SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - DECEMBER 2017

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

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Page 79 of 132

Moto Mayhem The Pro Moto And Quad classes race to triumph at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 By Dan Sanchez Photos By Get Some Photo Before the break of dawn, the Pro Moto and Quad classes left the starting line in Ensenada to begin their 1134.40-mile journey to La Paz. While there were eight teams competing in the Pro Moto class, all eyes were on the 45x team of Francisco Arredondo and the 1x team of Mark Samuels. Throughout the season, these two teams dominated Baja and with a slight lead in the championship points standings, Arredondo had a slight edge over Samuels heading into this race. The 45x team of Arredondo, Shane Esposito, Justin Morgan, Max Eddy Jr, and Ty Davis began the race well and at one point had a 27-minute lead over the 1x team. The Honda CRF450X began having transmission problems that plagued the team throughout the second half of the race, which caused them to alter their riding style and slow down. “We didn't know if the bike was going to hold up from Loreto to the finish and Justin had to adjust his riding at the end. We knew it was going to be a fight and we had a good lead but that changed,” said Arredondo. The 1x team saw Colton Udall come back from his neck and back injuries to start the race and ride the first 110 miles. Co-team riders included Samuels, Justin Jones, Ryan Penhall and Ian Young. The team began 30-minutes behind the 45x leaders due to some problems with their transponder, and slowly made up the time to pull into the lead within the last 75 miles of the race. Crossing the finish line, Ian Young pulled in to what the 1X team thought was a hard-earned victory, but after several penalty points were assessed, found themselves in second place. Justin Morgan riding the 45x bike to the finish, knew by their time that they were in second place. Once the announcement came, the 45x team rejoiced and celebrated on one of their most important victories of the season. “It is really special, the 50th anniversary, and we really gave it all,” said Arredondo.  Finishing in third place was the 3x team of Ray Dal Solgio, with riders Derek Asserbauer, Arik Swain, Bryce Oxley and Travis Frohlich. The team had a solid ride and no issues on their motorcycle but just didn’t have a fast enough line to stay ahead of the 45x team. Pro Moto Limited’s Tight Race One of the tightest races in the Pro Moto classes was in the Limited (449cc or less) class. The 160x team of Santiago Creel, edged out the 119x team of Matt Miller beating them to the finish line by a mere six minutes. Riding a KTM 300 EXC, the 160x team of Creel, Massimo Mangini, Larry Serna, Alberto Heredia and Eric Rene had issues with their electrical system off the starting line but managed to keep their lead and take the class win. “Trying to keep the bike running was a challenge,” said Creel. “We lost three hours with electrical problems. The lights kept going off. We had to ride 200 miles with a stock light.” With only a three-man team, the 119x of Miller had co-riders Phl Shuyler and John Wear ride longer periods during the race. Finishing in third was the 166X team of Santiago Creel. The team consisted of riders Massimo Magini, Rene Magna, Ricardo De La Pena, Alberto Heredia, Gerardo Rojas and Vincente Guerrero. Pro Moto Age Class Groups Charged Hard After a crash, the 300x team of Ryan Liebelt switched riders and pulled off a win that had the team reach the finish line nearly three hours ahead of their competition to win the class. “One of our guys, Kris Kilbride, clipped something and went down hitting a cactus,” said co-rider Justin Schultz. “We got Ryan back in there to get the bike to Greg Bardonnex. Greg started the comeback after being down an hour. He really charged hard.” Finishing behind the 300x team was the 333x team of Chad Thornton with Salvador Hernandez, Dennis Belingheri, Steve Tichnor, Jason Turbey, and Kevin Johnson. In third place was the 360X team of Santiago Creel, who rode with Enrique Fuhrken, Jesus Zavala, Patrick Reyes, Antonio De La Vega and Jose Pelayo. Within the Pro Moto 40 riders, Jano Montoya continued his domination of the class with his riders, Francisco Septien, Jeff Kawell, Alberto Ruiz, and Kirk Russell riding on their KTM 450XCW. Finishing in second place was the 420X tea of Mike Barnhill, with Freddie Willert, Chad Houk, Erick Hingeley, Jeff Quade, and Mike Tiffant on their Honda CRF450X. Third place in class went to Francisco Beltran, Sergio Vega, Ulises Fisher, Abelino Montoya and Antonio Salmon on their 477x Husqvarna FE501. The Pro Moto 50 class saw the 549x team of Robert Gates and the 510X team of Giovanni Spinali go head to head all season long. At the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, both teams pulled out all the stops to win the race, but ultimately the 549X team had the fastest time. “We put a team together all year and built a good bike,” said co-rider Doug Smith. “We got a second place in San Felipe and the Baja 500 so for the 1000 we had to bring it home first to win the championship.”  