Thumb-Caselli-Baja-500-Start-6-1-13Just minutes before the start of the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the motorcycle and ATV teams gathered at the starting line in Ensenada, the pre-dawn peace and quiet was occasionally shattered by staccato exhaust notes in anticipation of the start.

Gathered at the front of the line, four motorcycles, led by THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Robby Bell, was the picture of focus in anticipation of a repeat of the team’s 2012 race victory. Bell said that he just wanted to have a mistake-free race.

Robby-Bell-Kawasaki-San-Felipe-3-14-13Once a year the sleepy beach town of San Felipe is awoken by the sounds of chase crews, pre-runner vehicles and race machines tearing around the streets and nearby desert in preparation for the season opener of the SCORE Baja series. The town may be a destination for those seeking relaxation and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the American way of life, but the race itself offers nothing of the sort. The terrain is brutal. The course features more whoops than most racers would care to hit in a lifetime and embedded rocks blending in so well with the dirt that it makes racing feel a bit like a game of Russian roulette. Maintaining focus over such unreadable terrain is of the utmost importance as the slightest mistake could end your race. Couple the mental test with the physicality of the course and the speeds required to compete and it can be argued that the San Felipe 250 is one of the toughest off road races in the world.

JCR-Honda-San-Felipe-SCORE-3-11-13Fueled by Rockstar Energy, Timmy Weigand and Colton Udall strike first in what is shaping up to be a record smashing season of SCORE racing. The duo took command of the race early with Colton Udall on the bike and on the gas passing his way up to 2nd in physical and 1st on adjusted by JCR/Honda Pit 1. Timmy got on the bike and had a collision with a large rock that split the rear rim. Johnny Campbell radioed in an emergency strategy change and JCR/Honda journeyman tech Mitch Hamm was on hand to do an unplanned 1X wheel change. His poise under pressure allowed for a smooth, fast pit and got the bike back underway. Now the racers would have to regroup and push hard to make up time.

SAN DIEGO—Two-time reigning SCORE Overall motorcycle point champion Colton Udall and 19-time SCORE Original Buggy Chassis Builder of the Year Mike Julson will both be featured guests Tuesday at 6 p.m. during the new Roger Norman’s Dirt Live weekly desert racing internet broadcast on www.score-international.com.

The one-hour weekly Roger Norman’s Dirt Live show is broadcast live on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.  The show content is centered around his two desert racing series, the SCORE Desert Series and the High Desert Racing Association as well as the new bonus points program he has developed called the World Championship of Desert Racing. Broadcast studios are located at the Norman Motorsports race shop in San Diego.

Udall, San Clemente, Calif., races for Johnny Campbell’s powerful factory-supported JCR Honda Race team, which is also based in that Southern California city. Udall, with help from co-riders David Kamo and Tim Weigand, has now won the SCORE Overall season motorcycle point championship the last two years.  Udall and his co-riders came from behind to win the 2012 SCORE Desert Series championship by ending the season with a brilliant victory in the season-ending Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Robby Bell enjoyed a clean sweep, winning all four races he entered at round four of the Big 6 AMA West Coast Grand Prix Series aboard his THR Motorsports/Monster Energy/Precision Concepts Kawasaki KX450F. The sole round of the eight-race series held outside of Southern California (though it almost qualifies, being in Primm, Nevada), it provides a unique set of challenges for both the rider and his mechanic.

“The Shamrocks Motorcycle Club marked out an enjoyable course with a balanced mix of twisty sand whoops and high-speed, choppy straightaway’s,” Bell shared. “Bike setup would be a compromise: too stiff and the chop will rip your hands apart, but too soft and the deep whoops will be more than happy to kick your back end out from under you. I felt my bike was set up perfectly for the course conditions and was ready to get out there.”

As usual at GP races, the Unclassified race was the first event of the weekend, and Bell established a pattern that he’d follow both days.

“Unclassified went well for me,” he said, “as instead of my usual routine of just cruising around, I felt good enough to jump out front and win, passing both of the Honda boys (Timmy Weigand and Colton Udall) and hopefully, from my point of view, setting the stage for the races to follow.”

San Felipe, Mexico – The Bonanza Plumbing/FMF/KTM backed team of Kurt Caselli and Ivan Ramirez took home a long awaited victory in the 26th running of the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.

The talented duo raced aboard the KTM 450 SX-F in 248.64 grueling miles of rugged race course to come out on top of the podium. It was the first overall victory for both riders and the third victory for the KTM brand in the history of the event. Ramirez also made history as the first native to win in his home country.

