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Page 52 of 105

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE Pro Moto Riders Struggle To Finish The Toughest Course By Dan Sanchez Photos by GetSomePhoto Although the 1x team of Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan, and Justin Jones made winning the Pro Moto Unlimited class look easy, all of them admitted they struggled to keep focused from their exhaustion. As other riders crossed the finish line after 22 hours of riding, the level of fatigue was high, especially for those racers who had to ride more than 200 or 300 miles of this extremely tough course. After the 1x team celebrated their victory, it took nearly another two hours before the 66x team of Santiago Creel finally rode up to the finish line to take second place. It was a long day for Creel who officially started the 66x team pre-dawn on race day, only to get off the bike just past the starting line to hand it off to co-rider Eric Yorba. Creel then went on to prepare for getting into the team’s SCORE Trophy Truck Spec. Yorba, along with co-riders Brandon Prieto, Sammy Mantalvan, Ricardo Villalobos, and Dalton Shirey finished the course in 22:55:10, compared to the 1x team’s 20:50:30 time. “We got a good battle with Mark Samuels (1x) team and even got to the physical lead at one point,” said Yorba. “We ran into some problems with our bike around mile 250 and that just set us back. I felt we were here to win the race, but it was just bad luck and with the team, we were able to do everything we could to finish.” Nearly eight hours later, the 12x team of Webster Whinery Jr rode in to take third place in class. The team was made up of co-riders Chris Gill, Jorge Pascal, and Wyatt Carmel. Two Teams Finish In Pro Moto Limited The 106x team of Gorge Ramirez with Sergio Garza, Kadin Guard, and Daniel Reynoso finished first in the SCORE Pro Moto Limited class. The team, on their Husqvarna FE350, completed the course in 25:15:45 ahead of the 180x team of Fernando Beltran. Beltran’s team, on their Yamaha YZ250F, had co-riders David Zarate, Justin Carnes, Rodolfo Patron, Tyler Perrin, and Michael Valenzuela. Septien Wins In Pro Moto 30 Mostly known for his wins in Pro Moto Ironman, Francisco Septien chose wisely to skip riding solo for 898.40 grueling miles and enjoy racing in Pro Moto 30 with co-riders Shane Esposito, Justin Shultz, and David Zarate. The riding expertise and experience of Septien and Esposito proved to be helpful to the team as they powered their way to a class win on the 370x Honda CRF450X with a time of 24:32:19. “Half of the day started great but we had to replace the front brake system three times,” said Esposito. “Justin was a last-minute addition to the team and didn’t have time to pre-run and he got lost in San Felipe. That’s when Jano Montoya and the 325x bike passed us but we finished the race safely and in first place.” Montoya’s team of Alberto Ruiz, Bryce Stavron, Bruce Oxley, and Kyle Tichenor finished just minutes behind Septien’s team with a time of 24:41:24. “We had a lot of mishaps on the course,” said Stavron. “The bike was leaking oil and we had to fill it up at every pit. Then we lost the connection to our lighting system and had a couple of crashes too.” “This was some of the most technical riding I have ever done,” added Oxley. “We kept pushing on and the bike ran great the entire time. Thanks to Stefano Caputo and Jano for putting together this great program.” Finishing third in the Pro Moto 30 class was the 321x team of Robert Smith, with co-riders Ryan Shufflebotham and Bryan McDonald on their Honda CRF450x. Pro Moto 40 and 50 Racers Have 100% Finish Rate All of the Pro Moto 40 racers completed the 