It is Friday morning here in La Paz. The first motorcycles arrived in the early hours of the morning to finish the grueling 1160 mile Baja 1000. I have plenty of stories to tell and lots of pictures to post, but most of that will have to wait until I get back home. On just a few hours of sleep, I am not quite ready to be writing much. So here is what you need to know;
The best team won the Baja 1000. Very early in the day the Honda team made it clear why they are number one in Baja. Despite strong rides from Robby Bell and Mike Brown in the early going, Colton Udall was able to use experience and course knowledge to pass both riders and put the Honda into the physical lead before Puertocitos.
From there, to the finish, they never lost that lead. With clear air David Kamo kept to the front for the stint from Bay of LA to San Ignacio. David would take a second short section near Loreto too, as the THR Kawasaki was close in tow. Kamo was able to open the gap back up a bit to give Timmy Weigand some breathing room.
By the time Timmy mounted to ride the final section, both the Kawasaki and KTM teams would be suffering misfortune with riders and bikes. With radio information of an increasing lead, he was able to ride a safe pace to finish and cross the line over an hour ahead of the 5x KTM.
If you are only as good as the competition you beat, then the Honda crew are pretty damn good! This was the strongest challenge to their dominance in many years. They rode a nearly flawless race for 20 hours. I am not aware of a single issue they had during the day.
Colton put the team up early. Kawasaki’s David Pearson mounted a strong charge coming into Loreto. At that point Colton’s day was passing the 12 hour mark, not all of it on the bike, but he did ride very long sections. Kamo and Weigand were able to keep the team moving forward and the challenges only lasted a short while before the Kawasaki came to a halt with a suspected broken piston around mile 950.
As for the KTM, they lost time early in the day and were playing catch up. But they could not gain any real time back, hovering around 20 minutes behind. Quinn Cody’s crash near mile 900 ended any chances for the win. But the team regrouped, got Caselli on the bike and he rode strong clear to the finish to bring the bike across the line in second. Quinn is beat up, with a probably broken leg. He and his wife made it into La Paz shortly before the motorcycle arrived. He was scheduled to fly home this morning.
To beat Honda at the Baja 1000, any challenger is going to have to be a little faster and bring far more rider and crew experience to the table.