Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett continued his comeback from shoulder injury Saturday night in front of 50,000 fans at Rogers Centre for the return of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, to Canada.
Baggett survived a massive first-lap pileup to finish 11th, his best result in three finishes so far this season aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki.
While Baggett continued to work his way back into racing shape in Toronto after his extended layoff, his Yoshimura Suzuki team-mate James Stewart was sidelined last weekend, still recovering from a crash the previous round at Daytona International Speedway that left him badly bruised.
Stewart hopes to return to action soon, perhaps as early as this coming round in Detroit.
In the return to the Rogers Centre, at the base of the famous 1,815-foot-tall CN Tower in downtown Toronto, Baggett finished 13th in timed qualifying with a time of 55.81 seconds. “Qualifying went pretty good,” Baggett said. “I was just trying to ease back into it.” He then qualified for the main via a second-place finish in Semi 2. The 20-lap Main Event started out chaotically, with front-running Justin Bogle going down setting off a chain reaction that caught up a big group of riders including Baggett.
Fortunately, Baggett somehow kept his RM-Z450 on two wheels in the melee, but he was stuck waiting while riders around him tried to untangle from the pile.
Baggett then recovered to run a solid pace the rest of the way to finish 11th. “I was hoping to get a top 10 and I came up just short in 11th,” he said. “It was near carnage in the first turn. I almost went down when I got into the back end of [Chad] Reed. Then I got into the back end of Bogle when he went down and got stuck. All in all, I’m just trying to get better each weekend.
“We’re doing some good testing now and hopefully we can keep improving and try to get into that top five and maybe on the podium before Supercross is over and then head into the outdoors.”
With his 11th in Toronto, his third finish of the year, Baggett moved up to 18th in the series standings. There are six rounds remaining in this year’s AMA/FIM Supercross Championship.
The series now moves to Detroit’s Ford Field on Saturday, March 19. The race will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2 starting at 7:00 pm Eastern.
Baggett will be on hand early to meet fans and sign autographs on Friday, March 18 at Roseneau Powersports, 24732 Ford Road in Dearborn Heights, MI from 6-7 PM.