Villopoto-Kawasaki-Off-Road-5-28-13Irvine, Calif. – At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto battled to keep his moto win streak alive by finishing 1-1 at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colo. Villopoto has a perfect 100 points after the first two rounds. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray finished in the top 10 for the second week in a row in eighth place, while Dean Wilson followed close behind in 10th overall. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer overcame a crash to finish 14th. In the 250 class Blake Baggett fought hard to finish fifth and was joined by teammate Martin Davalos in seventh and Justin Hill in 12th.

Following a dominant weekend in Hangtown at Round 1, Villopoto carried that momentum into Colorado. The keys for Villopoto this weekend were patience and confidence. After qualifying first, he did not have the greatest start in the first moto but picked off guys early and began to the study the front-runners. Villopoto watched their lines while sitting in third and was able to move into the lead in the latter part of the 30 minute moto. His 1-1 moto score for the second consecutive week solidifies him as the one to beat this season.

Irvine, Calif. (October 1, 2012) – At the 66th Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, Team USA worked through the treacherous sand of Lommel, Belgium, to finish on the podium in third place. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, representing Team USA for the second-consecutive year, finished with a 14-6 moto score to secure second-overall in the MX2 classification.

Baggett and Team USA arrived in Belgium knowing the sand track would serve as an equalizer for the international field. He started off with a fairly eventless qualifying race on Saturday where he raced to third place. Baggett’s third was the best finish for Team USA in qualifying, leading them to seventh overall gate pick for Sunday. The first of three motos saw the MX2 and MX1 class face off. Baggett got off the gate smooth, but was quickly pushed back by the larger MX1 bikes. Baggett immediately went to work to make his way forward, but lost his front end on lap three and crashed. Undeterred, he began to once again make his way towards the front from outside the top-20. He progressively made his way through the field and finished in 14th position.

Irvine, Calif. – In the mecca of motocross, Southern California’s own Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett secured the 2012 AMA Pro 250 Motocross Championship, Saturday at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, Calif. Baggett took the final checkered flag on his KX™250F in style, taking his fifth overall win of the season with a 1-2 moto score. In the 450 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle finished the season out strong going 3-3 for third overall and finished sixth overall in the championship. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer came out on top of a tight points battle and secured third overall in the championship and fifth overall on the day. Teammate Tyla Rattray quietly finished fourth overall and climbed to 10th in the championship standings.

After finishing off of the podium the past two rounds, Baggett came into the season finale ready to show everyone why he has held the red-plate for all 12 rounds. The first moto saw Baggett ride a near perfect moto. He started amongst the top-three and immediately headed to the front, taking the lead on lap five and never looking back. In 100-degree heat, Baggett won by 14-seconds and while the other top finishers couldn’t even make it to the podium due to heat issues, Baggett high-fived the fans that lined the fence surrounding the podium. He only needed to finish 13th or better in the second moto to clinch the title, but Baggett prefers nothing but to win. Nearly last place off the start of Moto 2, Baggett charged to the front and was catching the leader until a tip-over forced him to settle for second. Baggett claimed his fifth overall win of the season and his first professional title.

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett commanded his fourth overall win of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass., with an exciting late-race pass to steal the win with a 3-1 moto result. Baggett battled through erratic weather, a challenging track, and a field of hungry competitors to extend his point lead and keep the red plates on his KX™250F for the ninth-consecutive round.

In the 450 class, teammate Broc Tickle rode skillfully throughout the day to earn his second podium of the season, landing in third place with a 6-4 result. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray grabbed the second moto win, his first moto win in the 450 class, but problems in the first moto saw him finish fifth overall with a 20-1 result.  Teammate Jake Weimer showed speed all day, but a few mistakes would leave him finishing 18th with a 13-19 moto result.

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett scored his second win of the season at Round 5 of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Budds Creek MX Park in Mechanicsville, Md., with a 2-1 moto result. Baggett will continue carrying the coveted red plate on his Kawasaki KX™250F for a fifth-consecutive week after extending his points lead to 13. His teammate Broc Tickle captured the first outdoor overall podium of his career aboard his KX™450F, landing in second place with a 2-2 moto score. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer started off strong in the first 450 moto scoring third, but a fourth-place finish in Moto 2 left him just off the podium with fourth overall. Ivan Tedesco got good starts in both 250 motos, but not long after grabbing the holeshot in Moto 2 he crashed and had to pull off the track.

