Honda riders Timmy Weigand, David Kamo and Colton Udall claimed the pro motorcycle win in the 2013 Baja 500. The Rockstar/JCR Honda trio, backed by team owner and Baja legend Johnny Campbell, bested the Factory FMF/KTM Offroad team of Kurt Caselli, Ivan Ramirez and Mike Brown.
“Colton (Udall) had a pretty good start to the day,” said rider David Kamo of his team’s Baja-winning performance. “He had a consistent ride over the summit. I jumped on the bike at Borrego at race mile 215 and he gave me the cushion for the riders behind us. KTM had troubles over the summit and Kawasaki had troubles over the summit, so Colton was just consistent which helped out. I got the clear air and went over to Mike’s Sky Ranch but got back into the dust with the Sportsman (motorcycle classes.) The traffic with the Sportsman was probably the biggest thing because it created a lot of dust. We are usually breaking trail and then you come up on slower guys and you’re in the dust and they are going half the speed you are going. It set us back a little bit but we rode smart, kept it consistent and didn’t do anything too dramatic. We rode a safe race and kept the bike on two wheels and that is the most important thing.
The winning squad completed the 500 in nine hours 46 minutes and 50 seconds – about 25 minutes ahead of the runner-up KTM team. Former Baja winner Kendall Norman placed third in the 500, with co-rider Ryan Abbatoye.
Another Honda-mounted trio – A.J. Stewart, Justin Morgan and Chris Brown – ended fourth on the timing.
The top-placed Kawasaki was a fifth-placed entry from Robby Bell, David Pearson, Taylor Robert and multiple-Baja winner Steve Hengeveld.
The race featured a number of crashes to the contending teams, notably to Caselli who was chasing the Honda team before crashing.
“I hit my chest and my stomach when I crashed and was worried about internal bleeding so our guy in the helicopter (Jones) got on the bike and rode the next few miles. I hit a rock and it is just so dangerous because the trucks pull the rocks up, making them bigger,” said Caselli in SCORE media release. “I feel like I let the team down but we were still able to get the finish. I was about a minute and a half behind Honda when I had the accident.”
The Kawasaki squad also suffered from a series of crashes, including Pearson and Hegeveld. Said rider Bell of the Kawasaki effort:
“It was a good battle with Colton (Udall) and he stayed right on me until I gave the bike to David (Pearson) in the physical lead but down on time. I guess he crashed pretty good and hurt his back so I had to ride his sections. Unfortunately Steve (Hengeveld) went down in his section. David and Steve are two of the most solid guys and for them to have issues shows just how treacherous this race course is. Anything can happen in Baja and unfortunately it happened to us.”
Other notable finishers on the results sheet include motorcycle journalist Ryan Dudek, who placed sixth with co-rider Francisco Arredondo.
2013 Baja 500 Pro Motorcycles Results:
1. Timmy Weigand / Colton Udall / David Kamo (Honda) 9:46:50 (51.33mph)
2. Kurt Caselli / Ivan Ramirez / Mike Brown (KTM) 10:12:10 (49.53mph)
3. Kendall Norman / Ryan Abbatoye (Honda) 10:35:56 (47.36mph)
4. A.J. Stewart / Justin Morgan / Chris Brown (Honda) 11:05:34 (45.26mph)
5. Robby Bell / David Pearson / Steve Hengeveld / Taylor Robert (Kawasaki) 11:15:27 (44.59mph)
6. Francisco Arredondo / Ryan Dudek (Honda) 11:15:31 (44.59mph)
7. Mike Johnson / Rex Cameron / Francisco Septien / Shane Esposito (Honda) 11:46:47 (42.62mph)
8. Adam Neuwirth (Honda) 12:12:21 (41.13mph)
9. Jim O’Neal / Roberto Villalobos / Ricky Brabec / Max Eddy (Honda) 12:16:51 (44.50mph)
10. Mark Samuels / Cory Freeman (Honda) 12:23:40 (40.50mph)