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SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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A RACE OF CHAMPIONS Champions And Heroes Battle For The Two-Wheel Win By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Isaac Flores, Cindy Clark, and Ariana Medrano photos Get some photo   Put a bunch of riders together who have won more SCORE Baja races in their careers, and you have an awesome race of champions on your hands. This scenario presented itself at the 55th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts and was the culmination of a season’s worth of top riders challenging each other for the class win.  At the top was the 10x team of Juan Carlos Salvatierra with Arturo Salas Jr., Shane Logan, and Clayton Roberts winning every race this season and were the most likely shoo-ins for a win and the class championship.  Giving the 10x team some tough competition was the 4x team of Jason Alosi who had second, third, and fourth-place finishes this season with co-riders Ral Dal Solgio, Irving Powers, Brody Honea, and Wyatt Brittner. Also in the Pro Moto Unlimited pack was the 3x team of Forrest Minchinton. He’s the famous surfer and surfboard crafter who fell in love with off-road motorcycle racing and became pretty proficient at it. He entered this SCORE Baja 1000 with two sixth-place and one second-place finish this season and was ready for his first win.  But the disruptors that came in to shake up the status quo were the 7x team of Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan, and Kendall Norman, riders who have won more SCORE Baja races than anyone currently racing in the class. Their entry set up a race in which SCORE fans were anxiously waiting to see them battle.  At the start, the 10x team was the first into the desert, and with a fast pace, they created a large lead. Unfortunately, the course had not yielded all of its secrets and handed them a blow. “Our teammate, Shane Logan, was running pretty good, opening up a good lead but he hit a rock and had a get-off the bike,” said Salvatierra. “He injured his ankle and could not continue to ride. In addition to that, when the bike hit the ground, some cables were torn and it wouldn’t start back up. We found the torn wire and fixed it, but we lost three hours.”  That incident allowed Minchinton and the 3x team to move ahead into the lead for a short time. Coming from a seventh-place start, however, the 7x Samuels team weaved and worked their way up to the front and were able to make a pass on the 7x team when they stopped to repair their muffler. From then on the 7x team remained in the lead and unchallenged, making their rider changes with Samuels taking the first third, then Norman taking the mid-sections, and Morgan riding the bike to the finish for the win. The 3x team was almost two hours behind and kept their position on the course to finish in second place. “ It was a challenging race course, said Minchinton. “With all the rain over the last few months, it made the course interesting but we went out and accepted the challenge. The bike was amazing; the best it has been all year. The only issue we had is we blew out all of the packing in the muffler and had to switch it out at race mile 680. Other than that we just kept switching out tires, filling them with gas and that was it. That was the coldest last 100 miles ever. But the fans kept me going. This is the best finish we have had in a SCORE race.”  