Blake Baggett raced his Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450 to a solid 10th-place finish Saturday night in the St. Louis Supercross in front of a crowd of 58,552 fans in the Edward Jones Dome.
Baggett accomplished this feat in spite of suffering a tough illness all week leading up to the race, which kept him off the bike and out of his normal training routine.
The determination to nail down a decent St. Louis Supercross result, regardless of how he felt, paid off for Baggett. Not only was it his tenth top-10 AMA/ FIM World Supercross result of the season, it also moved Baggett into a tie for sixth in the point standings after 13 of 17 races.
The illness, which lingered all week, kept Baggett off the bike all but for a brief 10-minute session on Thursday. It also left him dehydrated and exhausted. An indication of just how drained Baggett was in St. Louis came in Time Qualifying where Baggett was a sub-par 16th.
“That definitely wasn’t my greatest practice sessions,” Baggett said, mustering a smile after the session. “I’m fighting it, but I’m going to do the best I can in my Heat race and try to get inside the top four. We’re going to have to shave a few seconds off to run that pace.”
While he was unable to meet the goal of getting into the Main straight from his Heat race, Baggett was able to find some footing in his Semi where he finished fifth, avoiding the LCQ and at least giving himself some rest time before the final.
Once in the Main Baggett’s goal was to stay out of trouble and grind out the best finish he could. On the first lap the first goal was almost pitched away when he clipped a tuff block and got sideways. Fortunately the agility of both Baggett and his RM-Z450 saved him from what looked to be certain disaster, and he was able to charge ahead, no worse for the near get-off.
Baggett bounced in and out of the top 10 early in the race, but had enough in reserve to hang on for 20 laps and complete the race in 10th.
“I came in under the weather a little bit,” Baggett grudgingly admitted, being reluctant to sound like he was making an excuse. “I got 10th and I’ll take that. I’ll leave heathy and look forward to a week off where we can do some outdoor testing. I’m getting ready for that and looking to regroup for the final rounds of the Supercross season. I’ll come out swinging in Houston and look for a podium.”
The series will now take a one-week break for Easter and resume on Saturday, April 11th at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Just four Supercross races remain and Baggett is hoping to close out his rookie season with a string of strong finishes. He’s also looking forward to launching his first AMA Pro Motocross campaign in the premier 450 class beginning in May.
St. Louis 450 Supercross Results: 1. Ryan Dungey (KTM), 2. Eli Tomac (Honda), 3. Jason Anderson (Husqvarna), 4. Cole Seely (Honda), 5. Weston Peick (Yamaha), 6. Josh Grant (Kawasaki), 7. Davi Millsaps (Kawasaki), 8. Chad Reed (Kawasaki), 9. Broc Tickle (RCH Suzuki), 10. Blake Baggett (Yoshimura Suzuki).