Mark Kariya Photos
A Kawasaki won the 2014 SCORE Baja 1000. Let that sink in for a moment. The Bonanza Plumbing/Precision Concepts team of Robby Bell, Ricky Brabec, Max Eddy Jr. and Steve Hengeveld finished in front of the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in La Paz last night. They say all things must end, but the Honda win streak in the Baja 1000 seemed eternal. The 1x team of Colton Udall, Ian Young and Mark Samuels wasn’t technically an American Honda-supported team, but they were the closest thing. They inherited the riders and much of the structure that had propelled the factory-backed JCR Honda team and its predecessors to 18 consecutive wins. For that matter, the Kawasaki team also had its share of Honda alumni, including Team Manager Bob Bell, who was responsible for much of Honda’s success in the early 2000s.
Even before the start of the 2014 race, the Honda legacy had technically ended. The Udall/Young/Samuels team was a total privateer effort, riding under the WFOx team name and with hardly any Honda logos in sight. And they looked good early in the race. They passed for the lead early and then seemed to stretch it out—Udall reportedly rode the first 800 miles solo and did it very quickly. The Kawasaki team, on the other hand, seemed to be having more than its share of trouble. At one point a rear tire came apart, forcing Max Eddy Jr. to remove it with screwdrivers and a hammer. He then installed a bald tire donated by locals.
Going into night, the Honda team was almost an hour in front. Then they had trouble of their own. Ian Young fell and circumstances made it a race to the flag. With the Kawasaki win, it bridges back to an earlier dynasty when KX500s ridden by the likes of Larry Roeseler, Danny Hamel and Paul Krause won eight consecutive Baja 1000s. For the last 30 years, only Kawasaki and Honda have won the 1000.
The top 30 class team was never far behind the Kawasaki/Honda duel. Francisco Arredonda was the rider of record on a Honda team that included Matt Eddy, Shane Esposito and Ryan Dudek. Esposito even pulled double duty, riding on a 40 class team as well.
The increasingly competitive Ironman class saw Ensenada resident Francisco Septien take the win, at one point climbing as high as fifth overall. For more results as they become available, checkout score-international.com.
Colton Udall rode the world’s longest bomb run, soloing the first 800 miles. The 1000 actually measured 1280 miles.
This is the tire that Max Eddy Jr. had to pry off with screwdrivers in a Mexican sand wash.
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