But the KTM team battled back, and FMF/Bonanza Plumbing rider Mike Brown and JCR Honda rider David Kamo traded the lead multiple teams as they wound their way back north on the western side of the Baja Peninsula. Kamo said that the two even had time exchange “pleasantries” while riding side by side in one of the numerous 60 mph highway sections that were part of the course.
“I won’t say what we said to each other,” Kamo said. “But basically he (Brown) accused us of speeding. I told him not to worry about it.”
The drama for the JCR Honda team came after Udall climbed back aboard and suffered a damaged rim while hitting a cattleguard crossing at high speed around Race Mile 795.
“I was wide open, but they (KTM) were pulling away,” Udall said. “I know that Kurt is pretty fast, and I was just riding over my head, and I came to this cattleguard near Nuevo Junction. I have been through it a million times, but we were going in reverse. It came up quickly in pre-running, but in the race it was even quicker. I hit the concrete so hard that it taco’d my front wheel completely. I had to radio the pit for help, and it took them 20 minutes to get there. I just took my front wheel off and waited, and I thought to myself, ‘You just lost the race. You’re such a knucklehead.’”
Udall kept going, expecting to be behind Caselli.
“But when I got to the last Honda pit, they said that the KTM was out,” Udall said. “It was a rollercoaster. Coming in it was just smooth and solid. The whole team did an awesome job, you know. I had an awesome ride.”
Udall handed the bike off to rider of record Weigand for about the last tenth of a mile. Weigand rode the bike across the finish line.
The THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki team also suffered a bad crash, as team rider Robby Bell went down hard and reportedly suffered ankle and arm injuries. The team’s decision to have spare rider Steve Hengeveld chasing in the team helicopter paid off, as the team reportedly landed the helicopter and Hengeveld took over, getting the battered bike to Taylor Robert. The team soldiered on to finish second overall with a time of 20:21:19.638, 1 hour, 52 minutes and 5 seconds behind the JCR Honda team, with an average speed of 43.384 mph.
Third overall and first in Class 30 went to the Honda-mounted team of Francesco Arredondo, Ryan Dudek, Shane Esposito, Scott Myers and Chris Haines, with a time of 20:47:09.73. The team averaged 42.486 mph.