41st annual SCORE Tecate Baja 1000
Nov. 19-23, 2008 -- Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
FINAL ROUND OF THE FIVE-RACE 2008 SCORE DESERT SERIES
1X ROBBY BELL/KENDALL NORMAN/JOHNNY CAMPBELL, 1st Overall and 1ST in Class. (Bell started the race and rode the third stint also, Norman rode the second stint, Campbell rode the final stint from Trinidad.)
Norman said: "I got on the bike at Honda pit three and I was about two and half minutes down. We were third physically on the course. I just started charging. In the whoops, I caught the 10x bike who had crashed. And I began ride consistently and raced with the 2X bike, who had a phenomenal start. I got to the lead at the end of whoop section. I just started riding my own race. I opened up a good gap at that point. Then I put it in cruise control. Actually, I got off the bike in San Felipe. I rode over 200 miles and Robby (Bell) got back on for the nasty whoop section. Then Johnny (Campbell) finished up from Trinidad. I thought it was a really good course. I have never raced the northern Baja terrain by Mexicali before. It was a new experience for me. I thought SCORE did a really good job with the course. They made it shorter this year and that was more affordable for the racers. It was great turnout for entries this year. When we first started racing down here we both had the speed to go win but we were both immature and we didn't have the experience. But we have learned together and put it together. Now we can come down here and both ride solid races every time, it seems like. That's what the key is to winning down here: being super solid and having someone you can rely on so that you don't have to worry about your teammates, you just do your job."
Campbell said: "We actually got the lead about mile 158, we just got it going away from there. 6x never pressured us, they held us up quite a bit in the first part of the race, about 80 miles, 1x and 10x were just dogging it in the dust, took forever to get around them. 2x had a big lead, a couple minutes, about mile 120. In the bottom of the Rim Rosa, Robby hit a rock really bad and sprained his wrist and actually dropped back behind 10x when he came into Honda pit 3 (mile 147). Kendall got on and passed 10x, 10x actually tipped over, then he passed 2x. When I got the bike I had a 10-minute lead so I just had to maintain and bring it in. Baja is a special place and I've been fortunate to live a lot of my life down here. I think I'll just take a day off after this and relax. It's a lot of work, a lot of head work. I'm the decision maker so you've got more responsibility. It was a pretty rough course; they get pre-ran to death. I've ran rougher than this, '99 was so tough. This one wasn't so bad. When you get handed the bike with a 10-minute lead, it makes it a little easier."
Bell said: "It's great to see Johnny (Campbell) get some of the glory and finish it, and get his 11th down here. It was such a gnarly race. It was tough with the dust; there wasn't much wind early. Between pit 1 and 2, around mile 80, I finally got into second place. The 2x bike was gone -- whoever was on the bike was riding like a hero. I actually ended up hitting a rock and tweaking my wrist a little bit, so I gave the bike to Kendall in third place. But he was my hero today he got us back in the lead and gave me a good lead when I got back on. Definitely stoked he picked it up when I let it down a little."
10X CALEB GOSSELAAR/TIMMY WEIGAND/QUINN CODY/TIM MORTON, 2nd in Class. (Weigand started the race and took the lead before handing the bike to Cody.)
Weigand said: "I started the race and rode in dust for awhile. There were two bikes in front of me. Robby (Bell) got by (Brent) Harden, and I fell near the mountain. So it was hard to come back. I was able to then get by Harden, otherwise Robby would have been gone. I kept plugging ahead and was able to get by Robby in the sand wash. I was feeling and we had a strong riding team. Unfortunately, Quinn made a mistake and fell over. That's racing. Quinn got going ahead and Kendall (Norman) was on the gas. We charged as hard as we could and second place is good."
Gosselaar said: "I started, only for the first quarter-mile, then I gave it to Tim Weigand. He was on the gas, he actually caught up and passed 1x, we were in the lead for a little bit. He gave it to Quinn Cody, who was running great, but he ended up going down, he hit something. We lost a little bit of time then. When I got back on the bike I had a little spill, nothing bad but bent the radiator. I'm getting back from an injury, so I had shorter sections, but it was a fun race for sure."
