SLR Honda team notch-up a start-to-finish victory at rain delayed 2019 Baja 1000 – 29th victory for Honda and 11th for Justin Morgan.
Running a day behind schedule due to bad weather, the 52nd edition of the legendary Baja 1000 saw pre-race favourites SLR Honda cap off their second-straight undefeated season in the SCORE International Off-Road Racing series with another dominant victory.
The win stretches the Honda run of victories at Baja 1000 to a remarkable 29 overall, including 22 in the last 23 years and represents the CRF450X’s 13th win. That’s some record.
In the early hours of Saturday, SLR Honda were the first team to leave the start line in Ensenada, Mexico. The wet conditions meant that following teams didn’t have to cope with dust for once but SLR team consisting Justin Morgan, Max Eddy Jr., David Kamo and Shane Esposito stretched a lead from the start.
They were never headed during the counter-clockwise loop around the northern end of the Mexican peninsula, finishing back in Ensenada, over 800 miles later with a winning time of 17 hours, 34 minutes, 28 seconds – over two hours ahead of the runner-up Pro Moto Unlimited KTM squad headed by Santiago Creel.
Honda teams also won the Pro Moto 30, Pro Moto Ironman, Pro Moto 50, Pro Quads, Sportsman Quads and Sportsman Moto classes.
Despite SLR team owner and rider Mark Samuels braking both of his femurs in a training crash just seven weeks before the race, Baja 1000 went smoothly for the official Honda team: “After I got hurt, I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out what to do,” said four-times Baja 1000 winner Samuels. “I was pretty stressed, but I was fortunate to line up some riders with a ton of experience in Baja, and they all rode flawlessly.
“The only real issue we had all day was a short in our lighting system right off the start, so we swapped it out at a pit. Apart from that, everything went great for us, while the other top teams had some issues.
“It was kind of different being on the sidelines for this one, but it was also pretty special to sit back and be the manager and watch our guys perform.”
2019 SCORE International Baja 1000 Pro Moto results:
Photo Credit: Honda Racing Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org