#4 Blake Baggett (RM ATV/MC KTM):
Honestly, Blake Baggett is generally underestimated. Jason Thomas once said that if Baggett ever podiumed on a non-Daytona supercross track, that he would walk home from the race. Well, JT, now is your time!! Baggett rode amazing in Atlanta, getting a good start and relatively sticking on Dungey the entire race. He faded a bit towards the end, but still grabbed a podium finish with a 3rd.
Truthfully, I think everyone has the same opinion towards Baggett as JT did… I NEVER expected him to podium this year! Maybe a top 5 if lucky, but a podium in such a deep field just seems too implausible for someone like Baggett. Well, he definitely proved us all wrong, which makes his ride super impressive.
Baggett also surprised people during his rookie year in 2015, having some near-podium rides. However, after an injury-filled 2016 season, Baggett dropped off of a lot of people’s radar. In 2017, he has actually shown quite a bit of speed so far; think back to Oakland where he passed Dungey to grab the last qualifying spot in his heat race! However, crashes and poor starts have always seemed to hold him back. In Atlanta though, Baggett finally showed what he’s capable of once he gets off to a good start: a podium finish!
The real question moving forward is whether or not he can repeat that. I mentioned above that he’s underestimated, and despite me realizing this, I’m still going to underestimate him moving forward. Sorry Baggett, but I just don’t think you have what it takes to be a consistent top 5 guy! Regardless, I’m not taking anything away from his Atlanta finish… he was the Most Impressive 450 Rider in Atlanta!
Cover photo from Transworld MX by Ryan Swanberg