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Pre Running Baja With Bonanza/THR/Precision Kawasaki
Preparing for 2011 SCORE Baja 1000
Reaching the end of the section
I was sitting at my desk (in the kitchen) minding my own business when I got a call from David Pearson. “Hey Chilly, I need some help pre running down in Baja this weekend”. At the time, what ever else I had planned for the weekend did not sound nearly as much fun, so I said ” sure, why not”. I had a couple of other guys who were trying to head down also, but they all flaked out so I made the call to team sponsor Dean Potts. If there is anyone who is a bigger sucker for any excuse to get out of work, it is Dean. So it didn’t take long for before he talked himself into coming along.
So we packed up and headed south for San Felipe. We met up with teammates David Pearson and Shane Esposito, they had actually started riding the day before, but Shane needed to head back north early. They had been tagging along with Francisco Septian. As it turns out Shane was in bed, sick as a dog and we never even saw him until the next morning.
We started prerunning on the southern San Felipe loop. For the most part it is nothing but whoops, big endless whoops. Honestly, why anyone wants to race this stuff is beyond me. Of course later it occurred to me that I was a bit of a huckleberry for actually agreeing to come ride this section.
I wussed out and took the big smooth road south to Morelia while David did the dirty work where the course paralleled to the road. Most of our riding the first day was just to get a general recon and locate all of the virtual checkpoints (VCP’s). This requires the use of a GPS as riders must be within 100′ of each location. David’s sections alone have nearly 20 of these VCP’s, so it is now a very important part of Baja racing.
After Morelia we headed down the infamous Matomi wash. Usually this is an ugly piece of real estate. What looks like a high speed, mildly down hill wash, is littered with buried rocks just waiting to bite careless riders. As it turned out, the rains of the last few years appear to have changed the character significantly.
For the most part, the section is very smooth and the rocks remain covered with a layer of gravel. So we had a blast racing down the wash. David commented that it might be the only place to relax in his sections. Of course, depending on the amount of pre running, the conditions may change significantly before the race even begins.
Very few people have actually been down pre running yet. We only saw a two other bikes and a couple of cars. We both marveled at the stock VW bug we passed as it was making its way, turtle like, down the course.
I shot a bunch of video that I need to edit, but for now here are a few pics.