The Score international Baja 400 is a done and dusted, with this being a qualifier to the Grand Daddy of off-road racing (Baja 1000) in November this race serves as a set up for our starting positions in the B1K. Just like every other race, this one did not disappoint. Hurricane Kay came through the week prior and did her magic on the Baja Peninsula and dropped some serious rain in the mountains and inner coastal areas. So the teams really only got get out and prerun 4 days before the race. Greg Bardonnex and his 300x (Pro 30+) team, got there a couple of days prior and managed to see a couple of the parts that were less effected by weather, Ryan and I, both who lost Chase drivers late, decided we would go Skelton crew and find our way around Baja with Basically a truck/trailer and some prerunners. This actually turned out good and was fun because we didn’t have to worry about anyone getting lost or messed with that wasn’t familiar with Baja. Even got some help from our Desert Assassins friends(Thanks for the Room in Colonet)
Since we arrived a little later than we decided to just see our sections twice and give it a go. Prerunning went smooth and we got back into town Thursday to get all the registration requirements out of the way, and finally get our 3rd guy (Stephen Tichenor) on course to see his section once. Thankfully Geoff Hill from Baja Bound Insurance was coming down Thursday so he scooped Steve up from the airport and bought him down. Friday was the normal Tech day and then rest and get ready to be up around 4:30am for a 5:30am start.
Steve was going to start for us, so he got up early and put his gear on in the hotel room and walked down, Ryan and I got up and got the bikes out to make the short trip to the starting line. Ryan went with Steve to the Start line and I since TBT racing graciously came down to help test the 300x and pit us, loaded up the box van and headed to the 1st spot we would see the bikes in Ojos. The 300x bike would start 6th overall, and 400x would start 19th overall. Steve rode a solid 120 miles to start, with fog, light mist, dust and the sun coming up it was going to a tall task ,but it was basically the same thing he did the year prior and was confident he would ride smooth and bring me a clean bike. Steve brought me the bike in a solid 15th place overall and 1st in the Pro 40 division with about 19 min lead. I took off over the demanding Mikes Sky Ranch loop, and knew I just needed to keep the bike off the ground and give Ryan something easy to ride in to the finish. Knowing I had several bikes just mins in front of me I took off fast up the dirt road riding a pace I felt was solid; but shortly up the road I saw heavy dust which was surprising to me since we had some much rain up there, but with 2 days of sun and a light wind it turned the once perfect dirt into fluff and dry stuff. I rode the next 50 miles pretty easily to be honest, I love rocks but that day I just tried to get through them efficiently with the dust and not make any mistakes. I dropped out of the mountains and was able to turn it on for a bit, in the last 70 miles of my section I was able to get around several other pro bikes and give Ryan a solid bike 8th overall partly due to our ability to go longer with our IMS wing tank that most guys do. We stretched our lead to about 50 mins on the next Pro 40 bike. Ryan took off knowing there were a couple more bikes within reach, and he rode up the rest of the coast and into one of the most used and roughest spots in Baja, the Uruapan. Ryan was able to get around a couple more guys and then finish strong through the new Moto only finish section. Which turned out to be pretty cool for us. When Ryan was able to cross the finish line in 9hrs and 8 mins, we knew we had a solid ride and that we would finish around 5th overall on the day. I think we could have been a little higher up, but starting so far back really hurts us in the early stages. The Good news is, this makes 7 Class wins in a row for the 400x bike, and gives us the 1st starting spot for the Baja 1000. And gives us a commanding lead in the points chase for the championship.
As always it takes a ton of help behind the scenes to prep the bikes, plan logistics and get everything paid for. We couldn’t do it without our friends and families. And I consider everyone a part of our program into one of those two categories. So THANK YOU!!!! Special Thanks to Baja Bound Insurance/Baja Jerky and TBT racing for always going above and beyond. We can’t wait to get to the Baja 1000 and see how we do.
And the Boys on the 300x, and Ironman 750x, both finished strong with 2nd place class finishes.
Thank you again, FMF, Goldentyre West, Nitromousse, FMF, IMS, Fasst Co, Flow Vision, FXR racing, Bell Helmets, GPR stabilizer, Mika Metals, Dt1, Moto masters Brakes, Works Connections, Emrossi designs, Rad Custom Graphics, Simi Valley Cycles, Seat Concepts, Desert Unlimited, Baja Designs, PCI radios, Yamaha USA, Cerveceria Transpenisular, CVRD Canopies, Liebelt Inc, BGA Insurance