898+ mile course to finish the 53rd SCORE Baja 1000. Finishing first in class was the 440x team of Bernardo Segura, with co-riders Alejandro De Mazo, Patrick Goeters, Gerardo Rojas, Vincente Guerrero, Luis Farrell, and Pablo Guillen. “We were doing very well in the race until the end when our battery gave us problems,” said Segura. “The bike wouldn’t start so we had to push start it. The San Felipe portion of the course was brutal and we kept battling until the finish. At last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 we were unable to finish the race due to mechanical issues, so to finish here, and in first place, was extra special.” Finishing second in class was the 441x team of Alirio Amado with co-riders Pedro Gonzales, Guillermo Rinaldi, and Cesar Manduca. In third place was the 423x team of Ryan Stephens with Bob Kimber, Steve Montana, Scott Bennett, Manuel Humes, and Pete Andrassy. Within the Pro Moto 50 class, Vance Kennedy in the number 522x Honda CRF450X finished first. Despite a fall that injured one of their riders, the team kept it together and crossed the finish line in 28:25:46. Co-riders on the team were Eric Zite, Dennis Belingheri, Dave Mayer, and Steve Hatch. “Erick had a fall and broke his ribs and collar bone,” said Kennedy. “He’s okay but outside of that, we had a smooth race. SCORE did a great job putting on this race and it was great to see everyone following all the protocols.” The class champion, Giovanni Spinali on the 500x Yamaha Y7450FX finished second in class with co-riders Don Connelly, John Griffin, Earl Roberts, Bill Gilbert, Manuel Ochoa, and multi-time class winner Jim O’Neal. South American Riders Dominate Pro Moto Ironman At this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 several riders from South America made their appearance to take on the Pro Moto Ironman class. Of the seven competitors that started the race, only three finished. In first place was Juan Carlos Salvatierra on the 725x bike. Salvatierra is from Bolivia and it was his first SCORE Baja 1000 victory. “I am very thankful for getting to the finish line in good shape and that I’m taking the win for Bolivia,” said Salvatierra. Finishing second was Fabrico Fuentes, also from Bolivia, who was on the 785x KTM 500EXCF. “Racing the SCORE Baja 1000 was a great experience and more than a childhood dream,” he said. “I’ve competed in a few difficult races in South America but there’s nothing like Baja. I love the Mexican people and they were always willing to support us. That kind of passion is what makes the SCORE Baja 1000 a race that is admired in the entire world.” Finishing third in class was Javier Perez Potsch from Chile. Riding the 772x KTM 500EXCF. “The race took me longer to finish than I thought it would,” said Potsch. “I had a few setbacks along the way but I made it to the finish line, and that’s what matters. I had wanted to challenge myself at the SCORE Baja 1000 for some time now and this year I felt I was ready for it. I’m the first Chilean to race the Pro Moto Ironman class and I’m really proud.” Arellano Keeps His Title In Pro Quad Riding the 1a Honda TRX450R was Adolfo Arellano, the 2019 SCORE Pro Quad champion. Arellano rode a though race, but only had to finish to win the class. With that in mind, he opted to get help from co-riders Edwin Lopez, Felipe Velez, Jose Luis Meza, Marco Lousino, Esteban Ramirez, and Christian Dujar. The 1a team finished the course in quick time, 24:22:59, and kept his title as Pro Quad winner and Champion. “The course was very difficult and it got really cold at times,” said co-rider Edwin Lopez. “Our chase team did a really good job and there were some tricky parts to the course with gulches and ditches. We