The 2015 edition of the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday turned out to be a challenging outing for Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart and Blake Baggett.
Stewart injured his wrist in practice and then suffered a crash in the first Main and decided to sit-out the other two legs. Baggett, meanwhile, finished eighth overall with a score of (4-9-18) in the three legs on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450.
The day began with both Yoshimura Suzuki riders qualifying safely inside the top 10, with Stewart coming in sixth with a 1:08.145 and Baggett seventh with a 1:08.301. Unfortunately Stewart jammed his wrist during practice, and just one week removed from his victory in the Red Bull Straight Rhythm, Stewart now had to decide if to even attempt to race in the finals of the Monster Energy Cup.
“The day didn’t go how I planned,” Stewart explained. “In practice I over-jumped this tabletop and jammed my wrist. It was super-sore, but I just kind of rode through it. Then in the first lap of the Main Event I almost got landed on, the track was so muddy guys were going everywhere.
“I think it was Trey [Canard] who fell and when I went in there I saw him and hit the brakes and went down myself.”
Stewart tried to solider on, but things went from bad to worse.
“I got up and then ended-up casing the rhythm section and jammed my wrist again. The guys could see I was just struggling out there. I didn’t want to pull-off so I just kept riding thinking maybe it would get better, but it just got worse. I came back in and we talked it over and I decided to pull back and let the wrist heal.
“It was nice getting back out here racing,” added Stewart. “Between last week and this week it was a complete opposite, but it makes me hungry. I just want to make sure I don’t do that again and I learned some things and so did the team. Nothing’s broken, I’m just beat-up right now, but I’ll be alright.”
For Baggett the night started on a positive note when he raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to a solid fourth-place finish. He followed that-up with ninth in the second leg.
Then bad luck struck in the third and final leg of the Main as Broc Tickle went down in front of him leaving Baggett nowhere to go as he hit the deck as well.
Baggett explained: “That third moto was a little rough. I was running decent and then in the last section of the sand I jumped in and Tickle went down right in front of me. I had nowhere to go. I went over the top of his bike and just endoed it out from there. I got stuck under my bike so my night was over.”
Prior to the crash, Baggett had a decent night going and in spite of not finishing the final of the three legs, Baggett still finished well enough in the first two legs to score eighth overall.
“All in all I had good speed on the day,” Baggett said. “I learned a lot and we know where we’re at, so we know what we need to work on for Anaheim. We’ve got two months, so we’ll go back, plug away and see everyone at Anaheim I.”
So, with the Monster Energy Cup done, the 2015 comes to an end and Yoshimura Suzuki looks ahead to the upcoming 2016 Supercross racing season with high hopes for Stewart, Baggett and the entire squad.