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Who Won Only Score Knows...Maybe?

2017 Baja 500 Win……..Maybe?

Having just completed the Class 50 Baja 500 race was a great feeling. Especially when we were told we had won!  Only to find out, Maybe not.

The race had been a knock down drag out battle between two teams, ours, the #549 Kawasaki and the Honda entry #510.   For 500 miles and about 12 hours we battled back and forth distancing ourselves from all other entries in the Class 50 division by approximately 2 hours!  Our team had been leading by up to 10 minutes only to have the #510 Honda rally and close that gap, overtake us and proceed to go up 10 minutes!  Our boyz put their heads down charged and made the time back up! Not only did we catch up we managed to stretch out about a 4-minute lead!

It was truly a see-saw battle with no one willing to give an inch. We rolled into a pit in the lead for fuel at about the 410-mile mark. The #510 Honda was due in within a minute or two! When our rider tried to restart the bike it would not fire! Our #549 Kawi was in that pit for 10-1/2 minutes before getting restarted and back on the course. So now we find ourselves chasing again by about 10 minutes.

With only about 90 miles left to the finish it was looking grim for our team. They chased and held their own but could not make up the time we lost in the pit. So we crossed the line physically in 2nd place. Now you have to remember we all start at intervals of 30 seconds per bike at the beginning of the race so it is possible to beat someone on corrected time even while being behind them crossing the finish line. Unfortunately, we only had a couple of minutes in our favor on corrected time, so we did indeed finish in 2nd place, or did we?

We were informed the other team had gotten on a paved road that paralleled the race course, which was discussed at the riders meeting as a NO-NO and was grounds for disqualification. The race official told our team that the #510 was Disqualified! That made us the Winners! Or did it?  Later we find out the SCORE officials changed their decision and handed out a time penalty of 15 minutes instead of a disqualification.  After the quick calculations, once again we were declared the Winners!  High Fives all around and we are disappointed the decision was changed but relieved we had secured the win. Or did we?

The following day we see results posted with the #510 listed as the class winners, while we, the #549 entry is bumped back to 2nd place. WHAT?!  Our Team representative contacted SCORE to find out if this was a misprint of some sort and was informed the decision had been changed AGAIN and that there was no penalty being assessed on the #510 bike, which alters the final finishing positions again!

Just as a side note, there was another team that was assessed a 1-hour penalty for pitting their bike on the paved road. This concerns me that the rules are applied arbitrarily and leaves me questioning the SCORE officials’ neutrality and decision making.

So as it stands our final placing is in question until we get confirmation that this is the FINAL decision after whatever discussion and appeal process takes place. I will do my best to keep the MX43 readers posted.


“Oops, Did I roll my eyes out loud?”





Reader Comments (2)

Eric is right when it comes to investing in a high quality helmet. It is hard to explain how an inexpensive helmet can have the same DOT and Snell ratings as the top of the line helmets.( More research is needed on certifications) But I think you should have a great deal more confidence in minimizing head injuries if you invest in a good helmet. I've broken a few helmets as well and will never consider going back to a less expensive helmet just because it has a nice paint job and value oriented price.

June 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBCmoto16

I was on that ride with Eric down in Baja when our good friend and long time riding buddy Jeff took what many would call a mild header. Unfortunately his helmet was a 2003 HJC and was simply too old to afford the kind of protection he needed in the frontal impact he took. I too have ruined many a good helmet during my racing years at the D-36 level and have also suffered too many concussions (I now have late in life epilepsy that may be contributed to by all the concussions over the years...no one knows for sure). Entering my 69th year, I now ride my age and not my ability...which can override common sense at times. I also buy a good lid with all the proper certs and replace it every 3-4 years with a new one. My next one will most likely be a 6D as it has really innovative suspension between 2 layers of different density foam. But by the time I need one in 2 years or so, more development will most likely have come down the line. And remember...just sitting around...a helmet ages as well, as fiberglass and carbon fiber resins continue to cure and harden over time. Our friend is on a long road to recovery and we will support him all the way...in the mean time...when you retire a helmet and it isn't going in a trophy case, be sure and cut the straps off it so it can no longer be used. It is a BIG no no to give it to Salvation Army or St Vinnies or Goodwill or to pass it down to relatives or friends. Stay safe out there and keep the throttle bone connected to the brain bone. And I wish Eric and team a good outcome with their appeal in the 500...Rules are rules and should apply equally to all...

June 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOlde Scott

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