Blake Baggett has taken a rather interesting path on his way to the AMA 250cc Nationals round one win. It’s only his second season of racing full-time in the pro ranks – his first season was spent on the Rockstar Energy Suzuki team despite spending basically his entire amateur career on Kawasakis.
Team Green, Kawasaki’s amateur programme, normally graduates its top one or two riders into the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team when the time comes. However, in 2010 Mitch Payton already had eventual Lites West champ Jake Weimer, former world champ Tyla Rattray and another former world champ in Chris Pourcel. They only had room for one guy and even Baggett admits that through the end of his amateur career Dean Wilson was tough to beat. The team picked Wilson and Baggett had to find somewhere else to go.
However, in his first full season Baggett managed to win a supercross in Dallas and then ran up front outdoors until he crashed and broke his arm, knocking him out of the series. It was enough to show Payton what he wanted to see and he hired Baggett for this year. And Baggett has delivered a win at the Daytona Supercross, the Las Vegas East Lites SX Main Event and now he put in perhaps the most impressive ride of the weekend at Hangtown, going 2-1 for the overall win after falling in the first moto and being forced to chase down his team-mates Rattray and Wilson in moto two for the win.
Baggett is a born winner. And by that I mean he’s a sore loser. He hates to lose. Gets really upset. Many times he won’t even talk to the media after he loses a race. It’s actually pretty reminiscent of Ricky Carmichael in his early years, except Baggett isn’t a ginger. But when he wins he’s a ray of sunshine. With this kind of attitude he’s either going to win a whole lot or kill himself.
I’m betting on the former rather than the latter.
So while other guys showed flashes of speed – some longer than others – at Hangtown, Blake Baggett is the guy who went out and made it known that he’s the man to beat. Let’s see how the rest of the field answers this weekend in Texas where it will definitely be hot…