Irvine, Calif. – Most anticipated a wet weekend in Mt. Morris, Pa., but Saturday turned out to be perfect racing conditions for Round 4 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at High Point Raceway. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer rode up front all day to finish 3-3 for third overall and earn his second-consecutive podium. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle rode strong to a 6-9 moto score for seventh overall. In the 250 class, Blake Baggett finished third in the first moto and fifth in the second moto for fourth overall. Teammate Ivan Tedesco was seventh overall with a 7-10 moto result for the day.
After landing his first career overall podium finish in the 450 class last weekend, Weimer knew he wanted to stay on the podium for the rest of the season. In qualifying practice, he threw down the third fastest lap and had a good gate pick for the first moto. Weimer and his KX™450F got off to a decent start and started picking off riders. Once into third he kept his lap times consistent and finished on the podium. Second moto, Weimer grabbed the holeshot, but was shuffled back. He secured third and continued to try and close the gap on second, but as the moto wore on the track continued to dry out, making it hard for Weimer to push. He finished third overall for his second-consecutive podium and now sits third in the points standings.
“I’m happy with today,” said Weimer. “The track wasn’t the typical High Point, it was pretty dry and slick. I was able to get two good starts and am stoked to be on the podium. I’m having a lot of fun every weekend, so we’ll go into next weekend with the same attitude and keep the results coming.”
Riding the Edge
One year ago Baggett had a stand out ride at High Point and as the current points leader, he was looking to repeat the performance. In moto one, he started just outside the top-10 and began making moves towards the front. By the halfway point Baggett had made it into the top-five and with 10 minutes remaining, he put on a charge. In the last few laps, Baggett was able to close in and pass two more riders to finish third. For the second moto, Baggett got a great start on his KX™250F. He made his way as high as second before losing the front end and dropping back to fourth. With time remaining, Baggett tried to put on a charge, but would fall short and finish fourth overall on the day. He remains the points leader and will continue to run the red-plate next weekend.
“I was feeling good for the second moto,” said Baggett. “I got third in the first moto and got a good start second moto, I got into second and started to gap the guys behind me a bit until I threw it on the ground. I got up and put on a charge, but then had a big get-off and bent my bike up. I salvaged fifth that moto and fourth on the day, so it could have been worse. The track was really dry which made it hard to pass or try anything. “
Finding his Place
With four rounds complete, Tickle has silenced anyone who doubted his speed on the KX450F and has shown that he is a top-five guy in the 450 class. Tickle got off on the wrong foot the first practice, but was able to recover and qualified eighth. In the first moto, he started amongst the top-10 and moved up to seventh where he would finish, just 1/1000 behind the next rider. Second moto Tickle got an even better start and came around the first corner in fifth. He would stay there until a crash set him back, crossing the line in ninth. Finishing seventh on the day put Tickle eighth overall in the points standings.
“My day started rough, but turned out okay,” said Tickle. “I was outside the top-20 after the first practice, but was able to turn that around. I got two good starts in the motos and just took too long to pass a couple guys. I am still happy with my finish. I felt strong throughout the motos and was able to a charge at the end of the first moto. I high-sided in the second moto and it took me a while to get going, but I still salvaged ninth. I was stoked with my starts and just want to be top-five every moto and I’m willing to do what it takes to be there.”
Progression Every Race
Tedesco may have been a late addition to the 250 class roster, but he has been no slouch. The first moto saw him get a top-five start where he began battling for position at the front of the field. Tedesco would battle for the sixth position for most of the 35-minute moto and cross the line in seventh. In the second moto, he did not get the best start and had to come from outside the top-20. Tedesco sliced and diced through the pack the first few laps and passed half of the riders in front of him. Once inside the top-10, Tedesco could not close the gap on the rest of the front runners and finished 10th. His 7-10 moto score gave him seventh overall and is now eighth overall in the standings.
“Today went decent,” said Tedesco. “I qualified the best I have so far this season and came into the first moto strong. I got a good start and finished seventh. Second moto I pushed hard to make up time the first few laps and towards the end my fitness just wasn’t there. I’m happy with where I’m at, but would like to be a little closer to the front. It’s a process and I’m going to keep working on it and come back stronger each round.”
Not the Usual Mt. Morris
The picturesque High Point Raceway is a favorite amongst most racers, yet this year the track developed differently than years past. There has been rain surrounding the Mt. Morris national the past few years, which created a very soft, deep, rutted track. This year however, there was no precipitation in the forecast allowing a dry, choppy track to develop. Although many prefer the loamy ruts of years past, High Point still provided great racing in both classes.
Getting in the Rhythm
With a third of the rounds completed of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, riders are past the point of testing the waters and are ready to battle for every position. The battle continues at Round 5 at Budds Creek MX in Mechanicsville, Md., on June 16, 2012.