The THR Motorsports Monster Energy Kawasaki squad claimed the motorcycle victory in the 2014 SCORE Baja 500. Riders Ricky Brabec, David Pearson and Max Eddy Jr. piloted their factory-supported KX450F to the win by a six and a half minute advantage over their nearest rivals, the Honda effort led by Colton Udall, Mark Samuels and Ian Young.
Brabec was the first rider onto the course. The Kawasaki team led at the outset, but was overtaken by the Honda squad. However, the CRF squad ran into some bike issues that hampered progress and allowed the KX to regain control en route to the overall motorcycle victory. Brabec and company placed fourth overall, behind three trophy trucks, including the overall Baja 500 winner, Bryce Menzies.
“I started first off the line and rode to Uruapan and David Pearson got on and rode it to Camalu to give the bike back to me,” said Brabec in a SCORE Racing press release. “He had a little bobble and the Honda bike (1x Colton Udall) got around us. When I got back on I got around the Honda and we had the lead since Camalu. It wasn’t an easy race and we were both pinning it the entire way. You can’t give up just because you’re in second place so we kept pushing and here we are at the finish line. If you just ride the race as clean as you can and keep the bike on two wheels that seems to be the best strategy here in Baja. I liked running the course backwards and going to the coast first. I think it is cool that Roger Norman changed it up.”
Samuels, who rode the runner-up Honda to the finish, said of the team’s effort: “We definitely had a shot today. Ian (Young) passed for the lead at one point and we had a pipe go out and a rear wheel. We had to replace another rear wheel at the end of the dry lake bed. That set us back pretty far. It was kind of crazy riding some of the sections the other way as it was so much different going backwards. It was cool and a new experience.”
The third-fastest bike outfit at the 500 was the quartet of Francisco Arredondo, Scott Myers, Shane Esposito and motojournalist Ryan Dudek. Winners of the Class 30 ranks, the team’s time of 9:34:06 was 35 minutes adrift of the winning Kawasaki.
2014 Baja 500 Open Motorcycle Results:
1. Ricky Brabec / David Pearson / Max Eddy Jr (Kawasaki) 8:58:27
2. Colton Udall / Mark Samuels / Ian Young (Honda) 9:04:56
3. Ray Dal Soglio / Mike Carter / Zach Vogle (Kawasaki) 11:42:37
4. Eddie Hernandez / Chris Krumel (Honda) 12:02:05
2014 Baja 500 Limited Motorcycle Results (449cc or less):
1. Ricky De la Pena / Rene Magana / Paul Lopez / Austin Miller (Honda) 11:48:27
2. Dane Ward / Boe Huckins / Jim Peterson (Suzuki) 13:18:37
3. Fernando Beltran / Fernando Tavarez / Ricardo Munoz / Adrian Ruiz (Yamaha) 15:14:20
4. Jesus Guerrero / Jose Davila / Jovani Solorio / Luis (Suzuki) 16:02:28
2014 Baja 500 Class 30 Results (Riders over 30 years old):
1. Francisco Arredondo / Scott Myers / Shane Esposito / Ryan Dudek (Honda) 9:34:06
2. Mark Winkelman / Jim O’Neal / Gerardo Rojas / Kevin Murphy / Morgan Crawford (Honda) 10:14:32
3. Todd York / Nate Scott / Bud Carmen / Jason Stevens (KTM) 12:04:56
4. Jay Rabjohn / Jay Rabjohn / Justin Schultz / Mat Bateman (Honda) 12:39:54.
5. Brad Baker / Jean-Paul /Rob Allen (Honda) 13:18:01
6. Fred Sobke / Jake Stagg / Alan Melisi / Scott Muzzy / David Starrett (Honda) 15:30:11
2014 Baja 500 Class 40 (Riders over 40 years old):
1. Giovanni Spinali / Paul Thomas / Mike Carter / John Griffin / Earl Roberts (Honda) 11:24:02
2. Ezure Tadao / Hideyuki Fukuoka (Yamaha) 12:16:33
3. Joe Leal / Mario Acosta / Jesus Rios / Jose Manuel / David Hammers (Honda) 12:30:43
4. Jason Miller/Bruce Anderson (Honda) 13:00:03
2014 Baja 500 Class 60 (Riders over 60 years old):
Jim Dizney / Jim O’Neal / Max Christensen / Mike Castro / Robert Koch (Honda) 13:10:03
2014 Baja 500 SCORE IRONMAN (Solo Riders):
1. Tony Gera (Honda XR650R) 11:20:30
2. Kevin Daniels (KTM) 13:52:21
3. Daniel Stinson (Honda) 14:48:35.