Along with Gates and Potts, Lou Franco, Jeff Kaplan, Mike Johnson, Chris Goolsby, Bob Johnson, Steve Williams and David Potts co-rode with the team. Finishing in second place was the 515x team of Robert Creemers and his team from New Zealand. His co-riders included Pete Heard, Doug Herbert, Sean Clark and Kevin Archer, all riding the Honda CRF450X. Spinali and the 510x team finished in third, with John Griffin, Earl Roberts, Troy Pearce, Brian Bontekoning and Graham Maclachlan. In Pro Moto 60, Donald Lewis on the number 609X Honda CRF450X won the class with the help of riders, Richard Jackson, Mike Castro, Max Christensen, Guy Laycraft, Larry Engwall, Kirk Heintz, Robert Koch, George Yates, and Jim Meyers. Pro Moto Ironmen Endure Baja Perhaps one of the hardest classes in all of the SCORE World Desert Racing Series is the Pro Moto Ironman. With some of the toughest competitors around, the season had Jose Armando Carrasco, Jeff Benrud and Michael Skurkis leading the field of racers. Most in this class decided to challenge the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, but out of a huge field of 19, only six finished the class. The winner was Benrud in the 715X Honda CRF450X finished slightly less than an hour ahead of Skurkis in the 729X KTM 500XCW. “It was brutal,” said Benrud. “I was feeling really bad about halfway through, then I ate a bunch of food and felt better. I got a good shot of adrenaline the last 80 miles with all of the Mexicans cheering me on and I knew I was in the lead.” In previous races, Benrud had finished first across the finish line in the Pro Moto Ironman class but with penalties was often pushed back to second place. Finishing in second Skurkis realized how tough this race was and was simply happy to cross the finish line. “I had a few issues but kept pushing forward just to bring it in,” said Skurkis. “The course was unforgiving but the fans made it all worth it. You're out there by yourself and you're tired, you're hungry, everything hurts, you're cold, you're wet and you come around a corner and there are thousands of fans cheering. It pumps you up and gets the adrenaline going.” Third place went to Jose Carassco in the 721X Suzuki RMZ450X, followed by Boe Huckins on the 740X KTM SXF450, Mike Crawford riding the 778X KTM 500EXC, and Eddie Meek from England, riding the 712X KTM 450EXC. Sanchez Dominates Pro Quad Said Sanchez in the 13a Honda TRX450R continued his domination of the Pro Quad class at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 and had a perfect season. Sanchez teamed up with riders Francisco Velez, Francisco Vera, Felipe Velez, Luis Velez and Adolfo Arellano. In second was the 2a team of Don Higbee, with Cody Mitchell, Jeremy Gray, Bryan Buckhanon, Rick Cecco and Jose Tores riding a Can-Am Outlander. In third place was the 3a team of Carlos Mendez with co-riders Gary Gonzalez, Travis Dillon, and Dominic Ramirez on their Honda TRX450R. While the Pro Classes had tough competition, the Sportsman Classes had a rougher time with the course. In the end, Cody Schaffer and his teammates, Clint Chew, Bing Satre, Laramie Bales, Lars Satre, and Skyler Dupre won the Sportsman M/C class on their 266X Honda CRF450X. Finishing second place in the class was the 286X team of Roy Buelna, Cornelo Garcia, Aran Garcia, Tulio Garcia, Miguel Hernandez, Oscar hale and Ferrio Vargas. Third place went to the 201X team of Casey O’Donnell, R. Hak Sayler, Josh Scott, Tilman McDaniel and Sean Delaney on their Yamaha 450X. The Sportsman Quad class win went to the 103a team of Oskar Espinosa, Hector Orozco, Heriberto Marquez, Marox Cousino, and Jorge Recio on a Honda TRX450R. The second place team of Juan Dominguez, Javier Robles, Jose Contreras, Rusty Repass, and Dan Webb finished on the 109a Honda TRX450R, followed by the third place 148a team of Alejandro Amador, Oscar Acre, Jorge Perez, Francisco Garcia and Javier Villavicencio on their Honda TRX450R. SJ

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