2014 Baja 1000 race report part 1 of 3
Joe Ramos and the 3A team take 3rd Pro ATV in the 2014 Baja 1000 Part 1 of 3
IT WAS ALL A DREAM!!!!!!!!
This is to be my final race before I retire from racing and a dream come true if my team and I can complete the brutal test of the Baja full peninsula terrain. I started planning for this race about 2 years ago, to correspond with my additional week of vacation time with my job and the full peninsula run. I have been researching and studying maps and surfing the web for all info on this race. I have been racing for over 20 years and competed in the pro class of dirt bikes and ATV’s at almost every major desert racing event in the southwest except the Baja 1000. This was the one race I have never attempted and with a couple of Baja 250’s and a few Baja 500’s under my belt it is a must before I retire from competition. With this huge feat I knew that I had to have a few must have items. I need a dedicated team of riders and crew that are just as passionate as I am about Baja “If you are not with me for this you are just in my way”, and we need a brand new race machine.
Midyear I started recruiting my Baja 1000 team, myself Joe Ramos, my long time friends Chris Wilson, Adam Barnes, my good buddies from New Jersey Mike and John Zelenka, and I asked my friend and Best in the Desert Teammate Trent Kendall but he declined but recommended Tristan Jones a expert level rider that had never been out of the US let alone raced in Baja. Tristan came highly recommended from Trent and he seemed very interested and was down to go. So I had my team in place for riders. Now the hard part…. getting the chase support team lined up to go down to Baja for at least a week and coordinating some team members for over 2 weeks.
I was focused on the Best in the Desert Season until a transmission failure during the Vegas to Reno race prematurely ended our season in august this year, my focus now became the BAJA 1000. While in Las Vegas for the Vegas to Reno race I found a prospective Baja race machine that was a dealer bank repo of a brand new 2012 Honda TRX 450. The price was great for an unmolested machine and it was brand new so I picked it up on the drive home.
We had a Baja team meeting after coming back from the V2R race while the Jersey boys were in town. We got people lined up for chasing and set up our plan to pre run for a few days prior to the race and complete the race and then have the wives and girlfriends fly into Cabo San Lucas for a few days of vacation after the race. Then a nice 4 day drive back north to Phoenix.
With this plan in place we had to sort out what was going to be on the bike and what riders were going where. We came up with a plan to break the team into 2 groups the north team of Adam and Tristan and the rest of the team doing the south. The north team will run the 1st 430 miles of the 1275 mile course leaving 2/3’s of the peninsula for the south team.
The team had come up with a plan that the motor will remain stock except the factory Honda racing kit AKA HRC kit which yields about a 20-25% increase in performance all around but will maintain the factory reliability, Next we wanted to put on the current best suspension components on the market. For that we contacted LONESTAR Racing. LSR provided us with the Axle, A Arms, steering stem, Swing arm and rear shock linkage all bolted to Elka Stage 5 long travel shocks to create a Baja terrain devouring reliable machine. GBC helped us out with their 6 ply XC Master tires. Rudy at DFR installed the HRC kit and did the engine tune and break in and had her purring like a kitten. Sam at DFR slapped a sweet graphics kit on the new bike and had her looking sharp. Spider grips took care of us with their awesome dual layer grips, Moose racing set me up with all our fluids, my riding gear and our bad ass tool bag. Pro Armor stepped up with our skid plates and grab bar, Rigid industries lights lit up the night section, Tim at wolf snout sent a box of the very best racing breathing system available for all the riders, Jason at A to Z print works hooked it up with team shirts, Uni filters kept the machine breathing fresh clean air all race long. IMS products came through with an oversized desert tank for the long journey. We also have support from motorcycle mall, All Purpose Fabrication, Ross outdoors, United Distributing, XX ARMY, Mobile Car Dr, SW Aerial covered the photos for the team. You can Facebook just about any of the rider’s names for all the photos.
We spend the next few weekends building and prepping the chase trucks, pre runners and the race bike for this huge adventure. This also included some Dust to Glory watching, some beer drinking and kicking up dust from all the previous races and past experiences to help get our Baja rookie Tristan up to speed about riding in Baja.
Next task is chase crew planning. The chase crew has the toughest job of the team, long hours, no pay, grumpy riders, and extremely dangerous jobs. My chase team consisted of my good friend Andre that grew up in La Paz. His family offered the use of their house in Ensenada for the north team and a house in La Paz for the rest of the team. Patrick Dull chase driver for rider Chris Wilson, my long time friend Bill Gadberry who told me 10 years ago if I ever race the Baja 1000 peninsula run he would be there no matter what and he owned up to his word and flew out from Georgia. My Buddy Slick Rick from Florida who is always down for anything flew out as well for the pre run and race. To assist the north team my brother Anthony Ramos and long time friend Ryan White stepped up to the task of chasing the north team.
Pre run day 1. The south team set out on Nov 8th for 5 days of travel and pre running the course, we drive out on Saturday and make it through the border with minor issues, and we had to pay a fee to bring our USED ATV tires into Mexico weird. We make it to Gonzaga Bay camp beachside for the night to get an early start.
Pre run day 2. Sunday’s ride to Bay of LA. The plan goes well for about 20 miles and we end up with 2 flats on the support Rzr 900 by Coco’s corner. Rocks got caught up in the rim and brake caliper then punched a hole in the rim and we had to make repairs. We pounded out the holes in the rims and patch them up with some JB weld and remount the tires. We had some Lunch with Coco and headed to the Bay of La with much higher tire pressure in the RZR. We camped in the trucks again on the beach in the bay of LA for the night
Pre run day 3. Monday. Bay of LA to RM 655, started out good for about 20 miles then more flats but this time on a Pre run ATV, we plug it up and then in about 5 miles the same tire lost the plugs. We ended up having to turn the wheel around to keep the plugs from getting pushed into the tire with the rotation of the wheel, after that no issues. The course was fast from the Bay of LA to RM 655. We met up with a broken down dirt biker out of tubes and air to repair a flat. We lend a hand to the solo rider then continue on to RM 655. Next leg is from 655 to 710 the dreaded silt section so we wanted to do this section with some light to pick out some good lines around the silt. And it was bad but we all made it though and headed to RM 710 to meet the chase trucks for the night.
Pre run Day 4. Tuesday RM 710 to San Ignacio then to RM 915, again issues on this short section plagued our team. The pre run quads make it through with ease but the razor is nowhere to be seen. We get word that the Rzr is broke down at RM 718 so the chase truck headed back to get them. This debacle ended up taking a good chunk of our time to make it to RM 915 that day so we bypass it after they recover it and head to our camp spot at Conception Bay on the Sea of Cortez.
Pre run Day 5. Wednesday. Loreto to RM 1082. Not very far into this section we lost a transmission on one of the Pre run Quads, so we called it a day, we had to be in La Paz to meet up with some of the Chase crew that was flying in to Cabo and taking a Bus to La Paz. We will have to take it easy on race day for the sections we did not pre run.
will always be down for a ride on any Sunday.
Last edited by drtrider145; 11-28-2014 at 03:30 PM.
Reason: Part 1