There will be much to discuss during Saturday's championship showdown in the 250 Class at the Red Bull Lake Elsinore National. To add some fodder, The List presents a run down of each 250 Class race this year, so you can start figuring out all the what-ifs as soon as the final points are tabulated. As you can see, the points have been tight all year, and there aren't any huge crashes or mechanical failures that can define the season.
And hey, last week we said The List would feature more big bike late bloomers, but this championship is close and we're pointing the spotlight on it. Serves us right for actually trying to plan something a whole week in advance!
1. Hangtown: Baggett struggled through a winless SX Lites East campaign, so he was actually a question mark for Hangtown. Question answered! He did his El Chupacabra charge halfway through moto one, leaving Tomac behind, and then passing Barcia and Roczen on the last lap. He crushed it again in moto two. Tomac got caught in a first turn crash and finished 10th.
Points scenario: ET was 21 points down on Baggett just leaving Hangtown!
Baggett has held the red plate since the opening round at Hangtown.
Simon Cudby photo
2. Freestone: Tomac gets some points back. He starts decently (for him) and dominates both motos. Baggett comes from further back to go 2-2, Roczen goes 3-4 and Barcia gets caught in two first-turn crashes. He salvages 5-4 finishes. That's three first-turn crashes for the GEICO boys in the first four motos.
Points scenario: Tomac goes 1-1 and Baggett gets second. Barcia's double first turn crashes hurt him badly.
3. Thunder Valley: Barcia gets some points back. He holeshots moto one and hangs on to win under intense pressure from Roczen. Roczen fell over late but hung onto second. Baggett caught neutral off the start and had to come from behind, he also had a tip over, but finished third. Tomac, too, got a bad start and tipped over at one point. He finished fourth.
The track featured crazy ruts and took on some rain throughout the day, so it was really tricky for moto two. Barcia led but couldn't hold it. Baggett and Tomac battled until the halfway point when Baggett turned it up, got away, then passed Roczen and Barcia. Roczen passed Barcia, too, but on the last lap, Barcia caught back up, they collided in some ruts, and Roczen went down. That gave Barcia the overall with 1-2 scores. Baggett went 3-1, Roczen 2-4 and Tomac 4-3.
Points scenario: Barcia gets back some of what he lost in Texas, but Baggett again proved fastest late in moto two. Tomac couldn't make the home-state mojo translate into a win.
Barcia (center) gained back some points with an overall at Thunder Valley.
Simon Cudby photo
4. High Point: Barcia once again checks out early, but a late crash allowed a battling Tomac and Baggett to catch up. Baggett tried his second-half Chupacabra thing, but Tomac would have none of it and held him off for second -- Barcia, Tomac and Baggett flew across the finish nearly wheel to wheel (in that order).
In moto two, Tomac logs a signature ride. He started way back while Roczen led. Barcia and Baggett started battling for second, Tomac caught them, and then Baggett crashed not once, not twice, but three times trying to up the pace. Tomac then passed Barcia for second and went after Roczen. On the last lap, Tomac made a clutch pass on Roczen to steal the overall.
Points scenario: Tomac makes up 11 points on Baggett here.
5. Budds Creek: Roczen leads moto one early and endures serious pressure from Barcia, until Barcia finally gets past him late. That's three-straight moto one wins for Barcia. Baggett and Tomac started pretty far back, but Baggett got through traffic more quickly and eventually passes Roczen, too, to finish second. Tomac is a disappointing fifth behind Marvin Musquin, who is picking up the pace.
Moto two, Barcia is down early and can only get to fifth. Tomac and Baggett move through traffic together, again, but Baggett is able to get away. He climbs all the way up to second behind Roczen, and when Roczen gets blocked by a lapper, Baggett passes for the lead and the win. Roczen and Tomac are second and third.
Points scenario: Baggett's insane speed down the stretch in the motos powers him to the overall. Tomac and Barcia lose some ground.
Baggett was back on the gas at Budds Creek. Taking the overall.
Andrew Fredrickson photo
6. RedBud: Barcia is looking for his fourth-straight first moto win, but Baggett is feeling it now. He passes Roczen and Musquin (Tomac was in the group but fell) to get to second. He then runs down Barcia, and Barcia nearly hits a lapper, putting Baggett into the lead.
In moto two, Baggett leads early but then falls. Barcia gets the lead and does everything he can to hold Baggett off, but again Baggett gets him to go 1-1 on the day.
Points scenario: Tomac and Barcia did all they could to stop Baggett at RedBud and Budds Creek, but they couldn't.
7. Spring Creek: Baggett has his speed on again. Musquin even crashed in front of him early in moto one, pushing him further back, but he still comes all the way back to win moto one. He passes Barcia and Tomac to do it, too. It's clear Tomac found some extra speed when Baggett got by him in this one -- but Baggett disposed of Barcia quickly to get into the lead and run away. The GEICO Honda boys can't be happy about this!
Moto two, similar deal. Barcia leads, Tomac passes him, Baggett catches them both. The Tomac versus Baggett deal looks good, but Baggett makes the pass, only to throw it away a half lap later. Tomac inherits the lead and the overall, while Baggett is lucky to salvage fourth, because the crash could have been worse.
Points scenario: Baggett very nearly had a three-race win streak, but his late crash gives Tomac some hope.
8. Washougal: Finally, a crack in Baggett's armor. A mistake-laden first moto is his worst of the year, he finishes sixth. Barcia has another early lead in moto one and holds off a hard-charging Tomac for the win.
In moto two, Baggett got his mojo back. Once again he made passes more quickly than Tomac and left him behind, then went after Barcia, who was leading again. Barcia did everything he could to stop Baggett's charge, but it was to no avail. Baggett took the lead with two laps to go to salvage some points. Barcia wins the overall with 1-2 scores.
Points scenario: Now Barcia is the man on the move, slicing big points off of Baggett's lead heading to his two favorite tracks.
9. Southwick: Tomac loves riding in sand, but his Southwick results have never shown that. Until this year. He dominates moto one, and is clearly the fastest in moto two. He falls on lap one, fights all the way back to catch the Baggett/Roczen battle for the lead, passes Baggett, but then hits a tree and falls. Baggett passes Roczen on the last lap to get the overall win with 3-1 scores (tying Tomac's 1-3).
Points scenario: So much for Barcia at Southwick. A second-turn crash in moto one leaves him a season-worst seventh. He was up to third in moto two when he hit a tree and crashed. He finished fourth. Tomac, also, really wishes he hadn't hit that tree.
Musquin played spoiler at Unadilla.
Simon Cudby photo
10. Unadilla: KTM boys go 1-2 in moto one, Baggett rides conservatively for third. Tomac and Barcia have bad starts and crashes, they finish a disappointing sixth and seventh. In moto two, they have revenge on their mind. Barcia holeshots and pulls away early, but he can't hold back Tomac's impressive charge. Tomac takes the lead and moto win. Baggett struggles and can only get fifth.
Points scenario: Baggett didn't have it on this day, but a bad first moto prevents Tomac and Barcia from taking full advantage.
11. Steel City: Tomac puts it all together, dominating with 1-1 scores. Baggett struggles a bit with a 4-4, and like Unadilla, he just didn't have it. Barcia's 2-3 is okay, but Roczen (3-2) is playing spoiler and stealing points.
Points scenario: Suddenly Tomac is back in this!