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RISING TO THE TOP New Pro Moto Challengers Emerge Victorious By Dan Sanchez Photos By Get Some Photo Some new motorcycle teams emerged for the start of the 2021 SCORE season that mixed in with some of the veteran teams in the age classes to put on a great race. Among the Pro Moto Unlimited riders, Derek Aussuerbauer on the 5x bike had learned from his riding during the 2020 season and was at this year’s race to compete. In the class, Shane Redline, father of 16-year old SCORE Trophy Truck racer Jax Redline, showed up with his own 22x team. Competing against the two of them was Ana Rivas from Mexicali, Mexico, who organized the 21x team and was ready to take on San Felipe in the fastest pro moto class. Other teams included the 17x of Brian Wipperman and the 9x team of Ryan Jay Stephens, giving the class a total of five teams competing. At 6 am on April 17th, 2021 the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE San Felipe 250 Presented by Ford began with the motorcycle racers leaving the starting line. Redline on the 22x bike started first, followed by Wipperman, Ausserbauer, Stephens and Rivas. Aussuerbauer had decided to ride the course solo and in doing so, managed to put a large lead on the rest of the field. “The course was really fun. The layout was bitchin,” said Ausserbauer. “It was traditional San Felipe, pounding huge whoops and taking a gnarly beating with a lot of sand washes. There were really gnarly rocks but the majority of it was fun and flowing. Then we crossed over the mountains and crossed the dry lakes. We kept it steady.” His nearly two-hour lead kept him well ahead of the other four teams until Ausserbauer found himself at the finish line to win the SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited class and the Pro Moto Overall. “I can’t even control my emotions,” said Ausserbauer wiping away tears. “I worked really, really hard to get here. And we did it.” The 27-year old pulled off an amazing feat, and riding solo proved he was at the top of his game, one which will lead him to more victories this season. Finishing second in class was Shane Redline with co-riders Chris Phillips, Justin Strong, Aldo Muller, Kevin Gravett, and John Clark. “The course was fast and it was gnarly, dangerous. We did great,” said Redline. “I don’t think we ever dropped the bike and that was our goal. Our goal was to get through the course clean and have a solid run.” Redline had started the race, then handed off the bike to Phillips and the rest of the team, before jumping into a waiting helicopter to watch and work with his son’s SCORE Trophy Truck team. THE PRO MOTO LIMITED CHAMP WINS During the 2020 season, Fernando Beltran managed to take the Pro Moto Limited championship and thus rode the 100x bike in San Felipe. With co-riders Luis Flores, Radolfo Patron, and Michael Valenzuela, the team rode their Honda CRF450X to victory. Flores was the least prepared of the team, as was contacted at the last minute to fill in. “I didn’t get to pre-run and they gave me the most difficult portions of the race,” said Flores. “We went all out. It was fun but dangerous. There were a lot of lines, and you don’t know which ones to take if you didn’t pre-run it.” Finishing second in class was the 106x team of Jorge Ramirez, with Sergio Garza and Manuel Gomez. The team had a few close calls on the course, but everyone was okay. “I crashed once but nothing crazy. We did a really good job,” said Ramirez. “The course is so sketchy with a lot of rocks and whoops and sand. I’m just glad that we are safe. We did a good job. We were last off the line and we got all the way up here.” In third place was the 117x team of Hector, Oscar, and Ezra Garcia. MONTOYA WINS PRO MOTO 30 Once again, Jano Montoya, the veteran motorcycle racer from Winter Garden, Florida, had the winning team to take the Pro Moto 30 class. Alberto Ruiz, Bryce Stavron, and SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited veteran Shane Esposito helped Montoya take the win. “We changed riders a lot to keep everybody fresh,” said Montoya. “There were more spectators than we expected, that was fun. We want to take the Championship this year, and I think we have the right team to do that.” Finishing second was the 308x team of Greg Bardonnex with Ryan Liebelt, Justin Shultz, Jason Parsons, and Shane Shorno. Third place went to the 365x team of Nick Lanning, with co-riders Peter Eiland and Robert Lanning. LIEBELT RIDES DOUBLE DUTY Ryan Liebelt, who was on the 308x team also had his own Pro Moto 40 team on the 408x Yamaha WR450F. Liebelt pulled double duty and managed to win the class with co-riders Steve Tichner, and Brenden Wright. The team had a commanding lead, almost two hours ahead of