Over the July 4th weekend, Blake “El Chupacabra” Baggett piloted his Pro Circuit Kawasaki to a first moto win at the Red Bud MX track for Round 6 of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX Championship. Geico Honda rider Justin Barcia grabbed the holeshot in Moto 1 and had pulled away from the pack before an endo in the deep Michigan sand handed the lead to Ryan Sipes on the DNA Shred Stix/Star racing Yamaha. E3 motorcycle spark plugs racing fans lined the fence to cheer as El Chupacabra and teammate Dean Wilson moved into 2nd and 3rd respectively in hot pursuit of Sipes.
By mid-moto, Baggett was closing on the lead, but Sipes would prove to be a worthy opponent. In a classic battle up the hills, down the hills and through the corners, Sipes and Baggett hit their marks lap after lap. Finally, the green machine of Baggett would slip by Sipes exiting a deep-rutted sandy corner. Current 250cc series points-leader, Wilson was in steady pursuit and passed the Yamaha of Sipes on his way to a second place in Moto 1. Fourth overall would go to Sipes’ teammate, Kyle Cunningham, followed by the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki of Tyla Rattray.
After his first moto crash, Justin Barcia was a no-show for the start of Moto 2. El Chupacabra got a great start and led Wilson, Tommy Hahn and Lance Vincent through turn one. The 100-degree temperature and deep Michigan sand would take its toll as several bikes sputtered to a stop in the mechanic’s area during the race. Unchallenged for most of Moto 2, Baggett would cruise to his fourth overall win of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX Championship series. Wilson and Rattray would finish second and third respectively to claim the last spots on the overall podium.
The Fourth of July win moves Baggett to within 14 points of the Championship Series lead behind teammate Dean Wilson as El Chupacabra has shown little mercy since his early season glitches. Rattray fell to third just four points behind Baggett but maintains a 66-point lead over Geico Honda rider Eli Tomac. Tomac had burned the field in early-round practice for Red Bud but crashed hard in the second round and was unable to start the national event. 250cc riders and teams have a week off before heading next door to the Spring Creek National on July 16th at Millville, MN.