The Monster Energy 250cc Kawasaki team dominated the podium once again at Round 8 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX Championship last weekend in Washougal, WA. Geico Honda’s Justin Barcia led the Lites class through turn one of the first moto ahead of Pro Circuit’s Blake Baggett and DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes. El Chupacabra wasted little time and quickly passed Barcia for the lead but Sipes, who was fastest of day in qualifying, would take the lead away before the close of lap one. Series points leader, Dean Wilson, had a bad start, clipped the fence and was struggling to work his way forward.
Although Sipes has shown the speed to unseat the Pro Circuit trio of Baggett, Wilson and Rattray, the Yamaha rider has lacked consistency. After Baggett re-passed the Star Racing Yamaha, Sipes would make several mistakes dropping him to an eventual 15th place finish. In the mean time, his Yamaha teammate, Kyle Cunningham and the green bike of Tyla Rattray were working their way by Barcia. Rattray would try to close the gap on Baggett but finished 11 seconds to the rears. Cunningham held on for third place with Barcia in fourth followed by a hard-charging Dean Wilson in fifth. Local favorite Tommy Weeck finished sixth on his Motosport Hillsboro Honda.
Wilson’s hard charge continued in Moto 2 as the Scotsman rounded the first turn of the difficult Washougal track in the lead. Barcia, Baggett and Cunningham were stuck in the pack and working hard to get by slower riders. Mr. Consistency, Tyla Rattray, had put his Pro Circuit Kawasaki in second and would challenge Wilson late in the Moto 2. But, Wilson would hold on to a slim half-second lead at the finish line over Rattray followed by El Chupacabra in third giving the Monster Energy Kawasaki team its fifth sweep of the overall podium in just eight races. The DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha of Gareth Swanepoel crossed the line in fourth giving the South African a fifth place overall for the event.
Wilson retains the series points lead but once again failed to win an overall. Baggett’s 1-3 finishes gave the Kawasaki ace his fifth overall win for the season. Rattray, who is the only other Lites rider to win in 2011, finished second overall with Wilson in third. Cunningham’s 3-7 finishes added to the Yamaha rider’s streak of fourth-place overalls. Teams, riders and E3 spark plugs racing fans have the next two weekends off as everyone looks forward to Round 9 of the championship at the famed Unadilla MX track in New Berlin, NY. If you’re looking for a high performance car, truck, motorcycle or snowmobile spark plugs, stop by your favorite discount or auto parts store and pick up a box of E3 replacement plugs for your ride.