second-place finisher William St. Laurent on the 424x bike. St. Laurent had co-riders Shelby Dunson and Kirk Russell. Finishing third in class was the 441x team of Alirio Amado from Woodlands, Texas, who rode the course solo. Within the Pro Moto 50 class, it was a battle of two experienced veterans that included the 2020 SCORE class champion Vance Kennedy on the 500x Husqvarna 450x, and multi-time class champion Giovanni Spinali on the 510x Yamaha YZ450FX. It was a close race but Spinali and his team of riders, and multi-time class champion Jim O’Neal edged out a very tight win with only a minute difference between the teams. “I got the bike at race mile 50, and we were ahead by one minute,” said Spinali. “Then, one of our guys got hurt and we went down for about five minutes. I got the bike back at race mile 224, caught him, passed him, then we battled to the finish. It was a great race, a great battle, we had fun.” Kennedy and his co-riders, Dennis Belingheri and Mike Johnson, did an amazing job and although they finished second, they will be a challenge for the remainder of the season. In the Pro Moto 60 class, the 628x team of Scott McIntosh, Don Whittington, Sergio Campo, Mike McIntosh, and John Johnson rode to the finish to win the class. The team completed the course in 10:45:42 and managed to conquer a very tough course. “This is the second time I ran down here,” said McIntosh. “ I drove a buggy a few years ago. A bunch of trucks went by. You can’t hear them well on the bike but they were very courteous” “San Felipe is the most technical of all of the SCORE Baja races,” said Campo. “I’ve been riding and pre-running for years and the SCORE San Felipe 250 is short and brutal.” THE MOTO TEACHER SHOWS HOW IT’S DONE A total of nine individuals took on the SCORE Pro Moto Ironman class and the brutal San Felipe course, and all of them finished the race. Leading them was Edgar Cota, a motocross instructor from San Diego, California who finished the course on the 723x GasGas EX450 he prepared himself. “It was rough. The track is really, really beat up, but all you have to do is get a flow,” said Cota. “Every time you get to a wash, you get some breathing time. You know the whoops are coming right after. I kept a cool head and enjoyed the ride. it was a perfect race.” Finishing second was 2020 SCORE Pro Moto Ironman Champion Juan Carlos Salvatierra. “I was looking for the victory, but I’m super happy and proud of myself with this second-place finish,” he said. “The first half of the race I had some stomach issues and had to stop a couple of times, but I recovered and finished strong. No crashes, and no issues with the bike. I want to thank God for taking care of me and my country, Bolivia, for the support.” In third place was John Bennett in the 736x KTM 450 XCF. VILLAFANA TAKES THE PRO QUAD WIN The Pro Quad class had the 37a team of Ricado Villafana, with co-riders Fernando Gomez, Carlos Napoles, Juan Flores, Luis Villafana, and Oscar Rojas cross the finish line to win the class on their Honda TRX450R. It was the first race for the team who had a tough time but finished before the close of the course with a time of 13:13:28. Competitors had 14-hours to complete the course. “It was tough out there. I got the start and something happened to my arms,” said Villafana. “I think I was just stress, but I made it to race mile 20, so I switched with my brother. Then he got in an accident and was hit by a Trophy Spec. It was his first race so he was not familiar with what to do. Other than that, we got a flat tire and we lost the seat and the battery so we didn’t have any lights. I want to make a special thanks to Marco Moreno from M&M race preparation. He told us we would make it to the finish line and we did. I want to thank God first and my family and friends and people that support us. We made it.” SPORTSMAN RACERS FINISH IN DROVES A total of 10 of the 12 Sportsman M/C racers finished the 34th SCORE San Felipe race with the 249x team of Jack Lundin finishing first in the Sportsman M/C class. Lundin was aided by co-riders Adam Lundin and Ramon Davila. Finishing second in class was the 201x team of Scott Borden with riders R. Hank Salyer, Scott Josh, Chris Welch, Dan Mastrude, and Mike Mettler. Finishing third in class was the 296x team of Esteban Lujan with Alejandro Molina, Bryan Avalos, and Ruben Lujan. Within the Sportsman Quad class, the 110a team of Danny Magdaleno, with Jorge Lopes and Eddie Bareno finished first. In second place was the 177a team of David Nunez with Jorge Martinez, Cesar Lopez, Brian Nunes, and Nakul Hernandez. In third place was the 123a team of Ismael Hernandez, Hector Camacho, Cristobal Quezada, Zachary Hayward, and Jorge Carbajal. SJ

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