Kawasaki-mounted THR Motorsports has knocked Honda’s factory team down a peg at the Baja 1000.
The Baja 1000 is a desert race for quads, cars, trucks and motorcycles, running over about 1,000 miles of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. It’s been running since 1967, and in recent years, Honda has dominated the motorcycle racing.
Not anymore. Johnny Campbell was a big part of Big Red’s success, first as a rider and then as a team manager. Last January, Campbell announced he and his team were done at Baja, and in last weekend’s race, Honda only managed a second-place finish in the Open Motorcycle division. Team Green won instead, with THR Motorsports finishing almost 27 minutes ahead of Honda. Third place went to a Yamaha-mounted team.
A Kawasaki team hadn’t won the Baja 1000 since 1996.
Rumours have been swirling for a while that the Baja 1000 organizers are happy to let the motorcycle racing decline, and judging by this year’s entry list, that might be the case, with no big names from rally raid participating. There were only seven Open class teams, and only four teams in the Limited class. Class 30 had five teams, Class 40 had six teams, Class 50 had four teams and Class 60 had one team – the squad of riders aged 60-plus even managed to finish ahead of some of their younger competitors.
There were six riders entered in the Ironman solo class, and three actually finished – mad props to them.