We missed the Baja 1000 news last week due to hype over EICMA, so here are the results, a few days late.
This year, Honda once again took the win. A team of Colton Udall, Mark Samuels, and Justin Jones won aboard a CRF450X in the open M/C class. Kawasaki powered the second-place team (Ricky Brabec, Dave Pearson, Max Eddy Jr, and Justin Morgan rode a KX450F). A Honda team took third (Francisco Arredondo, Shane Esposito, and Roberto Villalobos, aboard another CRF450X).
The top team in the limited M/C class (under 450 cc) was Chad Thornton Tim Fitzpatrick, Alan Cameron, Mark Weirich Grant Statley, and Travis Flateau, aboard a KTM 350XCW-F. Seven riders started in the Solo Ironman class, riding the race as a team of one, from start to finish. Two riders completed the race: Boe Huckins (KTM450SXF) and Jeff Benrud, aboard a Honda CRF450X.
The entry list for the 2015 race was missing many of the big names of the past; the Baja 1000 seems to have lost a bit of its appeal for motorcycle riders. For a while, it seemed like the SCORE series was on the radar of the world’s top rally raid racers, but they seem to have lost interest quickly.
This year’s race was 840 miles long, and had a very high attrition rate. Winner Udall even had to contend with a brush fire towards the end of the course, saying “There was pretty thick smoke and I was glad when I broke out of it because I was breathing it in and getting sick.” No kidding.