After the downtime repairing their bike, the 10x Salvatierra team rallied back to finish the race and were rewarded with a third-place finish. Although it wasn’t the outcome they had hoped for, they were happy to finish. “We wanted to win, but we were in survival mode and wanted to just finish to get the championship,” said Salvatierra. “This would not be possible without my sponsors from Bolivia, Herbalife, Shell lubricants, KTM Bolivia and KTM USA, and other partners.” BELTRAN FINISHES A PERFECT SEASON  Fernando Beltran and the 180x team finished the 55th SCORE Baja 1000 with another class win, making for a perfect 2022 season. Beltran, along with riders Larry Serna, Luis Flores, and Mauri Herrera the team dealt with the cold and a technical course to ride to the finish. “It’s a course that has a little bit of everything, and it was very technical,” said co-rider Luis Flores. “Specifically around San Felipe, where historically, it’s always been pretty complicated terrain but it seemed a little more difficult this time because of all the rain we’ve had. Up in the Sierra, a very important factor was the cold. It really gets to you.”  Finishing in second place was Giovanni Aviles and the 103x team of Rodolfo Patron, 38, Tijuana, Mexico/Jorge Garcia, William Young, Angel Aguirre, and Christian Arellano. “It was a blast for sure. We had our hiccups, mainly me, breaking brake levers and foot pegs. Other than that, all the others did their homework and brought it to me in good shape,” said co-rider William Young. “I got to thank these guys for inviting me to come down from Idaho to race with them here in Mexico.”   Third in class was the 111x team of Carlos Castillo with co-riders Juan Valencia, Carlos Guereca, Cesar Morales, Alfonso Castro, and Raul Ortega.  COLLINS UPSETS PRO MOTO 30 CLASS Coming in to race the 55th SCORE Baja 1000 was Darrel Collins on the No. 301x Husqvarna FE501S. It was the first and only race of the season for Collins and the team, but they got through the tough course without any mechanical issues to finish first. “The race was awesome,” said Collins. “It was very challenging and the hardest race I have ever done. We loved it. Lots of blisters, lots of crashing, and lots of broken parts, but we finished first. When the sun comes up and there is dust, you cannot see anything. The rocks were tough but the sun made it harder. It was fun. The bike performed. We lost a front brake and had to change the caliper. We changed an air filter and tires and we were good.” The race was not as good for the 325x team of Jano Montoya. Although they had had good luck with their team and their KTM 450EXCF, winning every race this season. This race, however, had their luck run out. “We fought the bike all day with fuel pump issues,” said Montoya. “At the end, I had to get on the bike in a section I did not pre-run. I went down but it wasn’t that bad. We had to change the fuel pump once in San Felipe and again in the last 100 miles. I was freezing but all in all, it is Baja and we are here and safe. I want to thank all my sponsors and all the people to get us here and the pit crew that worked hard all day to get us here.” Montoya’s team managed to get the bike in order and finished second in class, followed by the 319x team of David Smith from Escondido, California who finished third. In fourth place was the 344x team of David Vonschmidt who came from Norway to compete in this race. LIEBELT CONTINUES WINNING STREAK The luck held out for Ryan Liebelt on the 400x team to continue their winning streak, taking first place in SCORE Pro Moto 40. Unlike their other competitors, their Yamaha WR450F performed flawlessly allowing them to take an early lead and hold onto it the entire race. “We are stoked to get the win and the Championship,” said Liebelt. “The other competitors had some issues so we ended up with a substantial lead and we just had to cruise it to the finish.”   “This is pretty cool finishing my first SCORE Baja 1000,” sad co-rider Justin Schultz. “We had a plan in place and we executed it to perfection. I think we are the fifth physical bike to finish. This bike was amazing all day. I got on at race mile 520 and the bike felt like it was brand new.” Out of the four teams competing in the class, only Liebelt and the 441x team of Alirio Amado, who finished in second place, completed the race. “We are lucky to finish,” said Amado. “Thank you to the team and the support team. Above all, thank God for keeping us safe. And thank you to all our sponsors.” “The Huatamote wash was hard,” said co-rider Gaston Vazquez. “It looked smooth but it was dangerous. There were a lot of rocks. I’ve never seen so many rocks there before.” THE COURSE TAKES ITS TOLL The tough and technical course took out half the field in both the Pro Moto 50 and Pro Moto 60 classes. Finishing first, and challenging for a championship title in the 50 class, was Vance Kennedy on the 522x KTM 500EXC. Kennedy had been challenging 2021 class champion Giovanni Spinali all season long, trading off wins, with Kennedy finally getting his second of the season. “The course was rough, but we had a good time,” said Kennedy. “We didn’t have any bike problems or rider problems. We had a few get-offs but Baja treated us very nicely this time. We got lucky. We wanted to beat the 500x team on the course, but they had a mishap out there.” Giovanni Spinali on the No. 500x bike, hit a rock and lay on the ground with several broken bones. Kennedy stayed with Spinali until help arrived. Guy Laycraft on the 649x Honda CRF450X managed to finish to win the SCORE Pro Moto 60 class. It was a tough battle against a very difficult course, but Laycraft and his co-riders Doug Smith, Craig Adams, Jeff Kaplan, Steve Buckley, Kevin Ward, and Jon Ortner pulled out the win. “I have a home in San Felipe and I pre-rode about eight times,” said Laycraft. “The first time I went through Huatamote Wash there were two tracks and one of those tracks was from the course marker. It got hammered in pretty well but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We had one mechanical failure that cost us about two hours in repairs, but we had amazing help. Baja is tough, it never fails. I came in 2008 and fell in love with the place and then the people. I am living the dream.” THE TOUGHEST OF THE TOUGH This year’s race brought out 20 starters in the SCORE Pro Moto Ironman division, with only eight who managed to complete the course. Of those, Tanner Janesky came out on top with a win he had been wanting since he started racing in 2015. “The race was extremely difficult,” said Janesky. “You can’t even describe it, and It was also dangerous but I made it through. The bike worked great, but I had one little issue that sent me over the handlebars pretty hard. The bike landed on me and broke the subframe and it also hurt my back.” Despite the injury, Janesky got back on the bike and pushed forward to finish in 23:55:03, nearly two hours ahead of the next competitor, Aaron Richardson on the 739x bike to take second place. “About halfway through I was wondering what I was doing out here,” said Richardson. “The last ten miles, the wind and the dust were bad, especially when the trucks passed you. I want to thank my buddies for giving me a hand and Guy Laycraft for helping me too.”  