Record 32nd Baja 1000 desert race win for Honda
Honda claim a record 32nd victory at the iconic Score International Baja 1000 desert race with Team SLR’s Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan and Kendall Norman taking the Pro Moto win.
A record 32 victories for Honda in the legendary Baja 1000 event sounds like enough but there’s more: actually they’ve won 25 of the last 26 and the last eight on the bounce. It also means the CRF450X holds a record 16 wins, and also five consecutive victories for the SLR Honda squad.
Individually, the total number of Baja 1000 wins grows to six wins for Justin Morgan, seven for Mark Samuels and eight for Kendall Norman.
The trio had just a little pressure on their shoulders then to uphold that legacy as the 825 miles race got under way in the early hours of Friday, November 18 from Ensenada. Night-specialist Morgan was the seventh rider to leave the start with some work to do before he handed over to Samuels approximately 275 miles later, near Puertecitos, on the Gulf Coast.
Samuels, who assumed the physical lead around 65 miles into his stint, in turn handed the bike over to Norman around the midway point, on the road to Mike’s Sky Ranch. Approximately 250 miles later, Morgan took over again at El Alamo, for the final, 100-mile “sprint” back to the finish in Ensenada.
The squad covered the 830.9-mile course in an official time of 18 hours, 51 minutes, 30.152 seconds, which in the end was a remarkable 1 hour, 17 minutes quicker than the second-place team.
“Man, it was a tough course,” Samuels told SCORE at the finish. “It was really rough and actually kind of slower than what we anticipated. We had our hands full at the beginning, but it was a really good race, and by race-mile 340 we were into the lead. From there we just had to bring it home, and we had a great, solid effort the whole way.”
2022 Score Baja 1000 Top 5 motorcycles overall results:
- 7x Mark Samuels/Justin Morgan/Kendall Norman, Honda CRF450X, 18:51:30, (43.92 MPH)
- 3x Forrest Minchinton/Nick Lapaglia/Ciaran Naran/Tucker Hopkins, Husqvarna FE501, 20:08:47, (41.11 MPH)
- 180x Fernando Beltran/Larry Serna/Luis Flores/Mauri Herrera, Honda CRF450X, 21:34:59, (38.38 MPH)
- 400x Ryan Liebelt/James Justin/James Shultz/Steve Tichenor/Jason Trubey, Yamaha WR450F, 22:26:46, (36.90 MPH)
- 103x Giovanni Aviles/Rodolfo Patron/Jorge Garcia/William Young/Angel Aguirre/Christian Arellano, 19, Guerrero Negro, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 23:19:10, (35.52 MPH)
More information and full results: www.score-international.com
Photo Credit: Honda