It was a big day in St. Louis as Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross made its season premiere on FOX Broadcast TV Channel in addition to the 57,274 fans who watched live at The Dome at America’s Center on Saturday.
In a rare daytime stadium race, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett charged to a 12th-place finish after dealing with a 20th gate-pick and difficult early laps before rallying aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 to turn in a decent result.
Veteran James Stewart was determined to race in St. Louis, even with a hairline ankle fracture, but unfortunately for the multi-time champ, things got even worse when he tweaked his back in practice and then in his heat race was taken out by a competitor that resulted in a hard crash ending his night. It was especially tough considering the speed Stewart showed early in the day. In spite of being what he described as being “beat up” Stewart still managed fourth in timed qualifying before things went wrong.
Baggett was 13th in qualifying and was in second in his semi when he crashed as a result of the rider in front of him going down. This led to him to race the LCQ in order to to qualify for the Main Event. The resulting gate-pick saw Baggett being forced to battle in heavy traffic deep in the pack in the early laps. He gained his footing mid-way through, but the best this night in St. Louis was going to give him was 12th.
It was a minor set-back in what, up until St. Louis, had been a comeback with ever-improving results.
“It definitely wasn’t the night we were looking for,” Baggett said. “It was a little bit rough, but we salvaged a 12th in the Main Event. I came from gate block 20, way outside and didn’t get a good jump and was buried back there and it was chaos. It was just one of those nights. We’ll move forward and try again in Foxborough next weekend.”
Baggett’s now tallied seven finishes in his Supercross abbreviated season. He gained a position in the points in St. Louis and goes into next weekend’s race ranked 17th in the series standings.
The Supercross series now moves to the east coast this coming Saturday, April 23rd, with its debut from Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, for the 15th race of the season. It will be the second of back-to-back live telecasts on FOX Broadcast Channel, with an afternoon start time of 4 p.m. ET.