EVENT: 42ND ANNUAL SCORE BAJA 1000
The 42ND running of the infamous SCORE Tecate Baja 500 drew more than 100,000 spectators and 288 teams to the truck, buggy, ATV, UTV and motorcycle race, which was held in Baja Norte, Mexico. A rainy winter meant a treacherous 438-mile course for racing teams from 26 US states and 10 countries, and there were 87 dirt bike Pro and Sportsman teams. Honda’s JCR teams once again went 1-2 to lead 68 finishers into Ensenada with Kendall Norman taking the overall win, and several Baja legends made news. Johnny Campbell and Quinn Cody rode with Norman for a total time of 8:47:00, while the “B” team of Colton Udall and Jeff Kargola finished an astonishing 26 seconds down after 438 miles of racing. That’s an average speed of 49.87 mph, and the bikes beat the first trophy truck by 28 minutes!
SX/MX icon Ricky Johnson returned to two wheels after winning the 2009 Baja 1000 in a trophy truck, and Chuck Sun battled with multi-time Baja and SCORE champion Jim O’Neal for the Class 50 win. Hispanic Baja hero Francisco Septien and Shane Esposito teamed to take the Class 30 win and fourth overall bike. Some 78 percent of bike teams finished, while the overall finishing rate was 66 percent for all truck, car, ATV, UTV and bike classes.
RESULTS: 42ND Annual SCORE Baja 500
Class 22/Open Pro
1. Kendall Nroman/Hon…8:47:00
2. Colton Udall/Hon…8:47:26
3. Rob Underwood/KTM…9:01”24
Class 21/up-to-450 Pro
1. Sol Saltzman/Hon…10:29:11
2. Mark Fillebrown/Hon…10:37:35
3. Adam Neuwirth/Hon…11:02:25
Class 20/250cc Pro
1. Jason Trubey/Hon…10:46:56
2. Anna Cody/Hon…11:29:30
3. Jesus Rios/Hon…11:40:10
1. Francisco Septien?Hon…9:38:20
2. Mike Johnson/Hon…10:27:45
3. Bill Eddington/Hon…11:06:22
1. Louie Franco/Hon…10:10:25
2. Henrick Anderson/Hon…12:15:00
3. Brian Campbell/Hon…12:20:35
1. Jim O’Neal/Hon…10:40:11
2. Ryan Armitage/KTM…10:40:50
3. Koichi Takei/Hon…13:17:11
1. Susumi Ishii/Hon…13:31:12
Sportsman Moto under 250cc
1. Rick Matteson/Yam…12:02:50
2. Salvador Sainz/KTM…12:18:07
3. Ulises Fierro/Hon…12:27:30
Sportsman Moto 250cc+
1. Matt Ladendorf/Hon…11:17:45
2. Brody Kunz/Kaw…11:31:13
3. Greg Willits/Hon…11:51:53
Short on riders for the A-Team, Johnny Campbell joined Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody to best Baja with an average of almost 50 mph. It was Kendall’s fourth Baja 500 victory.
Colton Udall, and Jeff Kargola chased the #1X JCR team for the entire 438 miles and finished only 26 seconds behind after almost nine hours of racing. At one point, the KTM team led the 12X Red Riders, but the Honda pits did a faster tire change.
Robert Underwood rode 80 miles late in the race, while David Pearson rode 100. A slower pit dropped the top KTM team from second to third, and they dropped 14 minutes to the leaders late in the race.
Seven-time MX/SX champ turned Pro-2 truck champ Ricky Johnson returned to two wheels for the Baja 1000 when Louie Franco recruited RJ for the winning Class 40 #407X. The team was fifth overall.
Jim O’Neal actually rode three teams for the 2009 Baja 1000 (40/50/60) but dropped back to two efforts for the 2010 Baja 500. The winning Class 50 team beat out Chuck Sun’s team by 39 seconds.
The second-place Class 50 team of Ryan Armitage, David Potts, Charlie Marshall, Erik McKenna, Doug Smith and Chuck Sun was one of two KTMs to podium. Of 25 podium finishers, 20 were Hondas.
All nine Class 22 Pros finished, but six teams were spanked by the winning Class 30 team of Brian Pinard, Shane Esposito and Francisco Septien (from left).
More than 100,000 spectators watched the Baja 500, with most camping along the course after attending the Contingency/Tech parade on Friday. It pays to tank up on energy drinks, as Contingency lasts seven hours!