Sign of the  Lap Times: Hangtown

Sign of the Lap Times: Hangtown

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The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicked off its 2012 season under pristine conditions at the FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic in Rancho Cordova, California. For the first time since his 24-0 season in 2008, James Stewart would line up for the opening round of the championship. Quickly showing that he hasn’t lost a step, Stewart took a commanding win at the season opener via 1-1 moto scores.

2010 series champion Ryan Dungey began his quest for a second 450 title at Hangtown and finished second behind Stewart. MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi would round out the podium, his first since 2010.

In a field besieged with champions, the 2012 250 class has all the makings for one of the greatest seasons in history. And if round one was any indication it could be one exciting summer outdoors.

A less than stellar supercross season had many concerned about exactly which Blake Baggett we would see at the opening round of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown. The one that has the ability to win anyplace, anytime, or the one that has trouble finding championship consistency. Baggett obviously brought the former to the table at Hangtown.

Trailing three reigning champions in Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac with five laps to go, the argument of Baggett having a chance to win the moto had less validity to it than Enron stock options. As Baggett began to reel in Tomac for third, Roczen and Barcia continued to duel for the moto win. Baggett eventually got past Tomac, then used an unbelievable outside line to swallow up Barcia and then disposed of Roczen with just a few corners to go. An impressive opening round statement from Baggett, and as you will see below the El Chupacabra digs deep at the end of motos.

450 Class
Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1
2:04.833
2
2:07.884
James Stewart
2 5
2:05.904
4
2:09.160
Andrew Short
3 2
2:05.905
13
2:08.001
Davi Millsaps
4 3
2:06.012
5
2:07.868
Ryan Dungey
5 4
2:06.298
4
2:08.844
Brett Metcalfe
6 6
2:07.338
5
2:09.113
Broc Tickle
7 7
2:07.414
3
2:10.547
Mike Alessi
8
8
2:07.681
3
2:10.629
Tommy Hahn
9 10
2:07.876
11
2:09.646
Jake Weimer
10 14
2:08.383
7
2:12.405
Sean Collier

Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1
2:06.285
8
2:08.618
James Stewart
2 2
2:06.887
8
2:08.851
Ryan Dungey
3 3
2:08.281
5
2:10.610
Mike Alessi
4 4
2:08.289
2
2:10.449
Andrew Short
5 5
2:08.410
3
2:10.381
Brett Metcalfe
6 7
2:08.813
4
2:11.488
Broc Tickle
7 6
2:09.081
3
2:10.865
Jake Weimer
8
10
2:09.685
6
2:12.950
Nico Izzi
9 24
2:09.624
3
2:18.382
Sean Collier
10 8
2:10.252
9
2:12.196
Josh Grant

No doubt about it James Stewart was impressive in his first race back since a one-off ride a Unadilla two years ago. Fitness didn’t seem to be a factor; Stewart barley broke a sweat in the 30 plus 2 minutes motos. He seemed to gel with the new Suzuki, see 1-1 moto scores. Overall it was an A+ effort. Heck, he even set the fastest laps in both motos. But before we all pile on the Stewart bandwagon at once, it was only one race. Let’s see this play out before we start calling for a 24-0 season.

Although which class he would ride seemed to be in limbo all the way up until the drop of the gate Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle managed to push all that to the side and ride a spectacular race at Hangtown. Tickle finished the day 6th overall and quietly proved he has the chops to compete in the 450 class in his rookie season (450 class) outdoors.

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Stewart set the fastest lap in both motos at Hangtown.
Simon Cudby photo


250 Class
Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1
2:05.148
17
2:10.332

Blake Baggett

2 4
2:06.047
7
2:08.489
Eli Tomac
3 2
2:06.064
5
2:07.183
Ken Roczen
4
3
2:06.199
8
2:07.433
Justin Barcia
5 5
2:07.191
3
2:10.538
Marvin Musquin
6
6
2:07.989
6
2:10.810
Ivan Tedesco
7 36
2:08.522
5
2:10.332
Dean Wilson
8 7
2:09.313
7
2:11.510
Wil Hahn
9 13
2:09.733
3
2:13.431
Jessy Nelson
10 25
2:09.910
3
2:19.671
Malcolm Stewart

Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1
2:06.817
5
2:09.558
Blake Baggett
2 2
2:08.775
3
2:10.306
Justin Barcia
3 3
2:08.915
3
2:10.186
Ken Roczen
4 4
2:10.360
4
2:12.764
Martin Davalos
5 9
2:10.452
4
2:15.330
Jason Anderson
6 5
2:10.611
5
2:13.128
Ivan Tedesco
7 10
2:10.970
8
2:13.912
Eli Tomac
8 14
2:11.047
3
2:17.157
Marvin Musquin
9 7
2:11.536
6
2:14.340
Justin Bogle
10 13
2:12.149
10
2:14.061
Wil Hahn

As if Blake Baggett’s moto 1 comeback wasn’t impressive enough the El Chupacabra put down his fastest lap of the moto, which also served as the fastest overall lap of the moto, on the final lap!  But let’s look a little deeper and see exactly how much quicker Baggett was than Roczen, Barcia and Tomac on the final four laps.

 

Rider

Lap 14

Lap 15

Lap 16

Lap 17

Blake Baggett

2.06.530

2.06.263

2.05.979

2.05.148

Ken Roczen

2.07.305

2.07.724

2.07.660

2.07.037

Justin Barcia

2.07.627

2.07.453

2.06.923

2.08.161

Eli Tomac

2.09.160

2.11.809

2.11.942

2.15.523

We will let the stats speak for themselves, but as you can see as Roczen, Barcia and Tomac weltered down the stretch Baggett was just beginning to heat up.

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Baggett was a beast down the stretch in moto 1.
Simon Cudby photo

The first WMX moto presented the standard Ashley Fiolek vs. Jessica Patterson battle we have come to expect over the last few years. Fiolek grabbed the holeshot, Patterson made a pass, but Fiolek responded with a pass of her own and pulled away.

Patterson made some changes to her new Rockstar Suzuki for the second moto, but the dynamic duo never had a chance to race it out. They both crashed early in separate incidents, opening the door for Australian upstart Meghan Rutledge to take the moto win. Patterson fought back gamely for second despite hurting her shoulder in her crash—and that second was enough to win the overall with 2-2 scores.

WMX Class
Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1
2:20.986
5
2:22.618
Ashley Fiolek
2 2
2:21.117
4
2:23.276
Jessica Patterson
3 3
2:23.291
2
2:25.471
Tarah Gieger
4 5
2:26.925
4
2:30.159
Sayaka Kaneshiro
5 8
2:27.539
7
2:35.043
Meghan Rutledge

Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1
2:22.216
8
2:25.216
Meghan Rutledge
2 2
2:22.719
8
2:26.451
Jessica Patterson
3 3
2:25.857
3
2:28.337
Tarah Gieger
4 5
2:28.892
6
2:32.757
Ashley Fiolek
5 4
2:29.307
3
2:30.754
Sayaka Kaneshiro
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