O’NEAL’s Blake Baggett finished out his rookie 450 Supercross season with yet another solid placing, taking sixth in the Las Vegas Series finale in front of 35,241 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium. It marked the 13th top-10 finish in the series this year and helped him close out the 2015 Supercross season as the fifth-ranked rider.
Not only was Baggett’s sixth in Las Vegas another strong ride for the 23-year-old Californian, it made him part of an exclusive club of just four riders in 2015 to finish in all 17 rounds of the AMA/FIM Supercross Series. Baggett credits his experienced team and the reliability of his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 for helping him to be part of that small group of elite riders.
Baggett started his day in Las Vegas by qualifying 11th in the combined timed qualifying sessions. From there he made it directly into the Main from his Heat race.
The Sam Boyd Stadium track was one of the longest and most complex in series history. Baggett stormed to a strong start, but a few slips cost him and he was caught in a big group of riders battling over position in the early going. At one point he ran as far back as eighth. But as always Baggett was persistent and eventually worked his way back to sixth by the end of the 20-lap final.
“Here in Las Vegas I had a few sections that were good and a few sections that were bad,” he said. “I got out of here in one piece and finished up fifth on the season. Now I’ve got one weekend off and we head to the outdoors.”
Looking back Baggett exceeded almost all expectations in his rookie Supercross campaign and he took on the added responsibility of being Yoshimura Suzuki’s sole entry after it was discovered his veteran teammate James Stewart would not be permitted to race. In spite of the having the weight of the entire team thrust upon his shoulders, Baggett performed in a solid and veteran-like fashion all season. He scored four top-five finishes including a season-best podium (3rd) at Daytona. And he ended the championship in Las Vegas with the highest series ranking he’d attained all year in fifth.
In addition Baggett finished the Supercross series as the second ranked rookie among the highly touted Class of 2015, which included Cole Seely, Jason Anderson, Dean Wilson and Baggett.
Baggett now turns his attention to his first season on the 450s in the outdoor nationals, as the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicks off on May 16 at the Hangtown Classic near Sacramento.
The 2015 Supercross season concludes this coming Saturday, May 2nd at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Baggett will be attempting to remain ranked in the top-five in the final standings. Fourth-place is even within reach.
Las Vegas 450 Supercross Results:
1. Ryan Dungey
2. Eli Tomac
3. Weston Peick
4. Cole Seely
5. Josh Grant
6. Blake Baggett
7. Chad Reed
8. Justin Barcia
9. Justin Brayton
10. Broc Tickle
Final 450 Supercross Standings:
1. Ryan Dungey, 390
2. Eli Tomac, 305
3. Cole Seely, 277
4. Chad Reed, 226
5. Blake Baggett, 223
6. Trey Canard, 204
7. Jason Anderson, 200
8. Broc Tickle, 194
9. Andrew Short, 180
10. Weston Peick, 160