Photo: Simon Cudby
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its lone visit to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Saturday with its seventh round of the season from Spring Creek MX Park. After another dominant outing, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., took his fifth consecutive victory of the summer in front of the hometown crowd, sweeping the day's pair of 450 Class motos. In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., took advantage of the misfortune experienced by points leader, and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider, Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., to claim his third win of the season.
After coming out of the gate at the front portion of the field, Dungey settled into fifth place at the conclusion of the opening lap of the first 450 Class moto. As the KTM rider began to work his way forward, MotoConcepts Suzuki's Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., assumed the lead and opened a small gap over the field.
Dungey picked off one rider per lap and took over second place on Lap 3, and then set his sights on Alessi. Dungey gradually eliminated his deficit to Alessi and passed the Suzuki-mounted rider on Lap 6, quickly establishing an insurmountable advantage and taking the win.
Dungey gets the sweep at his hometown track (Photo: Simon Cudby)
In Moto 2, Dungey wasted little time in asserting himself, capturing the holeshot and leading all 16 laps of competition. He crossed the finish line nearly 49 seconds over Alessi, in second, and celebrated with the supportive crowd. Dungey has become accustomed to winning at his home track at Spring Creek, standing atop the podium for the last five years. Today he secured his third straight victory at the facility in the 450 Class to go along with his back-to-back triumphs as a 250 Class rider during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
"I enjoy coming back (to Spring Creek), I spent a lot of time riding here as kid," said Dungey, who has won an impressive 10 consecutive motos during his dominant run. "To get a win was great, not just for me but the team as well, especially since everyone was here to watch. I approach every race the same as the one before, regardless of points. I've said it a lot; there's a lot of racing left and you have to be ready for each race itself. We just come in and hope to accomplish what we want to accomplish, always looking to improve."
Alessi held the lead for awhile in Moto 1, but had to settle for a 3-2 finish (Photo: Simon Cudby)
Alessi finished second overall (3-2) for his fifth podium in seven rounds, while Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jake Weimer, of Rupert, Idaho, finished third (2-3).
Dungey extended his lead in the 450 Class standings to 80 points over Alessi.
In the 250 Class, Baggett was targeting his third consecutive overall win and got the day off to a strong start in the opening moto. After crossing the line in eighth at the conclusion of the first lap, Baggett stormed through the field, climbing his way into a four-way battle at the front of the field by Lap 5 with GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia, of Monroe, N.Y., Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen, of Germany, and Tomac.
The four riders paced each other for several laps, often alternating positions, but Baggett eventually moved into the lead on Lap 12, surpassing his rivals and cruising to the win.
Blake Baggett pulled off an incredible come-from-behind win in Moto 1 (Photo: Simon Cudby)
In Moto 2, Baggett once again put himself in winning position, coming out of the gate in third and passing Tomac for the lead on Lap 6. However, Baggett encountered misfortune on the following lap, losing rear traction and dropping to seventh in the running order.
Tomac capitalized on Baggett's fall and extended his lead over Barcia in second, eventually winning the moto and securing the overall.
Tomac gets his third overall win this year (Photo: Simon Cudby)
"That first moto was a barn burner, we all just went at it," said Tomac. "I needed some better starts and I got those this weekend. Blake and I were going at it (in the second moto), but he made a mistake. I was kind of lucky he fell where he did. I just took it from there."
Barcia posted back-to-back runner-up efforts to finish second overall, while Baggett rebounded to finish fourth in the second moto and claim third overall (1-4).
Although he missed an opportunity to gain some ground in the championship standings, Baggett still holds an 18-point lead over Barcia.
The 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next Saturday, July 21, with round eight from Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Wash., and the Peterson CAT Washougal National.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Bob's Cycle Supply Spring Creek National
Spring Creek MX Park - Millville, Minn.
July 14, 2012
Round 7 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-1)
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (3-2)
3. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (2-3)
4. Justin Brayton, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Honda (4-4)
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (5-6)
6. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (12-5)
7. Les Smith, York, S.C., KTM (11-9)
8. Cole Thompson, Brigden, Ontario, Canada, Honda (15-7)
9. Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (6-28)
10. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (14-14)
450 podium (Photo: Simon Cudby)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 336
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 256
3. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 244
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 209
5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki, 187
6. Justin Brayton, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 167
7. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 151
8. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 150
9. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 142
10. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki, 113
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (3-1)
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (2-2)
3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (1-4)
4. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (4-3)
5. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki (6-5)
6. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (5-7)
7. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (7-6)
8. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (10-8)
9. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki (8-10)
10. Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda (9-13)
250 podium (Photo: Simon Cudby)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 315
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 297
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 281
4. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 273
5. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 218
6. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 191
7. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 156
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M, Suzuki, 145
9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 128
10. Jake Canada, Sun City, Calif., Honda, 125