Blake Baggett passes Jeremy Martin late to secure 250 Class Motocross overall win at Budds Creek

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With the second half of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicking off at Budds Creek, it once again came down to Blake Baggett and Jeremy Martin battling for the win in the 250 Class.

Jason Anderson took the victory in the opening 250 Class moto of the day, earning the first moto win of his career and joining Baggett, Martin and Cooper Webb as the only riders to win a moto this season. Martin and Baggett were hot on Anderson’s heels though as the riders crossed the checkered flag after the duo spent much of the race working their way up to second and third, respectively. Although neither rider could surpass Anderson by the end of the race, they both set themselves up in a strong position to take the overall win if they could grab the victory in Moto 2.

Watch the recap of 250 Moto 1:

In that second moto, Jeremy Martin cruised to the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award and seemed like he might just check out and pick up the win easily. Baggett was stuck in fourth place behind Christophe Pourcel and Anderson after the first lap and would have to overtake those two riders before challenging Martin. Pourcel in particular was difficult to pass, holding up Baggett for a good ten minutes before finally ceding second place to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider. Martin was unable to take advantage of their battle and pull away out front, and as a result, Baggett steadily cut into his lead until he was right on Martin’s rear fender with about six minutes left on the countdown clock.

On the 12th lap of the moto, Baggett passed Martin on the inside and would take over the lead. Martin seemed to admit defeat after being passed and toned down his riding, ultimately finishing 15 seconds behind Baggett. On a day when many riders may have been worn down by the heat and humidity at Budds Creek, Baggett was in peak form.

Watch the recap of 250 Moto 2:

The pass for the lead not only gave Baggett the moto win, it also represented a six-point swing in the championship race that both secured Baggett the overall victory and allowed him to chip away at Martin’s points lead, albeit by a single point.

Baggett is now 27 points back of Martin, who still holds onto the red number plate signifying his championship lead. “Even if I [have to take] the red plate the last moto at Utah [the final round of the series], then that’s what we’re gonna do,” Baggett said after the victory. “We’re not going to stop fighting until then.”

Watch Baggett’s post-race interview:

The stage is being set for a showdown between Martin and Baggett over the final five rounds. Things should be particularly interesting next week when the series heads to Spring Creek, a track that is quite literally Jeremy Martin’s home track – his parents own the facility, and he grew up riding it.

Budds Creek 250 Class Overall Results
1. Blake Baggett (3-1)
2. Jeremy Martin (2-2)
3. Jason Anderson (1-7)
4. Christophe Pourcel (6-3)
5. Cooper Webb (5-4)
6. Justin Bogle (4-5)
7. Justin Hill (13-6)
8. Cole Seely (10-9)
9. Anthony Rodriguez (9-10)
10. Marvin Musquin (8-14)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results in parenthesis

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.