Morton said: "We (Johnny Campbell and I) got on the bike at the same place so I told him to order me the lasagna when he got here. He's still standing here; I think he just wants me to feel good. I'm pretty sure Quinn had a little fall, Caleb might have taken a little spill, but the bike is still perfect. I couldn't say anything better about the bike, I just wasn't clicking."
16X COLTON UDALL/JUSTIN SEEDS/BRYCE STAVRON/RON WILSON, 4th in Class.
Udall said: "The bike held up really well, I felt like I rode my section pretty well. I hit a pretty bad rock and almost went off the course. I'm stoked for the team and stoked for the finish. It's actually the first Baja 1000 that I've placed really well. I can't thank Johnny and Tim Morton enough for providing us the bike and the team. We all put it together today.
Seeds said: "I tried to get a lead, we all rode our butts off. The front brake lever fell off, so I ran about 50 miles with no front brakes, and it was through a pine forest. I'm happy with the way I rode. I'm happy for my teammates, coming in first and second makes it so much better. I've been down here all week with Robby Bell, pre-running with him. Thanks to him he really helped me out, knowing a lot of lines. Actually I had a clean day, I was kind of by myself. The only dust I had was from cars on the road. It was basically pretty easy; I didn't really have to do any work. I'm really excited, with this being just my second time down here (placed third in Class 22 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in June)."
9X GABRIEL WILLIAMS, 2nd Rider to finish Solo.
"It was a tough course. There were a lot of different things out there today. It was beautiful too. I was never lonely. It was just me and the voices in my head. I don't feel that bad after that ride. I feel like I ran out of skill at the end. I took a ten-minute break at mile 140, ten minutes at mile 190 and fifteen minutes at mile 400. I'm glad I got to the finish."
103X FRANCISCO ARREDONDO/JAMES WEST/IVAN RAMIREZ/VICTOR RIVERA, 1st IN Class 21. (Ramirez, the Ensenada rider, started and finished the race with Arredondo (Guatemala), West (England) and Rivera (Spain) riding through the middle of the event).
West said: "It was a great experience. This was my first Baja 1000. I normally ride rallys in the Middle East. I compete against Francisco and Victor. Francisco called me and asked if I would like to run the Baja. I was very excited for the chance. I rode the San Felipe loop and Victor took over for me. Victor won the 450cc Cross Country World Championship."
Ramirez said: "I started today and then finished too. I was a great win for us." Arredondo said: "I called these guys to come race the Baja with me. We race in rallys around the world. So I asked them to help me. And we won for the second year." Rivera said: "This is my first Baja. I have ridden in four Paris to Dakar rallys. This was a great event. And it's special to win our class."
153X CHAD BLACK/CONNOR PENHALL/BRIAN BEBECK/JAKE HULLET, 1st in Class. (Black started and finished.)
Black said: It was pretty foggy there at the end and you just had to take it slow. It was horrible -- you just had to sit down and cruise in third gear. It was important to get out front, but it was hard starting 40th because you got stuck in the dust. We made up some time, we picked up like 15 minutes from mile 100 to 150 and that was the key to winning."
152X TONY RUTTER/TIME STEENEKEN/STEVEN BLACKLEY, 2nd in Class 20. (All three riders from New Zealand.)
Rutter said: "We had a great run today. The Kiwis came through at the Baja. It is exciting to race in the Baja 1000. And we are a long way from home. But New Zealand will know that we competed here. It is a tough race. It's very satisfying."
305x SCOTT MYERS/SHANE ESPOSITO/FRANCISCO SEPTIEN, 1st in Class
Myers said: "Actually I had the worst ride of my life. I twisted my ankle two miles in really bad, and had a lot of problems, I crashed a couple times. It was just terrible. Luckily I still brought it in, we had about a 10-minute lead over the 300x guys. I was the only one who had problems I think. With the chase trucks and running around all over, it was a little stressful but it was good."
Esposito said: "No problem with the fog, I just caught a couple of bikes in silt sections. Actually when I got on the bike I turned around and saw (300x Gerardo) Rojas not far behind me."
300x Jim O'Neal/Jimmy O'Neal Jr. /Jason Trubey/Mac Stewart /Gerardo Rojas/Vicente Guerrero /Luke Dodson, 2nd in Class.
