UPDATE: As of 8:15 a.m. PST on Friday, November 15, SCORE Ops showed the 2X FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM and the 1X JCR Honda together at Race Mile 454. The 349X Honda was at Race Mile 411, and the 4X THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki was at Race Mile 402.
FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM’s Kurt Caselli made a little history right off the starting line at the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the 30-year-old becoming the first rider to start the race at night, leaving Ensenada promptly at 11 p.m. to start KTM’s quest for a Baja 1000 victory.
What Caselli wasn’t counting, on was fog, which began rolling in off the Pacific Ocean as night fell and threatened to be a factor as the race got underway.
“No, we weren’t counting on that,” Caselli said just before the start. “But it is the same for everyone, you know. We’re where we wanted to be, starting up front. I hope it works out.”
Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Colton Udall appeared rested and ready prior to the start of the race. The only minor drama was that Udall’s mechanics were knelt down by his motorcycle, making extra sure that his transponder was tightly secured to the chassis.
“I slept from 1:30 p.m. until about 8:30 p.m., Udall said. “I didn’t dream about anything.”
Udall, too, was wary of the possibility of fog on the early portions of the course.
“It’s going to suck for vision, but I think it is a little better for us, because this guy (pointing to Caselli) won’t be able to see either. We’re going to have to deal with dust, but maybe he will have to deal with fog, so it’s all good. It’s just going to be like every other race where we are going to be bunched up. It’s all good. We’re ready to rock.”
MORE SCORE BAJA 1000 COVERAGE
Photo Highlights of the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000
THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Dave Pearson was having a pre-race chat with Udall right before the start. He, too, acknowledged that he was ready to go.
“We got our brakes fixed (Pearson had brake issues during qualifying on Thursday), and we’re good to go,” he said. “We have the same plan. Just keep the bike on two wheels.”
All of the top pro motorcycle riders got off the start cleanly and headed to Ojos Negros. Unofficial reports were that Caselli remained in the lead through Ojos, while the 349X machine of Shane Esposito had made his way to second place, followed by Udall and Pearson.