It's too bad the competition today is'nt what it use to be a few years ago. The Red Riders could'nt pull a win when the Team Green factory riders
like LR, Danny Hamel and Ty Davis were running against them. It would be interesting to see how well the new XR with their factory riders would stack up against the tried and true KX500 and their factory riders.
Good point, Gerry. Kawasaki pulled out after Danny got killed racing down there a few years ago. It was starting to get out of hand and that was the breaking point. People who've raced down there all have stories about close encounters with locals who make the course more "interesting" or with law enforcement and banditos everywhere.
Then there was he monetary issue: to keep rider safety as high as possiblt, top teams elisted helicoptors and other high-tech devices to keep tabs on riders and course conditions. It started to be a case of "who wants to write the biggest check" to win down there. Too bad, really. Everybody who's ever raced down there has balls the size of watermelons, the density of which are overshadowed only by iron ore.
I use to pit for Team Green with the Baja Fools when we had all the best riders and Mark Johnson was our off-road race director. We, the Fools that is, were set-up in the pine forest when we got the news about Danny. We all lost a good friend that day. Team Green did race Baja for one more year after that sad day, then Mark moved on in his carreer with the Toyota/PPI/Ironman Ivan Stuart combo. Fortunately he thought enough of the Baja Fools to bring us along for that ride while it lasted and we were able to pit for LR in the Tundra in the Nevada and Baja 2000 races.