Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Blake Baggett is having one hell of an outdoor season. He has led the points standings from round one, dominating Hangtown back in May with a 1-1 score. Being from California, one would think the sand track on the schedule would be his trouble event, but Baggett went out and scored the overall with a 3-1 score, extending his points lead to nearly a full moto over rival (and Team USA teammate) Justin Barcia. Transmoto contributor Eric Johnson caught up with him after the race.
EJ: This is the one sand track on the schedule, so do you approach it any differently than any of the other races?
BB: I definitely try to ride as much sand as possible, because we're from Southern California, and it's hard-packed. I've been in Florida just trying to do what we could. Got a lot of practice in at Villopoto's and came here and that was all we had.
Talk about that first moto and what you went through to grab third...
Yeah, I started second actually and just made a mistake and then just...
That mistake on the first lap?
Yeah... Not bad, third place...
Did you just not feel that comfortable that moto?
Yeah, it was hard to get comfortable. Sand and stuff...
Did you make any adjustments between motos?
Yeah. We changed the forks a little bit and the rear shock to speed it up a little bit.
Okay. So, obviously they made the announcement today about the Motocross des Nations. It's going to be your second year going and it's going to be a sand track - although not quite the same type of thing. Did that give any extra significance to this particular race, knowing it's sort of your one sand race before you go to Europe and do it?
I guess, a little bit. But we're just going to do our best, that's all we can do. So we'll see.
Well, that's how you went about it last year. I know some stuff didn't go your way - mud, and got stuck under a fence at one point I think... All kinds of nonsense. But you still pulled it together. What kind of stuff do you take from that experience that you're going to be able to apply to the event this year?
It's just riding our dirt bikes. That's what we're born to do and that's what we've been doing our whole lives. So, I'll just go out there and do the best we can and try to keep nerves calm because it's a big race and it's pretty gnarly.
Late in that moto, you must have seen Eli Tomac coming before you guys got close to each other, right?
Yeah, I saw him coming but there was nowhere to pass out there. It's very difficult. If you're behind somebody you can only go as fast as they can go.
How did you get around Ken Roczen for the lead?
He made a little bobble and I just kind of took advantage of it.
So, you just had to be ready for them to open a door?
You have another race, then another weekend off before you finish off the series. Does part of you wish there were no more weekends off?
No, it's good. We're going to run it out!