Getting it Done
After finishing off the podium in fourth last weekend, Baggett was determined to do whatever it took to keep the red pates on his KX250F. In the first moto, Baggett got a good start inside the top-five and began pushing toward the front. By the second lap he moved into third and began pacing the leaders on the tight track. With five minutes plus two laps left in the race, Baggett made a pass for second place stick and finished in the runner-up spot. In Moto 2, Baggett got a great jump off the line and came around the first lap in third. He moved into second by lap eight and began pacing the leader. When the leader made a mistake on lap 13, Baggett took over the lead and never looked back. The victory marked his second win of the season and extended his points lead to 13.

MECHANICSVILLE, Md.  Southern Maryland’s Budds Creek MX Park hosted the fifth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, on Saturday, as each of the series’ points leaders added to his respective championship advantage. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., raced to his third consecutive 450 Class win with a third straight 1-1 moto sweep. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., secured his second victory of the season thanks to a triumphant effort in the second moto.

In the opening 450 Class moto, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton, of Ft. Dodge, Iowa, grabbed the holeshot, but Dungey wasted little time in making his move to the front. Once in the lead, Dungey extended his advantage over the field every lap, eventually winning by over 40 seconds.

In Moto 2, MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., assumed the early lead and stayed out front for three laps before Dungey moved past. The KTM rider then pulled away from the field consistently en route to the checkered flag.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The United States is gearing up for a full-blown assault on the 2011 FIM Motocross of Nations, Sept. 17-18, at Saint D’Angely, France, with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) finalizing the team structure and partners coming on board to support a first-class world championship effort.

The team, announced on Aug. 13, includes Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett. Dungey will race the MX1 class, which features 450cc four-stroke machinery. Villopoto will race the open class. Baggett will compete in the MX2 class, which features 250cc four-stroke motorcycles.

Roger DeCoster, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team manager and Motorcycle Hall of Famer, will manage the team in its hunt for a record 22nd Motocross of Nations Championship.

“This is an awesome team,” DeCoster said. “The two Ryans are quite dominant. What else can you say about them?

“As for Baggett, he is putting in a lot of strong rides in the 250cc class, and he’s getting stronger as the season comes to an end,” said DeCoster. “What’s really important is that he is a guy who can come from behind. It’s tough to get a good start in the Motocross of Nations on a 250cc bike, because they race on the track with the 450cc bikes, and you have to be able to come through the pack a lot. We need a rider who can do that, and Blake can.”

AMA Director of Supercross and AMA Pro Racing Relations Kevin Crowther said that it’s nice to return to the Motocross of Nations with another superb team.

“We couldn’t be happier with the U.S. national team this year,” Crowther said. “Villopoto is leading an extremely tight 450cc points race in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Dungey is the returning overall champion from the 2010 Motocross of Nations, where he led the U.S. National team to its record 21st victory. And Baggett is lighting up the 250cc outdoors class, where he is the top-ranked U.S. rider. We are bringing a lot of talent to France this September, and not just on the track, but off it as well.”

Crowther said that the off-track talent includes several companies that have stepped up to support the U.S. Motocross of Nations program this year.

“As in previous years, Feld Motor Sports, which promotes the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and FIM World Championship, Fox Racing and the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center continue to support the Motocross of Nations effort in a big way,” Crowther said. “In addition, we owe a big measure of gratitude to MX Sports Pro Racing, which promotes the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, for their help and support as well. Of course, we also have to recognize the contributions of the riders’ teams — Monster Energy Kawasaki, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki and Rockstar Makita Suzuki.”

Dungey has competed most recently at the Motocross of Nations, racing for the winning U.S. team in Italy in 2009 and Lakewood, Colo., in 2010. He said that teamwork will be key to success in France.

“This is a really good team with Ryan Villopoto and Blake Baggett,” Dungey said. “To go with that, we have a great group of people behind us. We all know how to work together, and we’re building a great partnership — that’s what it takes to do well at this event.

“It’s not about winning individual honor here,” he added. “It’s about winning as a team, and we’re all going to help each other out, whether it’s advice we can give or whatever. One man can’t win it. All three of us have to do our job. With this being Blake’s first time, if I can help him in any way, I will, and I know Villopoto will as well.”

Villopoto, who last competed on the U.S. team in 2008 when he won with James Stewart and Tim Ferry, said that he’s thrilled to be back and part of a particularly talented U.S. national team. Villopoto also was a member of the 2006 and 2007 winning teams.

“I’m really happy to be back on the team after being injured the past two years,” Villopoto said. “It was hard to watch and not be able to have the chance to race the event. As long as we all go out there and ride how we’ve been riding this season, I think we have a great shot at winning.”

Baggett says that he’s looking forward to the new experience of competing at the Motocross of Nations.