had to be extremely careful to make sure to take the quad to the finish line.” Sportsman M/C Teams Finish 100% At times on the course, it seems flooded with motorcycle riders for hours, but that’s because many sportsman riders teamed up to compete at this year’s race. Fortunately, all of the teams entered finished and were happy to complete one of the most difficult SCORE Baja 1000’s in recent history. Finishing first in Sportsman M/C was the 200x team of Carlos Silva, with Oswaldo Moncada, Alberto Heredia, Luis Flores, Javier Salazar, Phillip Herrera and Carlos Gutierrez. In second place was the 228x team of Scott McIntosh with Adan Garcia, Fabrice LeDet, Pacho Bedoya, Raul Ortega and Justin Strong. In third place was the 203x team of Giovanni Aviles with co-riders Esteban Lujan, Geovany Rodriquez, Romulo Molina and Andres Garcia. With this being one of the most technical and longest loop races in the history of the SCORE Baja 1000, all of the riders in the motorcycle and quad classes deserve credit for finishing the race and proving they are the toughest of the tough. Official Finishers PRO MOTORCYCLES  PRO MOTO UNLIMITED  (400cc or more) 1. 1x Mark Samuels, 31, Yucca Valley, CA/Justin Morgan, 30, El Cajon, CA/Justin Jones, 29, Murrieta, CA, Honda CRF450X, 20:50:30 (43.11 mph);  2. 66x Santiago Creel, 34, Mexico, MX/Brandon Prieto, 34, Ensenada, MX/Sammy Mantalvan, Ensenada, MX/Eric Yorba, Rosarito Beach, MX/ Ricardo Villalobos, 31, Tecate, MX/Dalton Shirey, MX, Husqvarna FC450 22:55:10;  3. 12x Webster Whinery Jr, 32, Los Angeles/Jorge Pascal, 51, Argentina/Chris Gill, 24, Santa Ynez, CA/Wyatt Carmel, 25, Los Angeles, KTM 450EXC, 30:22:35. (3 Starters, 3 Finishers)   PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old) 1. 370x Francisco Septien, 45, Ensenada, MX/Shane Esposito, 44, Temecula, CA/Justin Shultz, 39, Lake Forest, CA/David Zarate, 30, Chula Vista, CA, Honda CRF450X, 24:32:19 (36.61 mph);  2. 325x Jano Montoya, 49, Winter Garden, FL (Peru)/Alberto Ruiz, 44, Ensenada, MX/Bryce Stavron, 32, San Clemente, CA/Kyle Tichenor, 32, Mesquite, NV/Bryce Oxley, 36, San Clemente, CA, KTM 450EXCF, 24:41:24;  3.321x Robert Smith, 30, Lake Havasu City, AZ/Ryan Shufflebotham, 35, Lake Havasu, City, AZ/Bryan McDonald, 30, Lake Havasue City, AZ, Honda CRF450X, 34:33:05. (5 Starters, 3 Finishers)   PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 400cc) 1. 106x Gorge Ramirez, 20, Ensenada, MX/Sergio Garza, 22, Tecate, MX/Kadin Guard, 22, St. George, UT/Jason Alosi, 37, Reno, NV/Daniel Reynoso, Tecate, MX, Husqvarna FE350, 25:15:45 (35.56 mph);  2. 180x Fernando Beltran, 44, Ensenada, MX/David Zarate, 31, Los Cabos, MX/Justin Carnes/Rodolfo Patron, 40, Tijuana, MX/Tyler Perrin/Michel Valenzuela, 34, Ensenada, MX, Yamaha YZ250F, 27:49:05. (3 Starters, 2 Finishers)     PRO MOTO 50  (Riders over 50 years old) 1. 522x Vance Kennedy, 51, Peoria, AZ/Dennis Belingheri, 51, Reno, NV/Dave Mayer, 51, Reno, NV/Eric Zite, 53, Gilbert, AZ/Steve Hatch, 51, Flagstaff, AZ, Honda CRF450X, 28:25:46 (31.69 mph);  2. 500x Giovanni Spinali, 54, El Cajon, CA/Don Connelly, 57, Rosarito Beach, MX/John Griffin, 53, Julian, CA/Jim O’Neal, 73, Santa Barbara, CA/Earl Roberts, 58, La Jolla, CA/Bill Gilbert, 52, Ladera Ranch, CA/Manuel Ochoa, 50, Mexicali, MX, Yamaha YZ450FX, 29:05:45;  3. 504x David Hunter, 50, Orem, UT/Wayne Schlosser, 51, Alpine, UT/Kurt Brian, 51, Orem, UT/Greg Godfrey, 51, Draper, UT, KTM 500EXCF, 34:44:57. (3 Starters, 3 Finishers)   PRO MOTO 40  (Riders over 40 years old) 1. 440x Bernardo Segura, 46, Torreon, MX/Alejandro De Mazo/Patrick Goeters/Gerardo Rojas, 46, Vincente Guerrero, MX, Luis Farrell/Pablo Guillen, Mexico, MX, KTM 500EXCF, 27:46:25 (32.35 mph);  2. 