Caselli started for the team and moved into the lead shortly after the first 30 mile check. He had one small crash shortly after but recovered without losing the lead. He passed the bike off to Ramirez who quickly set to work to grow their lead. Meanwhile the second KTM team of Mike Brown and Quinn Cody were off to a decent start sitting in third position.

Timmy Weigand put in a dominating performance at this weekend’s Glen Helen Big 6 Grand Prix race. The JCR/Honda rider is riding better than ever and it showed this weekend as Timmy swept the day, winning all 3 motos he raced convincingly. Colton was also on fire and would take home a well deserved 2nd place. With Glen Helen’s rich history and signature elements it makes for an amazing GP that is fun to watch and race with lap times just under 13 minutes. The course totaled 8 miles and consisted of the MX track, REM track, surrounding ridge tops, pavement section thru the Glen Helen pavilion, back over the east ridge and thru the Lucas Oil truck track. Congratulations to the Prairie Dogs MC on their 22nd annual Grand Prix.

Colton and Timmy will join up with David Kamo, all pictured above, for the San Felipe 250 this coming Saturday. Colton Udall has won the San Felipe 250 for the past two years in a row and is confident in his team, bike and knowing they are the team to beat. With factory supported presence from the green and orange teams this is shaping up to be a Baja season for the record books!

Check out video from JCR Honda’s 2012 Photo Shoot:

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We cornered JCR/Honda racer Colton Udall to get some questions answered about his 2011 ISDE ride for Team USA.

Colton where was the 2011 ISDE held?
In the Kotka, Hamina Region of Finland.

How did you get your invitation to compete?
Kurt Caselli invited me after Kyle Summers dropped out.

Tell me about your bike set up?
I raced the E1 class on a 2011 CRF250R. I went with a normal off-road setup with a stock reliable motor. The Pro Circuit suspension was setup soft for long hours on rough terain. I used Dunlop Enduro tires and Pro Circuit built me a quiet 94 Db pipe. My gearing was 13/48, just tall enough for fast road and short enough for technical sections. I used a Renthal 996 handle bar and AME full waffle grips.

What sections of the course stood out to you.
The transfer sections on days 1 and 2 were really tough. Super deep mud and really slippery sections made it difficult to ride.

What was the most fun?
The perfectly moist fire roads on the transfer sections were really fun! They reminded me a lot of Baja, except no dust. The motocross test on day 6 was also fun.

What was the most difficult part of this event?
Making the right decisions in the mud, line choice and traction was very critical. The special tests were also very difficult to go fast in, some tests consisted of giant deep sand whoops, some had tree roots, rocks and slick mud. It was a true test of an off-road rider.

Did your experience change your impression of international riders?
Yes, in a big way! There are so many great riders, I was taught a lesson daily. I think that everybody should do an international race! Most US national highly ranked racers don’t have a clue what’s really out there.

Was ISDE what you imagined?
No, I thought it would be easier. It is a very fast learning curve and you must always be on your toes!

Do you want to go back?
Ask me in a week or two! Haha Next year is in Germany! More rocks, mud and even snow! I will be there if I am invited.

How was it working with the other Team members?
Kurt Caselli, Russell Bobbitt, Destry Abbott, Nate Kanney, and Jimmy Jarrett are all great riders. They really earned the 3rd place for SA. Plus they are all positive and fun guys to be around!

Anyone you would like to thank?
Johnny Campbell(JCRHonda), Dana from General Tire, Joe Johnson, my girlfriend Krysta and Kurt Caselli.

Racing in the 2011 SCORE San Felipe 250 Pro Motorcycle Class 22. The duo from San Clemente, CA of Colton Udall and Jeff “OX” Kargola dominated aboard the JCR/Honda 6X CRF450X finishing first in class and first motorcycle. Udall rode from the start to race mile 30, Jeff “OX” Kargola rode a 140 mile middle section from race mile 30 to 170. Udall rode from 170 to the finish at race mile  252. The JCR/Honda duo won convincingly in 4:36:51, averaging 54.63 mph over the tough course, finishing 21+ minutes in front of the 2nd place bike. In the first 25 years of this race, Honda has earned 16 overall motorcycle victories including the last six years straight and 14 of the last 15 years.

“Wow, two years in a row! My bike ran great. I can’t thank my team enough. I don’t know what it is – I feel really good out here in San Felipe. It’s where I got my first SCORE win and I feel very confident here. I owe it all to the JCR/Honda program, Pit Crews, TJ, my partner Jeff “OX” Kargola, Eric Siraton, and most of all Johnny Campbell. Thanks very much! I love Baja”. — Colton Udall