DP Racing finished our 30th consecutive Score Baja race this past weekend in the annual Tecate/Score Baja 1000 off-road race with our 4x bike taking 6th O/A and 5th in Class 22 while the 7x bike took 18 O/A and 7th in Class 22. We had a near-perfect day of racing.
Congrats to the 4x Beta team of Cameron Corfman, Craig Smith, Aaron Tuck, David Wilson, and Steven Eugenio (taking First Place in the "Non-Hired" team competition) and the 7x CRF team of A.J. Stewart, Mason Gillespie, Jesse Sharpe, and Jerry Jones.
Both our bikes pre-ran together, maximizing chase and vehicle support as well as the shortened prerun time. All riders were healthy after 2 weekends of prerunning. Registration and tech were uneventful as we entertained many friends and fellow racers the day before the race. Each bike would be pitted 15 times by an all volunteer pit army comprised of fellow racers, mechanics, family and friends. BF Goodrich/Michelin allowed us to set up at all BFG pits.
Amazingly, race morning saw clear and sunny skies with the usual fog not evident. Cameron started the 4x Beta 3rd off the line while A.J. started the CRF 2 bikes later. As the media sensationalized, many teams brought in hired racers in an attempt to unseat Honda/JCR A for the 2010 "1x" plate. Last year's 1x plate holder, Bell, entered the race with no chance of getting 1x but bragging rights to beat Honda.
As expected, the dust was a problem until the bikes got well clear of Hwy 3, Km 78. We pitted at Ojos and Km 78, where David mounted up on 4x and Jesse got on 7x. Both bikes gassed again at Nuevo Jct before turning up the Summit, then getting fuel at BajaXplorer's remote pit in Laguna Salada. At the BFG Borrego pit, we changed the rear wheel and air filter on both bikes as the Michelin tires/Michelin bib mousses were performing flawlessly. Steven hopped on the Beta while Mason saddled up on the CRF. Both screamed south to Morelia Jct, where Aaron would take over from Steven on the Beta. Aaron and Mason would get a slurp of gas from our remote pits at RM 260 and 305 before pressing north on the crappy old Puertecitos Road. It was here where a spectator pulled his car onto the race course directly in front of Mason at speed and the 7x race almost ended there, somehow Mason pulling the bike away from the car at the very last second.
At San Felipe, the Beta did a quick rear brake swap-out while Aaron continued north. Jesse got on the CRF and headed north. At Three Poles, Steven took over from Aaron as the bike field rapidly dispersed and headed west. Borrego II had now become a circus, with the first Trophy Trucks arriving and now sharing 9 miles of race course with the outbound bikes. Happy to not be dicing with Trophy Trucks, Steven and now Jerry were happy to be headed to San Matias. Another scheduled maintenance where wheels were swapped, filters changed, and the main HID lights installed. Cameron and A.J. remounted the bikes for the Mike's Loop. Surprisingly, it was not the Mike's stream crossing nor the Simpson's stream crossing that had been dammed but the third crossing up San Rafael creek. No issues, just some wet and cold boots for the chilly sunset ride. Many thanks to McMillin Racing pit at Rancho El Coyote for gassing both our bikes - they seem to know bikes well.
At west Valley T, Craig saddled up on the Beta for the night coast run and Jerry did the same on the CRF. The silt on the coast and north of Uruapan had changed exponentially in the days before the race. Of course, with silt came hanging dust clouds. Quick gas stops at Llano Colorado and Santo Tomas. Craig navigated the powder and turned the 4x bike over to Cameron, who took it to the finish from west Ojos. Jerry turned the 7x CRF over to Mason, who headed for the barn. 4x finished in just over 16 hours, while 7x finished right at 19 hours.
All riders and pitters safe. No crashes. Well Done to the guys at Threat Racing and Jimmy Lopez for prepping two awesome bikes.
Most important, our guys had FUN and had an awesome time!
Well Done and Muchas Gracias to our pit force: Doug, Jackie, Jim, Tammi, Shawn, David, Jason W, Jaan, Chip, Jimmy, JC, Jim S, Dustin, Bobby, Casey, Everett, BajaXplorer, Jim T, Jason T, Admiral Mike, Curt, Kenny, Mike S, Mark from McMillin Racing, Des, Westley, and Randy. Whew! NO OTHER BIKE TEAM can put together the privateer effort that we do. You guys and girls rock!
Special props to our sponsors American Beta, MotoWorld of El Cajon, Michelin, BF Goodrich, Precision Concepts, One Industries, Threat Racing, Fluidyne, Kreed, Baja.Net, Joe Hauler, Baja Designs.
Also, special thanks and appreciation to Esparza Welding/El Centro, CA, Desmond McDonald, and Larry Latislaw from Southern Motorcycle Supply for their generosity and support. Thank you all very much!