441x Alirio Amado, 42, The Woodlands, TX/Pedro Gonzalez, 54, NC/Guillermo Rinaldi, 46, FL/Cesar Manduca, 47 TX/, Yamaha WR450F, 34:51:22;  3. 423x Ryan Stephens, 42, San Diego/Bob Kimber, 63, Pagosa Springs, Colo./Steve Montana, 47, Orange, CA/Scott Bennett, 42, San Diego/Manuel Humes, 41, Belize/Pete Andrassy, 52, Poway, CA, Kawasaki KX450F, 35:43:28. (3 Starters, 3 Finishers)   PRO MOTO IRONMAN  (Solo Riders) 1. 725x Juan Carlos Salvatierra, 39, Bolivia, KTM 500EXCF 33:36:49 (26.73 mph);  2. 785x Fabricio Fuentes, 43, Bolivia, KTM 500EXCF, (37:08:56);  3. 772x Javier Perez Potsch, 29, Chile, KTM 500EXCF, 37:57:16. (7 Starters, 3 Finishers)  PRO QUAD   PRO QUAD 1. 1a Adolfo Arellano, 37, Tijuana, MX/Edwin Lopez, Juarez, MX/Felipe Velez, San Felipe, MX/Jose Luis Meza, San Felipe MX/Marco Lousino, Ensenada, MX/Esteban Ramirez, Tecate, MX/Christian Dujar, Tijuana, MX, Honda TRX450R, 24:22:59 (36.85 mph). (1 Starter, 1 Finisher) SPORTSMAN (All SPT classes ran reduced course of 767.06)   SPT M/C 1. 200x Carlos Silva, 43, Mexicali, MX/Oswaldo Moncada, 28, Ensenada, MX/Alberto Heredia, 30. Ensenada, MX/Luis Flores, 22, Mexicali, MX/Javier Salazar, 22, Tijuana, MX/Phillip Herrera, 22, Tijuana/Carlos Gutierrez, 28, Tijuana, MX, Honda CRF450X, 21:02:53 (36.44 mph); 2 . 228x Scott McIntosh, 60, Kent, Wash./Adan Garcia, 22, Ensenada, MX/Fabrice LeDet, 52, France/Pacho Bedoya, 47, Peru/Raul Ortega, 21, Ensenada, MX/Justin Strong, 40, San Diego, Honda CRF450X, 23:11:51;  3. 203x Giovanni Aviles, 29, Tijuana, MX/Esteban Lujan, 25, Tijuana, MX/Geovany Rodriguez, 28, Tijuana, MX/Romulo Molina, Tijuana, MX/Andres Garcia, 17, Tijuana, MX, Honda CRF450X, 23:58:37;  4. 241x Brent Walsh, 36, Baton Rouge, La., Honda CRF450X, 28:33:31;  5. 201x Scott Borden, 48, Steamboat Springs, Colo./Josh Scott, 41, Steamboat Springs, Colo./R. Hank Salyer, 49, Steamboat Springs, Colo./Dan Mastrude, 40, Steamboat Springs, Colo./Chris Welch, 39, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Yamaha YZ450F, 29:37:27;  6. 221x Ana Rivas, 27, Mexicali, MX/Victor Leyva, 51, Ensenada, MX/Nestar Levyva, 18, Ensenada, MX/Ramon Arngita, 51, 29, Ensenada, MX/Brayan Avalos, 19, Palm Springs, CA, KTM 350XCF, 30:55:06;  7. 232x Nicholas Lake, 36, Yuma, AZ/Richard Valencia, 47, Oak Hills, CA/Ryan Wilberson, 34, Yuma, AZ/Allan Chadwick, 44, Riverside, CA Honda CRF450X, 33:19:37. (7 Starters, 7 Finishers) SPT QUAD 1. 106a Imanol Gomez Fierro, 19, Mexicali, MX/Ery Sandoval, 20, Brawley, CA/Jose Osuna Gomez, 18, Mexicali, MX/Nicolas Ibarra, 19, San Diego/Jesus Torres Baca/Nicolas Nunez/Oskar Espinoza, Honda TRX450R, 23:34:00 (32.55 mph);  2. 112a Daniel Gaytan, 50, Heber, CA/Carlos Servando, 47, San Felipe, MX/Jose Enriquez, 41, Mexicali, MX/Eddie Bareno, 36, Mexicali, MX/Gilberto Perez, 41, Mexicali, MX/Danny Magdaleno, 22, Acton, CA/Erick Farias, Honda TRX450R, 23:46:04;  3.129a Sergio Gutierrez Jr, 22, Mexicali, MX/Luis Delfin, 40, Mexicali, MX/Juan Gonzalez, 40, Ensenada, MX/Hector Chavez, 24, Tecate, MX/Ramon Torres, 24, Valle de Guadalupe, MX/Jesus Gutierrez, 21, San Felipe, MX, Honda TRX450R, 24:10:23;  4. 100a Jovani Marquez, 38, Cabo San Lucas, MX/Mario Alberto S.N., 31, Los Cabos, MX/Gari Gonzales, 34, Mexicali, MX/Luis F. Ledesma, 42, La Paz, MX/Ismael Hernandez, 41, Escondido, CA/Arturto Martinez Jr, 29, Tijuana, CA, Honda TRX450, 25:51:19;  5. 146a Stephen Davis, 29, Los Barriles, MX/Pedro Loya/Renee Tapia/Rodrigo Mora, Honda TRX450R, 30:06:52;  6. 121a Jorge Rivas Jr, 24, Mexicali, MX/Rene Cordova, 25, Mexicali, MX/David Bourge, 29, Mexicali, MX/Cesar Lopez, 18, Calexico, Mexico/Neithan Davis, 20, Calexico, Yamaha YZ450R, 31:13:45. (6 Starters, 6 Finishers)

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