice showing at Budds Creek. He grabbed two solid starts in both motos and finished with the day matching his season-best finish of 10th overall following 10-10 moto results.

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After taking a month to recuperate from an illness he suffered in May, Adam Cianciarulo made his professional debut at Budds Creek. Cianciarulo used much of his first round as a learning experience in the extremely talented 250 Class. Cianciarulo got a taste of the front in the first moto as he jumped out to fourth on the start. He would eventually finish the day with 14-17 moto scores for 16th overall, while also taking away lessons learned for the next round.

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Martin Davalos was feeling under the weather at Budds Creek and made the tough decision to sit out of the afternoon motos in the 250 Class after trying to practice in the morning. He hopes to get back to 100 percent over the week and come fully prepared for Round 6 next weekend.

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The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series will hit the halfway point next weekend with the riders making their annual visit to New England. Round 6 will be hosted at Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass., known for its sandy conditions. It will also mark the final pro motocross national at the facility after 35 years of competition.

Photos: Simon Cudby