Blake Baggett raced his Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450 to an eighth-place finish Saturday night in the Detroit Supercross in front of a crowd of 46,141 fans in Ford Field and moved-up to seventh in the series standings after 12 of 17 rounds.
Baggett was on his way to an even-stronger sixth-place result, but on the final lap another rider changed lanes in front causing him to switch his line at the last second and clip a tuff block, which led to a crash.
Baggett’s Detroit Supercross got off to a decent start when he qualified in 10th. He said: “The track is probably the most technical we’ve had on the circuit so far. There were two sets of whoops – the second one, where you’re coming down from out of the grandstands, was a little bit tricky because it’s deceiving since you’re coming downhill into it. It’s going to get slippery as the night goes on, so traction and a good gate pick are going to be key.”
Baggett missed qualifying directly out of his Heat race, but rebounded to convincingly-win his Semi to make the Main.
When the gate dropped on the 20-lap final Baggett was among the leaders, but coming out of the second turn a couple of riders tangled in front of him and he had nowhere to go and got tangled-up with another rider trying to find a way around. That moved him back to 11th place at the end of the first lap. From there on, Baggett used the power of his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to steadily work his way through the field. He’d made it to sixth and for a brief time appeared to be on the verge of challenging for a top-five, but on the final lap Kyle Partridge appeared to change lines in front of Baggett. The 23 year old took evasive action but clipped a tuff block in the process and hit the ground.
Baggett was able to remount and finish in eighth, even though he was pretty beat-0up after the crash.
“We were able to find a really good set-up for the Semi,” said Yoshimura Suzuki Team Manager Mike Webb of the commanding win for Baggett in his qualifying Semi. “After getting his arm hooked with another rider on that shuffle in the second turn he was as far back as 12th at the start of the Main. He began picking them off and worked his way up to sixth and then on the last lap a lapped rider moved over right in front of him and Blake went down pretty hard on the tabletop jump and (Josh) Grant and (Broc) Tickle got by. All and all it was a good night. He was fast again and put it all together in the Main.”