Brandon Wright crossed the finish line on the 750x bike to take third place. “I am a little disappointed in the finish,” said Wright. “A bolt that holds my handlebars on, decided to shear off. From then on I got frustrated and crashed a few times. But I finished. I was feeling good for most of the day before that. My broken ribs were not an issue today. I am glad I finished. There were a whole bunch of people that helped me today.”  Finishing in fourth place was Bolivian racer, Fabricio Fuentes, on the 785x bike. “I’ve been racing for twenty years, and this race was hard, very physical and mental,” said Fuentes. “I had some electrical problems and a couple ‘get-offs,’ but overall it was a great race.”  IT TAKES THREE IN PRO QUAD While nearly all of the moto-class racers had high levels of attrition, the Pro Quad class was one in which all their racers finished. Nevertheless, the course was just as tough for them as it was for the others, and in this class, it was a challenge between the 7a team of Luis Ernesto Villafana, the 31a team of Hector Chavez, and the 1a team of Ricardo Villafana. SCORE fans watched, the 7a team crossed the finish line first, but after officials tallied all of the penalties for the teams, it was Chavez who took the class win. Luis Ernesto Villafana would take second place in class, followed by the 1a team of Ricardo Villafana who finished third. SPORTSMAN GET A TASTE OF BAJA Although the course was shorter for the Sportsman racers, done for safety reasons, they still got a hard taste of the SCORE Baja 1000’s brutal course. In all, 10 of the 14 Sportsman Moto teams managed to finish the race, but it was the 214x team of David Navarro from Tecate, Mexico took first place. They were followed by Casey O’Donnel and the 201x team from Steamboat Springs, Colorado who finished in second place. In third was the 218x team of Christian Espinoza from Mexicali, Mexico. Sportsman Quad classes had five of the four teams finish the race, with the 103a team of Dario Rabago Morales of Ensenada, Mexico finishing first. In second place was the 111a team of Fidel Gonzalez, from Vizcanio Mexico, with the 105a team of Francisco Valle from Tecate, Mexico finishing in third place. FINISH LINE QUOTES JASON ALOSI | No. 4x | 4TH PLACE: “The course was rough but that is to be expected from a loop SCORE Baja 1000. We had a wheel issue but other than that we had one of the best-handling bikes I’ve ever had down here.  RAY DAL SOGLIO | No. 4x | 4TH PLACE (Co-Rider with Jason Alosi ROR) “It was pretty cold coming in, this last little bit. We had a rear tire issue around race mile 150. We blew it out, couldn’t even move the bike, and lost about an hour there. But no big crashes, and we just cruised down the old road.” OFFICIAL FINISHERS PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more) (9 Starters, 7 Finishers) 1. 7x Mark Samuels, 33, Yucca Valley, CA/Justin Morgan, 32, El Cajon, CA/Kendall Norman, 38, Santa Barbara, CA, Honda CRF450X, 18:51:30, (43.92 MPH) 2. 3x Forrest Minchinton, 31, Huntington Beach, CA (Costa Rica)/Nick Lapaglia, 27, Murrieta, CA/Ciaran Naran, 22, Huntington Beach, CA/Tucker Hopkins, 29, Los Angeles, Husqvarna FE501, 20:08:47 3. 10x Juan Carlos Salvatierra, 41, Bolivia/Arturo Salas Jr, 19, Chula Vista, CA (MX)/Shane Logan, 20, San Diego/Clayton Roberts, 20, Hesperia, CA, KTM 450SX-F, 23:23:55 4.  4x Jason Alosi, 38, Reno, NV/Ray Dal Soglio, 32, Temecula, CA/Irving Powers, 32, Dayton, NV/Brody Honea, 26, Reno, NV/Wyatt Brittner, 28, Reno, NV, Husqvarna FX450, 23:57:03 5. 19x Drew Watson, 30, San Diego/Nick Lanning, Albuquerque, N.M./Garrett Kenny, San Diego/Adam Rachac, San Diego/Ryan McCasland, Rosarito Beach, MX/Ehren Geersma, San Diego, Yamaha WR450F, 24:43:01 6. 