“For sure, I think this will be a cool experience against a bunch of guys I’ve never raced against before,” Baggett said. “The GPs are a little unfamiliar to me, and well as who is fast over there, so it will be exciting as a new experience. Also, racing the 250s on the track with the 450s should be fun. Hopefully we can impress quite a few people and bring the trophy home to the USA.”

As for the track, which also hosted the Motocross of Nations in 2000 when the United States won with Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Hughes and Travis Pastrana, DeCoster described it as a “typical” Grand Prix track.

“There are some elevation changes,” he said. “It’s pretty wide. It’s a bit on the side of a hill. The club there does a good job. It’s a well-organized track. The club puts a lot into it, so it should be a great time.”

The Motocross of Nations is one of the most high-profile motorsport events in the world. It features national teams competing for a combined score to determine the overall championship-winning country. The event emerged in post-war Europe in 1947 and has run uninterrupted since that time.

The United States is the all-time leader in Motocross of Nations overall victories with 21. Great Britain is second with 16.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray grabbed the 250 class overall win for the second-straight year at MX 338 in Southwick, Mass with an impressive 2-1 moto finish during Round 10 of the AMA Motocross Championship series. Finishing just behind him in second was teammate Dean Wilson with a 3-2 moto result, which extended his points lead in the class championship to 38 points. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto also extended his lead in the 450 class championship to eight points after he finished second overall with a 2-4. Jake Weimer remained consistent as he finished sixth overall for the second-straight race aboard the 2012 Kawasaki KX™450F. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett came from behind to finish fifth overall with a 9-6, while Broc Tickle showed speed finishing seventh overall with a 5-12.

Back Into Second
After a tough round at Unadilla, Rattray was able to bounce back in a big way as he grabbed his fourth overall victory of the season. In the first moto, Rattray made his move to the front and was able to finish out the 30 minutes plus two laps in second. After a few set-up changes, Rattray came out ready to lock up the overall and after passing for the lead on the third lap, he captured his fourth moto win of the season.

“The track was a lot rougher than we were thinking it would be in the first moto so we made some changes and the bike was perfect in the second moto,” said Rattray. “I’ve ridden on tracks like this all my life and I think it helps a lot when we come to a track like Southwick. It’s obviously different than anything we see all year and I’m always happy to come here.”

More Points For Wilson
Following his win last week at Unadilla, Wilson entered the race in Southwick with a 25-point gap in the standings. With his smart riding in the deep sand of Southwick, Wilson was able extend that lead to 38 points over second with another podium finish with a 3-2 moto score.

“I didn’t do the greatest here last year so I wanted to come in and put together two good motos and see what happened,” said Wilson. “It was nice to be up on the podium again and add more points to my lead. I would really like to win again this season. We’ll see what happens at Steel City.”

Race By Race
Villopoto started the day with the top qualifying time, but track conditions continued to change as rain started to fall. In the first moto, Villopoto got a good start, but was pushed back to fifth after the second turn. He moved his Kawasaki KX™450F into second and made a push in the final laps, but couldn’t make a pass in time. In the second moto, conditions were even worse and Villopoto did what he needed to keep his bike on two wheels to finish fourth.

“It was pretty gnarly out there during the second moto,” said Villopoto. “Even with the sand, the track was slick and it was hard to get into a groove. I knew I wanted to make sure I didn’t go down because it is really hard to get going again with your hands covered in mud and sand. I would have liked to have left with more than a one-point gain in the championship, but we did get another point ahead of second.”

Another Great Finish
In his rookie motocross season in the 450 class, Weimer continued to get good starts and maintain his position near the front. The starts were important at Southwick, and Weimer was able to put his 2012 Kawasaki KX450F just outside the top-five for the second-straight week.

“It’s nice to finally feel like I’m getting into a groove with my riding,” said Weimer. “I am definitely feeling more comfortable now. I was so close to a top-five this week and I know that I’m riding more consistent. Hopefully I’ll be able to put us into the top-five, not just outside of it.”

Managing the Roost
With the mixture of rain and sand at the MX 338 track, Baggett had to tackle conditions he isn’t normally used to. In both motos he had to make charges to the front from mid-pack and in both motos made it inside the top-10. Showing off his never-give-up attitude, he finished the day with a 9-6 moto score that was good enough for fifth overall.

“In the first moto I was making good progress, but had to pull off my goggles with just a few laps to go,” said Baggett. “With those conditions, I had to come in so I lost a few positions there. My second moto wasn’t much better. I am just glad to get out of here healthy and I’m definitely looking forward to next week at Steel City.”

Showing What He’s Got
After a year of battling bad luck, Tickle was finally able to put his speed up front as he finished fifth in the first moto at Southwick. Unfortunately the bad luck would follow him to the second moto where an early moto crash pushed him back to 26th on the first lap. Showing his determination once again, Tickle made it all the way up to 12th to finish seventh overall.

