Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett has had a really bumpy 2012 Lites East SX title chase so far. He bounced back from a 15th place at round one with a second at round two, but then could do no better than ninth at the third round.
He won Daytona in 2011, but being from California, he’s not much of a mud rider, historically speaking. Still, he pulled it together in Daytona to finish second in the main event – and nearly win it – despite a fall at around the halfway point.
You’re a California native, so you’re not a big-time mud guy, are you? Most guys from California aren’t...
Blake Baggett: I’m not a fan of it, to be honest.
So what were you thinking coming into this race, knowing how muddy it was going to be?
It’s not much fun. We could start there. It kind of just depends on the day. Some days I’m good in it and some days I’m horrible in it. As we’re doing this interview now, I’m getting wet [it had just started raining again], so that’s your fault. Just to let you know. But no worries; I’m here for you. I’ll do whatever. So, as long as you don’t bash me on anything, then we’re cool! [Laughs]
Just don’t give me anything to bash you about, then we’ll be all right!
That’s hard to do. You guys can be pretty creative. You can turn something good into something horrible. But, back to the subject, tonight was definitely a different one. I’ve never raced a full mudder like this other than at an Outdoor race, like High Point or one of those. I just came into it open-minded and just tried to think about all the Outdoor races that I did really good at last year, and winning here last year. I just tried to focus on that and look forward. But I came up a little bit short.
A little bit. It’s one thing to ride mud outdoors, though, because you don’t have triples. But one lap you seat-bounced a big triple after a lapper cost you some momentum. Talk about doing stuff like that in conditions like these.
It’s difficult and it’s hard, but I knew that I had to put it together or all the guys on the team and everybody was just going to be not pumped about it. My performances lately haven’t even been close to stellar. I needed to put one together and at least if I wasn’t going to win I needed to do everything in my power to try.
You had a little fall there and you didn’t lose a ton of time but you lost enough. At the finish, it was enough that the fall may have cost you the win tonight...
Yeah. I threw it away. I went down. I think he had, like, 16 seconds on me they were saying, or something close to that. That was at lap 8 or 9 [out of 12]. I gained a lot on him and was coming. It was hard to pass, as everybody will know from watching TV and from pictures. There was pretty much one line, maybe two, and you really couldn’t cross over anywhere. You were kind of stuck. He [Justin Barcia] rode a solid race and I’ve just got to try to get him at Indy.