20x Miguel ‘Sammy’ Pena, 47, Tijuana, MX/Jorge Archuleta, 24, Tijuana, MX/Jorge Carbajal C., 47, Tijuana, MX/Jorge Carbajal A., Tijuana, MX/Samuel Nava, Tijuana, MX/Austin Farley, 18, San Diego, Honda CRF450X, 29:27:17 7. 47x Allo Pucci, 48, Sandpoint, Idaho/Kevin Clyde, 30, Sandpoint, Idaho/Tom McGuckin, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho/Todd Wallace, 49, Bonners Ferry, Idaho/Greg Smith, 46, Sandpoint, Idaho/Nick Bandy, 37, Sandpoint, Idaho, KTM 500XC-W, 30:43:26    PRO MOTO 30  (Riders over 30 years old) (4 Starters, 4 Finishers) 1. 301x Darrel Collins, 50, Yreka, CA/Corin Fator, 36, Redding, CA/Ryan Mecham, 33, Redding, CA/Frank Goodson, Eureka, NV/Kyle Negus, Orvada, NV, Husqvarna FE501S, 26:12:01, (31.61 MPH) 2. 325x Jano Montoya, 51, Winter Garden, Fla. (Peru)/Bryce Stavron, 32, San Clemente, CA/Kyle Tichenor, 31, Mesquite, NV/Francisco Septien, 44, Ensenada, MX, KTM 450EXCF, 26;15:08, 3. 319x David Smith, 35, Escondido, CA, Honda CRF450X, 26:55:43 4. 344x David Vonschmidt, 39, Norway/Jo Saestre/Damien Bell, KTM 450EXC, 35:31:17    PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 450cc) (4 Starters, 3 Finishers) 1. 180x Fernando Beltran, 46, Ensenada, MX/Larry Serna, 26, San Diego/Luis Flores, 21, Mexicali, MX/Mauri Herrera, 23, Ensenada, MX, Honda CRF450X, 21:34:59, (38.38 MPH) 2. 103x Giovanni Aviles, 31, Tijuana, MX/Rodolfo Patron, 38, Tijuana, MX/Jorge Garcia, 34, Tecate, MX/William Young, 40, Idaho/Angel Aguirre, 19, Tijuana, MX/Christian Arellano, 19, Guerrero Negro, MX, Honda CRF450X, 23:19:10 3. 111x Carlos Castillo, 33, Mexicali, MX/Juan Valencia, 34, Mexicali, MX/Carlos Guereca, 25, Mexicali, MX/Cesar Morales, Ensenada, MX/Alfonso Castro, 34, Mexicali, MX/Raul Ortega, Ensenada, MX, Yamaha YZ450FX, 23:48:09    PRO MOTO 40  (Riders over 40 years old) (4 Starters, 2 Finishers) 1. 400x Ryan Liebelt, 42, Reedley, CA/James Justin James Shultz, 40, Lake Forest, CA/Steve Tichenor, 44, Reno, NV/Jason Trubey, 44, Henderson, NV, Yamaha WR450F, 22:26:46, (36.90 MPH) 2. 441x Alirio Amado, 44, The Woodlands, Texas/Ryan Kaza, 49, New Jersey/Dario Bergoglio, 48, Argentina/Adrian Indusco, 45, Tijuana, MX/Gaston Vazquez, 46, Tijuana, MX, Yamaha WR450F, 28:15:39   PRO MOTO 50  (Riders over 50 years old) (4 Starters, 1 Finishers) 1. 522x Vance Kennedy, 53, Peoria, AZ/Dennis Belingheri, 52, Reno, NV/Dave Mayer, 53, Reno, NV/Lou Franco, Sherman Oaks, CA/Steve Hatch, 53, AZ, KTM 500EXC, 24:36:18, (33.66 MPH    PRO MOTO IRONMAN  (Solo Riders) (20 Starters, 8 Finishers) 1. 775x Tanner Janesky, 27, Middlebury, CT, Honda CRF450X, 23:55:03, (34.63 MPH) 2. 739x Aaron Richardson, 50, Canada, KTM 500EXC-F, 25:20:06 3. 750x Brandon Wright, 46, Oak Hills, CA, Husqvarna FE501, 25:52:09 4. 785x Fabricio Fuentes, 45, Bolivia, KTM 450SX-F, 28:39:32, 5. 788x Marco Molimor, 35, Nuevo Casas Grandes, MX, Honda CRF450X, 32:25:41 6. 712x Eddie Meek, 41, England, KTM 450XCF, 32:32:31 7. 722x Sean Kubecka, 30, Kilauea, Hawaii, Honda CRF450X, 32:55:00 8. 733x Paul Hart, 37, Grass Valley, CA, Husqvarna FE501, 33:45:36  PRO MOTO 60  (Riders over 60 years old) (2 Starters, 1 Finishers) 1. 649x Guy Laycraft, 65, Canada/Doug Smith, 66, Upland, CA/Craig Adams, 65, San Clemente, CA/ Jeff Kaplan, 64, Thousand Oaks, CA/Steve Buckley, 65, Canyon Lake, CA/Kevin Ward, 66, CA/Jon Ortner, 61, Santa Barbara, CA, Honda CRF450X, 29:56:22, (27.66 MPH) PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement) (3 Starters, 3 Finishers 1. 31a Hector Chavez, 28, Tecate, MX/Oscar Murillo, 23, Tecate, MX/Pedro Montes, 27, Tecate, MX/Estevan Ramirez, 24, Tecate, MX/Sergio Montes, 24, Tecate, MX/Jesus Osuna, 19, Mexicali, MX, Honda TRX450R, 23:29:02, (35.27 MPH) 2. 