A big part of a winning combination in Baja is pre-running the course prior to the race. This allows teams to check out the route and observe the challenges that will be faced in
Monster Energy’s Destry Abbott piloted the Kawasaki for more than 100 miles through the challenging Baja 1000.
“I really enjoyed pre-running and trying to get my sections figured out,” said Abbott. “I would estimate that I put in over 800 miles of riding before the race. The best part about it was the fact that the whole time I was down there (pre-running and race), I never crashed and came home healthy.”
With Abbott’s vast desert racing experience, he was the perfect fit for Kawasaki’s effort at the Baja 1000. During his sections of riding, Abbott pulled minutes ahead of the competition, doing so even after the bike was damaged in a crash. Although the team pulled through the finish line first, they ended up second after the adjusted time.
“The Kawasaki KX 450F was working awesome and things were going pretty smooth, but that is Baja for you,” said Abbott. “This was a tough race for me to lose. I felt like I had lost a championship that was right our hands. I’m really happy with the way I rode and the way the bike held up for that long of a race. It was a great experience and fun to be a part of, so I don’t have any regrets.”
After Bell had acquired a two minute adjusted time lead, it was Abbott’s turn to pack on more time. He took off and was on the bike for a little over 100 miles that took him through a tough section with a lot of challenging rocks and sand washes. After waiting for his next turn to ride, he got back on the bike at mile 520.
“When I got the bike, it was a little bent up,” said Abbott. “We didn’t have any parts at the exchange and I just told them I would ride it with the damages until the pit, which was in 39 miles. We still had the lead despite the crash and I made up time in the 39 miles. That just shows you how tough these Kawasaki’s are. We were able to build on our lead before we had a chance to fix the issues. It’s hard to believe we raced for 14 hours and the win came down to less than three minutes.”
Baja is like no other race in the world and Abbott was thankful to have been a part of a new experience in his career.
“I’ve had a ton of people ask me about my experience in Baja,” said Abbott. “First I really enjoyed Baja and had a lot of fun hanging out and meeting some great people. The experience is something I’ll never forget, especially in the paddock area, and I was happy I did it.”
Baja 1000 Results:
1. Kendall Norman, Timmy Weigand, Quinn Cody (Honda) 13:27:50
2. Destry Abbott, Robby Bell, Steve Hengeveld, Ryan Pendhall, Conner Penhall (Kawaski) 13:30:47
3. Colton Udall, Matt Eddy, Max Eddy, Brent Harden (Honda) 14:10:10