Blake Baggett wins second straight 250 Class Motocross round at High Point

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A lot can change in two weeks. After the first two rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Jeremy Martin was setting the 250 Class ablaze and looking untouchable. Two weeks later, Martin may still have the points lead, but Blake Baggett is suddenly the one on the attack.

Following his overall victory a week ago at Thunder Valley, which brought an end to Martin’s winning streak, Baggett kept on rolling Saturday at High Point. With a 1-1 sweep, he extended his moto win streak to three and his overall win streak to two.

Ten minutes into the first 250 Class moto of the day, Baggett found himself in a head-to-head battle for second place with Martin, who has been nearly impossible to pass all year to say the least. Not only did Baggett win the duel, he continued charging ahead and passed Justin Bogle for the lead less than two minutes later. Building up a ten-second advantage, Baggett went on to comfortably win the moto.

It was more of the same for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider in the second moto of the day. Starting from outside the top-five, Baggett worked his way through the pack up to second place within the first five minutes, ultimately setting him up to challenge Christophe Pourcel for the lead. As they rounded a turn, Baggett went to the outside of Pourcel and tripled one of the jumps, sending him to the front of the field. Once again, Baggett checked out from there and ran up a 16-second margin of victory over the rest of his competitors.

At first, Martin seemed to welcome the challenge. “Baggett’s finally back now, and I’m excited about it,” he said on the podium after placing second behind Baggett in Moto 1. “I crossed the finish line smiling about it.”

While it may have been all smiles after that first moto, his demeanor shifted a bit after a sixth-place finish in Moto 2. At that point, Martin seemed anxious to enter the off-week and quickly put this result behind him. “The [last] two races are in the past, so it’s time to move forward,” he said, promising to get better before they take the track again in two weeks.

Martin’s 2-6 moto finishes were enough to put him second overall for the day behind Baggett, but it allowed the 2012 champion to trim 13 points off of Martin’s championship lead. With the momentum shifting, the stage is set for a huge showdown when the series resumes at Muddy Creek.

High Point 250 Class Overall Results
1.
 Blake Baggett (1-1)
2. Jeremy Martin (2-6)
3. Jason Anderson (7-2)
4. Justin Bogle (4-4)
5. Christophe Pourcel (6-3)
6. Cooper Webb (3-7)
7. Marvin Musquin (5-8)
8. Justin Hill (9-5)
9. Cole Seely (8-9)
10. Alex Martin (10-10)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results in parenthesis

Watch Baggett’s pass on Pourcel from Moto 2:

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.