“I am happy to finally be able to show my speed in one moto, but then I have a bad second moto and can’t put together what I think could have been a podium finish,” said Tickle. “I felt really good coming into the weekend. Despite all the bad luck, I can at least say that I haven’t given up during any moto when I have been able to come through the pack. I just hope everyone can see that.”

Top-10 for Junk Yard Dog
While he’s already attended two rounds this season, 46-year-old Kawasaki rider John Dowd was happy to have the AMA Motocross Championship back in his home state of Massachusetts. Since 1987, Dowd has been racing at his hometown track and despite being the most senior racer on the track, he scored an impressive 9-8 moto finish to end the day eighth overall.

Hurricane Warning
While Massachusetts declared a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Irene, the racers took to the track in wet conditions. The fans weren’t afraid to come out and see their favorite racers as attendance was better than expected despite surrounding conditions.

“It was great to see all the fans come out considering the weather and hurricane warnings,” said Weimer. “I was thinking the hurricane would have scared everyone away, but it seemed to be a really good turnout.”

Final Stretch
The series hits the final stretch with only two races to go as the series heads to Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. over Labor Day weekend. Wilson holds on to a 38-point lead over his teammate Rattray with only 100 points available over the next two rounds, while Villopoto will try to extend his eight-point lead in the 450 class.

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto extended his points lead with a dominant overall victory on his 23rd birthday at Unadilla Sports Valley Center in New Berlin, N.Y. during the ninth round of the AMA Motocross Championship series. The win was his second of the season, but the first aboard the 2012 Kawasaki KX™450F. Teammate Jake Weimer also debuted the new bike and tied his best finish of the season in sixth overall with a 5-6 result. In the 250 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson made no mistake that his moto score would add up to his first overall victory as he dominated the day with a 1-1 result. Teammate Blake Baggett finished in the runner-up spot with a come-from-behind 2-3 moto score, while Tyla Rattray and Broc Tickle overcame tough moto scores to finish 11th and 18th, respectively.

Great Birthday
Villopoto started his birthday scoring the fastest qualifying time and those fast times carried over into the two grueling motos. Although the weather was beautiful, the track was tough, but Villopoto quickly made his way to the front to lead both motos before the halfway mark.

In the AMA Pro Motocross series we’ve seen the consistency of TwoTwo Motorsport’s Chad Reed pay off as he leads the points over Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who has had the speed to win on any weekend but just hasn’t had the consistency of Reed.  In the Lites class, it’s been all about the dominating performance of the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team with their riders handing over the red plate like a hot potato after each round.  Dean Wilson has managed to keep the points lead heading into the off weekend over Blake “El Chupacabra” Baggett who sits 2nd in points and their teammate Tyla Rattray sitting 3rd.  In the WMX series, Ashley Fiolek ripped off two massive holeshots this past weekend at Red Budd to go 1-1 for the overall and extend her points lead over 2nd place.

In the FIM World Motocross series we have seen the Red Bull Teka KTM team consistently up front and new red plate holder Antonio Cairoli working his way back into the top spot of the series standings after an impressive win at the Swedish round.  Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Clement Desalle sits 2nd in points as the series heads to Germany this weekend.  Speaking of Germany, this weekend’s race will see hometown kid Ken Roczen looking to expand his points lead in the MX2 class over his Red Bull Teka KTM teammate Jeffrey Herlings.

North of the border in the Monster Energy Canadian Motocross nationals, after 4 of 9 rounds have been completed, it has been total domination by the Yamaha Red Bull Blackfoot Fox Racing squad of Colton Facciotti and Dusty Klatt in the MX1 class with both riders sitting 1-2 in the points respectively.  In the MX2 class it’s more of the same with Blackfoot’s Tyler Medaglia holding a healthy points leads over his nearest rival.

Switching to offroad racing, in the Can-am GNCC series it’s been a close battle between FMF Makita Suzuki’s Josh Strang and FMF KTM’s Charlie Mullins after 8 rounds.  The two have battled non-stop thus far and sit atop the Leaderboard heading into this weekend’s round in Ohio.

In the WORCS series, FMF KTM’s Kurt Caselli has been the most consistent up front, and with the most wins (2) leads Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert by comfortable margin in the Pro 1 class.  The WORCS series is currently on “Summer Break” and will resume racing in late August in Washington state.

All of the riders mentioned in this article use Renthal handlebars, sprockets and grips on their quest to earn titles in their respective disciplines.  With 153 World Titles and 132 US titles, Renthal Builds Championships.