Blake Baggett had high hopes for Anaheim

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It has been a season of surprises. A week after finishing 12th in the AMA Monster Energy Supercross race season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., Blake Baggett took advantage of a mid-race restart in Glendale Ariz. and won his first career 450 event.

On Race Day Live, available as part of the NBC Sports Gold subscription, Baggett stood with Daniel Blair and Jim Holley and shared his high hopes for his second attempt at Anaheim. He had ample reason to be excited because of how the race at Glendale unfolded.

“Last weekend, it was a bummer about Malcom (Stewart) going down, but it was basically two 12-minute Mains plus or minus,” Baggett said on Race Day Live, referencing the race stoppage for an injury midway through the race. “It was a ‘Double Crown’.”

The second Anaheim race was the first of three Triple Crown format races this year. Riders run three separate Main events with the average finish deciding the overall winner. The Mains in Anaheim II were each 12 minutes plus one lap.

Winning under the three-main format is not only about charging hard for shorter periods of time than is typical in a feature race, but also about managing one’s physiology.

“It wasn’t really the heartrate coming down, it was how are you going to keep your heartrate up so that is wasn’t a few laps to get going again. … you already knew the lines and somebody was going to go right away so as soon as you crested that turn, you needed to pop that rhythm lane right away.”

Baggett never got a chance to bring his high hopes to fruition. He lost two laps in the first Main and finished 21st, which forced him to play catchup for the rest of the event.

And while this has been a season of surprises, it has also been a seesaw event for several riders. After running such strong race at Glendale, Baggett struggled through the three Mains finishing with a best result of 10th and an overall of 15th. His average finish of 8.75 is ninth best among fulltime riders.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.