SCORE International Baja 500
Story and Photos by Mark Kariya/GetSomePhoto.com
Courtesy of THR Motorsports and Bink Designs
ENSENADA, BC, MEXICO, JUNE 6-7, 2015
The Monster Energy/ THR Motorsports/ Precision Concepts Kawasaki team, presented by Hoosier Precision Machining, finally put its run of bad luck behind them to win the 47th annual Bud Light SCORE Baja 500, repeating the triumphs the team enjoyed in 2012 as well as last year at this venerable race that starts and finishes in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
With rider of record Ricky Brabec opting to race round six of the Kenda/ SRT AMA Hare & Hound Championship Series in Utah so he could try to keep his points lead in that series, it fell to Max Eddy Jr., Justin Morgan and new recruit Ian Young to carry the team flag at round three of the SCORE Desert Series.
They didn’t have the best draw for the start, meaning they’d be fighting dust until they could work their way toward the front. Thus, the trio split up the 511-mile race like this: Eddy took the start to mile 57; Morgan then took the number 1X KX450F prepared by Bob Bell of Precision Concepts to mile 267; Young was responsible for the chunk from mile 267 to mile 430; and Eddy finished off the race.
“We were a couple of bikes back [on the start], so it was really dusty in the morning, so the [early morning] sunlight made it a little difficult [to see],” Morgan shared. “We started picking the other bikes off, and at the bottom of the hill, we passed for the physical lead and never looked back.”
After crossing the finish line in 10 hours, nine minutes and 55 seconds (at an average speed of 50.23 mph) for the Unlimited Pro Motorcycle and overall two-wheeled victory, the THR team was understandably ecstatic.
“It’s a huge victory for us because we’ve had some bad luck this year,” Eddy explained. “I crashed in San Felipe and took us out of the race, and we didn’t finish the SCORE Baja Sur 500, so to come back up here and have a flawless day was good. We didn’t push hard and rode our own race and got to the podium first. Everyone did their job, with no problems or issues. You can’t ask for a better day than that.”
As for Brabec, he crashed out of the hare & hound event, breaking his foot, his hand, some ribs and the C4 vertebra in his neck. However, he was released from the hospital that night and is now recovering at home, awaiting his doctor’s decision on how to proceed.
[For more from the SCORE Baja 500, please see “ITP Racers Win Seven Classes at John Penton GNCC, Murray Racing Earns Second Overall at SCORE Baja 500” and “Can-Am Racers Post Wins in GNCC, TORN and LACC Series and Score at SCORE”… Editor]