The Precision Concepts supported Monster Energy, Bonanza Plumbing, THR Motorsports team of Max Eddy, Justin Morgan and David Pearson finished second at the Baja 1000 finale.
The Monster Energy, Bonanza Plumbing, THR Motorsports team of Max Eddy, Justin Morgan and David Pearson came in to the Baja 1000 pressure-free and with a narrowed focus: to simply win the race. Because of some previous bad luck, the championship was just out of reach so finishing the year strong was the team’s main goal.
Justin Morgan started the Baja 1000 for the team, leaving the line in seventh position physically, and would ride the first 200 miles of the race. “[The start] was good. I kept it toned down, keeping it safe [out of town]. I made a lot of passes early on, but then Colton [Udall of the 5X team] got around me. He was flying, so I just kept it solid all the way to mile 200 where I handed the bike to Dave.”
Pearson mounted the bike in fourth position, but wasted little time reeling in the 3X Honda team for third position. “About 40 miles into my section the bike started feeling really good, so the last 100 miles of my section I charged pretty hard. I caught up to 3X and just wicked it up and got ten seconds behind him. The wind was blowing right and he was in the right lane [of the two-track road] so I just left it wide open and passed him going like 20mph faster. It was pretty fun.”
The two lead bikes (5x and 45X) had a gap of around twenty minutes when Max got on the bike at mile 370 for a 150-mile section around Catavina and up to Gonzaga. Talking about his ride, Max later said, “My first section was good. It was kind of a combination of Vegas to Reno-style riding and National Hare and Hounds so I felt that it fit me pretty well and I had a good ride.” It wasn’t totally smooth going, though, as he did have one scare. “I was coming off a fast road into a ninety-degree left-hand turn and it came up pretty quick. I blew the corner and went off the hill-side into a bunch of cactus and boulders, but luckily I was able to straighten out pretty quick and regain my focus.” Max was able to put some time into the second place bike (the 45X Honda team), getting the gap down to under five minutes.
Max handed the bike off to David just as the sun was going down, for a long highway section, and Pearson was able to continue reeling in the 45X bike by keeping his speed closer to the 60mph speed limit. “I really focussed on not going over 60mph and staying between 58.5 and 59.5mph the whole time and I think I was able to gain a little time on the 45X team up ahead.” Indeed, focussing on keeping his bike closer to the speed limit paid off as David took two minutes out of their advantage. Dave handed the bike off to Justin just over a minute behind, but Morgan found it tough to make the move into second. “It was frustrating. I caught up to the dust of the 45X bike pretty quickly, but the course was one straight [rocky] dirt road so I just rode in the dust the whole time. Then after San Felipe [the 45X bike] had a good line and got away from me a little bit.”
Max remounted around mile 670, taking the bike just east of Ojos through the section of racecourse where Kurt’s accident had occurred two years prior. “I had Kurt’s accident in the back of my mind going through that whole section,” said Eddy, “so I just wanted to keep the bike moving and didn’t take any risks.” Max was able to get the bike back to Justin a few minutes down in third, and Morgan hopped on for the final miles to the finish. Justin later said of his last section, “It was pretty uneventful, the ride in. I felt like I really nailed a lot of the corners, so I felt really good, actually. I wish I would have had a few more miles.”
The team crossed the finish-line in third position, but after penalties were assessed, was found to be the only team in the top five not to have either missed a Virtual Check Point or sped on the highway. The clean race moved the team into second place, after time penalties were added to each team’s finishing time. Max summed up the team’s feelings about the race: “For me to go down there and be a part of such a great team, I’m definitely happy. We’re not satisfied with second, but I feel that we all rode a really good, clean race. It would have been good to be closer to the lead bike and push for a win towards the end, but overall we’re happy.” Overall Results