This weekend, racing gets dirty

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Timmy Weigand was the top motorcycle qualifier for the Baja 1000.
Timmy Weigand was the top motorcycle qualifier for the Baja 1000.
Timmy Weigand was the top motorcycle qualifier for the Baja 1000.

Are you sitting around the house, moping over the end of the MotoGP and World Superbike seasons? Fear not, racing fans; some of the year’s best off-road racing is about get underway in Africa and Mexico.

The Baja 1000, North America’s most prominent desert race, will run this weekend in Mexico – qualifying started yesterday. This year, racers will do an 883-mile loop that starts and ends in Ensenada, instead of a north-south run down the peninsula. KTM’s Kurt Caselli was the top motorcycle qualifier, followed by Timmy Weigand on a Honda and Robby Bell on a Kawasaki.

Weigand’s Honda squad (he races for perennial champions Johnny Campbell Racing) took first place in both the San Felipe 250 and Baja 500 races earlier this year, so as long as he doesn’t ride off a cliff, he looks like a safe bet for this year’s win. Caselli will be his closest competition, likely, as his team finished second at San Felipe and the Baja 500. He broke his wrist in a crash at the 500.

If you want to keep an eye on the standings at the race, keep an eye on their website here. If you just want to watch video clips from Dust to Glory, the classic desert racing documentary by Bruce Brown’s son Dana, then click here and here … better yet, go buy it. 

Meanwhile, over in South Africa, hard enduro riders are running the Roof of Africa race. We don’t hear much about this race in North America – the Erzberg Rodeo and Red Bull Romaniacs are probably better known – but it’s gaining in recognition, and as soon as enough energy-drink-sponsored riders start participating, we’re sure we’ll see more of it on the tube.

As far as we can tell from their Facebook page, Altus De Wet is currently in the lead, aboard a Husqvarna. You can find more details here.

1 COMMENT

  1. Off road racing superstar, and up and coming Dakar racer, Kurt Caselli was killed in the Baja 1000 this past weekend. He was leading team KTM during the final miles of the race when the accident occurred. Reports say the accident was caused by a collision with an animal.

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