Still, I was honored to be the first rider to start the rally on
day one, but made my first novice mistake by not resetting
my odometers before starting the 61-kilometer prologue
stage to qualify for starting order the next day. I tried to
shake this off when two riders caught me; I tried to keep up
with them for a while, but started having brake problems.
Finally, I accepted that this just wasn’t my day. I couldn’t
stay focused. But, on the positive side, this was a throwaway
stage, and I could start fresh on day two with new brakes.
Erendira to Rancho El Coyote: 336 kilometers
Stage 1 was a straight-shot 336 kilometers from the Pacific
Coast up to Rancho El Coyote with a seven-minute gas stop
at 180 kilometers. Starting from way back, I was pushing
towards the front and had almost arrived at the Colonet sand
The engine got a CryoHeat ( www.cryoheat.com) treatment that
reduces heat and friction. All of the engine internals got this, plus
clutch plates, brake rotors and sprockets. Wiseco provided the piston
and rings, a Rekluse Radius CX clutch gave great lever feel, plus it
worked superbly in the auto mode. For oil, Maxima Extra 4 was the
choice. Overall, during practice, testing and racing, 1,370 miles were
covered, and Beto says that it’s significantly faster than stock and still
runs super hard despite the mileage.
dunes when I lost power. It was the fuel line, and I tried to
use a section of hose from my hydration pack to fix the
problem. It was too thin and beginning to melt, and none
of the competitors who stopped had any fuel hoses. After
I had been sitting for an hour, Enrique Fuhrken stopped
for me and volunteered to tow me on a detour to the next
fuel stop. This meant that both of us missed at least seven
waypoints at a penalty cost of 20 minutes each. Fuhrken
basically threw his stage down the tubes to help a stranger! This reveals a big difference between SCORE racing
and the Baja Rally. You rarely see this level of sportsmanship among contenders at the 500 or 1000. That night, my
mechanic Sergio went through the entire bike and returned
it to me like new. It worked perfectly for the next two days.
With the pressure off to attack for a podium finish, my
team convinced me to reset my goals to simply finish and
maybe polish up my skills.