7a Luis Ernesto Villafana, 39, Mexicali, MX/Jose Luis Mesa Velez, San Felipe, MX/ Felipe Velez, San Felipe, MX/Carlos Napoles, 42, Mexicali, MX/Nicolas Velez, San Felipe, MX/Sergio Jimenez, 26, Mexicali, MX, Honda TRX450R, 24:52:16 3. 1a Ricardo Villafana, 46, Calexico, CA/Harry Donald, Page, AZ/Jarrett Curley, 18, Page, AZ/Drew Simmons, Page, AZ/Dylan Sloan, Paige, AZ/Adrian Torres, 32, San Felipe, MX/Tyler Benally, Page, AZ/Jeremy Gray, Barstow, CA/Francisco Caipas, Mexicali, MX, Yamaha 450R, 30:37:32 Sportsman SPT M/C (14 Starters, 10 Finishers) 1. 214x David Navarro, 18, Tecate, MX/Manuel Gomez, 18, Tecate, MX/Ely Ramirez, 18, Tecate, MX/Carlos Flores, 18, Tecate, MX/Marco Guizar Jr, 22, Tecate, MX/Alexander Lopez, 22, Tecate, MX, Yamaha YZ450FX, 22:12:41, (34.26 MPH) 2. 201x Casey O’Donnell, 37, Steamboat Springs, Colo./Dan Mastrude, 42, Boise, Idaho/Steve Abrams, 30, Boise, Idaho/Chris Welch, 40, Steamboat Springs, Colo./R. Hank Salyer, 52, Steamboat Springs, Colo., Yamaha 450YZFX, 22:14:34 3. 218x Christian Espinoza, 45, Mexicali, MX/Miguel Rodriguez, 45, Mexicali, MX/Daniel Meza, 36, Mexicali, MX/Oscar Bernal, 37, Mexicali, MX/Alberto Gomez, 26, Mexicali, MX/Lemuel Castillo, 30, Mexicali, MX, 23:36:42 4. 217x Dustin Davis, 39, Mesa, AZ/Mark Bechtold/Brian Wipperman/Nestor Curiel/Jashua Wipperman, GasGas EX300, 24:42:06 5. 249x Armando Ortiz, 18, Tijuana, MX/Ivan Raygoza, 23, Tijuana, MX/Abdiel Velasco, 26, Ensenada, MX/Alejandro Armenta, 20, San Quintin, MX/Uriel Velazco, 24, Ensenada, MX/Brian Arias, 27, Tijuana, MX, Honda CRF450X, 27:57:48 6. 246x Chael Pavel Urcadiz, 40, Ensenada, MX/Andy Valencia, 28, Ensenada/Alejandro Osuna, 24, Ensenada, MX/Daniel Mercado, 29, Ensenada, MX/Francisco Zapiaana, 30, Ensenada, MX/Gil Gallegos, 32, Ensenada, MX/Juan Alpizner, 18, Ensenada, MX, Honda CRF450X, 28:12:23 7. 256x Jim Jaros, 47, Allentown, Penn./Thorn Devlin, 25, Tamaqua, Penn./Daniel Albritton, 44, Manhattan, N.Y./Richard Taylor, 32, Harrisburg, Penn./Ilyas Bham 55, Los Angeles, KTM 450EXCF, 28:16:12 8. 252x Bhaskar Ramani, 48, Marietta, Ga. (India) /Luis Aguilar, 36/Juan Tamayo 33/Mike Placencia, 29, Honda CRF450X, 30:59:34 9. 276x Shawn Nelson, 46, Washington, Utah/Ryan Rosenberg, 39, St. George, Utah/Wade Beatty, 44, Hurricane, Utah/Dillan Stoor, 33, Cedar City, Utah/Darryl Zitting, 40, Washington, Utah, Husqvarna FX350, 33:01:28 10. 247x Merril Campbell, 44, Hurricane, Utah/Wade Beatty, 44, Hurricane, Utah/Ryan Rosenburg, 39, St. George, Utah, KTM 450EXC-F, 35:40:32    SPT QUAD (5 Starters, 4 Finishers) 1. 103a Dario Rabago Morales, Ensenada, MX/Imanol Gomez, 21, San Felipe, MX/Edgar Marquez, 19, Tijuana, MX/Daniel Marquez, 18, Tijuana, MX/Luis Villa, 19, Ensenada, MX/Jose Ibarra, 45, Ensenada, MXHonda CRF450X, 22:10:11, (34.32 MPH) 2. 111a Fidel Gonzalez, 38, Vizcaino, MX/Efrain Vazquez, 30, Guerrero Negro, MX/Efren Vazquez, 22, Guerrero Negro, MX/Carlos Lopez, 50, San Felipe, MX/Gilberto Perez, 40, Mexicali, MX/Jose Enriquez, 42, Mexicali, MX/Luis Sanchez, 45, Mexicali, MX, Honda TRX450R, 23:48:13 3. 105a Francisco Valle, 36, Tecate, MX/Fernando Arredondo, 33/Jose Murillo, 32/Carlos Loam, 26, Tecate, MX/Herrardo Arredondo, 30, Tecate, MX/Gustavo Torres, 35, Tecate, MX/Israel Jimenez, 42, Tecate, MX, Honda TRX450R, 26:04:29 4. 123a Eva Hernandez, 18, Escondido, CA/Lilia Rodriguez, 47, Bonita, CA/Hector Comacho, 24, Rosarito Beach, MX/Jorge Carbajal, 47, Rosarito Beach, MX/Zachary Howard, 43, San Diego/Ismael Hernandez, 43, Escondido, CA/Cristobal Quezada, 48, Tijuana, Mexico/David Guerrero, 32, Tijuana, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 29:10:34

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