Trubey said: "I didn't pre-run at night so that made it pretty tough, but it was a lot of fun, you just have to pick your way through it. I know one of our riders went down pretty good, but honestly I don't know a whole lot because our tracker wasn't working. I want to thank Jim for inviting me to ride with him all year. I'm happy to be here, my eyes are done, I couldn't see any more. Between all the people telling you to go the wrong direction, pointing the wrong way, trying to get you lost, you're just happy to see that concrete road."
400X BRETT HELM/JEFF KAPLAN/LOU FRANCO/JON ORTNER/CRAIG ADAMS/BOB JOHNSON, 1st in Class. (Helm, Kaplan, Ortner and Franco each rode three segments and Adams and Johnson rode one segment each. Helm started and finished.)
Helm said: "We got into the lead early and Craig just took off. Jon Ortner and Louis Franco and Jeff Kaplan and Bob Johnson, we switched off about three times each -- all short segments. There were some kids throwing rocks in one section and blocking it with rocks and logs. But our team loved this course. We got far enough out there with sunlight and it was such a big advantage. This is my second overall championship and, on this team, our sixth race (win) in a row."
405X MICHAEL KORENWINDER, 1st Rider to finish Solo.
Korenwinder said: "They call me the 'old corndog.' I'm 47 years old and I have a great group of family and friends who helped me get through this race. None of this would have been possible without their support. I was able to pre-run the course two weeks ago with a couple of friends, and we ran the entire course. That helped a lot. My wife and daughters are here and they were really supportive in this effort. This is a dream come true for me. At mile 315, I knew I was at the halfway mark and I was racing for the lead. I knew I had to hunker down and finish the deal. My crew raced along with me all day. I have about 30 people here from my hometown area."
500X JIM O'NEAL/DOUG NEIL/MIKE SIXBERY/ANDY KIRKER/PAUL NEEDLES/ROBERT HANSEN, 1st in Class. (Six different riders switched off during the race with Kirker finishing.)
Kirker said "We had six guys who switched off through the race. Paul Needles broke his shoulder in pre-running, so he couldn't run the race. But Dan Dawson did a great job for us. The motorcycle ran perfect all day. All we had to do was cruise to the finish. Jim (O'Neal) started the race and Mike Sixberry jumped on followed by Dan Dawson. Then I ran in the middle and we split up the section before the finish. I rode it in to the checkered flag. We are pleased with this run since we are close to the top 10 in overall motorcycles."
600X DONALD LEWIS/SAM DEMPSEY/BOB GATES/MIKE HARPER/CHARLES KOISTRA/WILL ROGERS/DAN DOERKSEN, 1ST in Class.
Lewis said: "It was a mental test. It was foggy out there, about two miles out -- and dusty, too. Everything was nice and beautiful this morning and we were just paddling at the end. We got first place in the 250, the 500 and now the 1000 (in Baja) -- what a great result for the year. And we got our second championship of the year."
8A WAYNE MATLOCK/HAROLD GOODMAN/MARC SPAETH/WES MILLER, 1st in Class. (Matlock started and rode to RM 120, Goodman rode to RM 294, Spaeth rode to RM 350, Matlock rode to 400, Goodman rode to RM 460, Miller rode to RM 600 and Matlock finished.)
Matlock said: "We didn't have too many problems -- we had little hiccups here and there but all in all, everybody rode terrific today. We'd get sections where we'd make up a lot of time and then we'd had a little issue and set us back and we kept coming through it. Everyone did a terrific job and I can't believe it. We were seconds apart from 1A (Danny Prather) all day long."
101A GREG CHRISTY/JASON LAY/DAVID SCOTT/JEREMY SANTOS, 1st in Class. Christy said: "We have been working on this win for a long time. We had a lot of thirds and seconds and we, finally, got our first Baja win. We had a little coil problem, but Duncan Racing was there to fix. I got lost twice coming into the finish. A lot of people on the course had flashlights that pointed me in the right direction."
Lay said: "I used to race against Greg many times, and we joined forces about a year ago. Our team has been working hard to get this effort together. I want to thank Greg for the chance to ride with this team."