BLAKE BAGGETT INTERVIEW: AFTER DOUBTS, IT’S CONFIRMED, THE EL CHUPACABRA IS ALIVE
While he has been somewhat consistently top eight this summer, Blake Baggett may have not been at the top of everyone’s list as a potential moto winner. But, at RedBud #2, the 28-year-old proved any naysayer wrong. With his dynamic second moto win, and sixth in moto one, the 2012 250 Motocross Champion took second overall. His second moto charge from behind and subsequent pass on Zach Osborne to take the win was a testament that the famous El Chupacabra come-from-behind charges are still in his play book. It was well after the day’s racing ended in Michigan, that we tracked down the longtime Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WPS KTM rider to catch his thoughts.
By Jim Kimball
BLAKE, THE EL CHUPACABRA IS ALIVE AND WELL IN MICHIGAN. TALK ABOUT YOUR LABOR DAY. RedBud was good. We had good weather and back to back races. I’ve been trying to get back up there. I had some doubt that maybe I was not able to get it done anymore and it was not going to happen again. I had quite a bit of a rough go at trying to be up front. We were there sometimes, but I was not able to be on the podium. It feels good to be able to get that off my shoulder and to get a moto win the way that I did. I felt good, got a decent start and worked my way forward.
DID YOU FEEL GOOD THROUGHOUT THE DAY? Yes, I felt really good about the day. I made some small changes, and one big change to the bike before we went out to the second moto. I think that really put all the puzzle pieces together for us and I will take the second overall finish on the podium. Second overall was awesome, but to get the moto win definitely meant more to me to be able to get up there, and prove I still got it and I can still do it. I am just going to enjoy it, enjoy the upcoming off weekend with the family and then see what we got when we go back racing.
YOU MAKE ME THINK OF TWO THINGS. FIRSTLY, THE COMPETITION IS REALLY, REALLY DEEP. Yes, everybody is fast. There are ten guys that can win on any given day. You can just look at the scores how up and down everybody is. That is just because the competition is so thick and so steep. Nobody is a slacker and there are not two or three guys that are light years ahead of everybody else. There are ten guys that can win at any moment, and that is why the scores are all over the map. It feels good to be able to win a moto.
“When you are not up there, not winning races and not on the podium it starts to eat away at you a little bit, especially when you were able to do it in 2016. Then all of a sudden when you can’t, and it seems no matter what you do, “it’s not coming together” and you start to doubt yourself a little bit”
SECONDLY, YOU MENTIONED MAKING SOME SMALL CHANGES. AT YOUR LEVEL, LITTLE CHANGES MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES RIGHT? Little changes are what everybody is chasing. You are constantly chasing the bike, chasing the track, the conditions, and everything. It can be a pretty big component that we were able to change a little bit, or just a shot in the dark testing in the off season. I felt like what we had been running was better than previous years. But it was a last-minute call of mine for that second moto to see if what we were using in 2017 was maybe better to what we were more recently testing.
YOU KNOW YOU MENTIONED THINGS BEING A BIT ROUGH, STILL YOU HAVE HAD CREDIBLE FINISHES TO DATE. Yes, you are right, but when you are not up there, not winning races and not on the podium it starts to eat away at you a little bit, especially when you were able to do it in 2016. Then all of a sudden when you can’t, and it seems no matter what you do, “it’s not coming together” and you start to doubt yourself a little bit, and that is where I was at. There were times and moments where I could pull it off, but I was just not able to put the whole package together and today, I was able to do it. I will take a second overall and a moto win. It is like a victory to me.
DOES THIS GIVE YOU A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE FOR THE REST OF THE OUTDOORS SERIES? I don’t know. I always try to go to each one with the same attitude, do the best I can, and just get out of there safe. We will just keep that mindset right now, while I still got it and can win motos.