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Old 11-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
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2012 Baja Mil Race Reports

I thought I'd open a thread for race reports from the 1000 and begin with one of my favorite people: Bob Bell.

The following is what happened to our team. We really thought this was our year. I will also post Robby's race report, and Henge's when he finishes it.

Plus, if you raced this year and stopped at the Baja Pits in El Arco (mile 500) then I may have some photographs of you as we had alot of time on our hands after Destry came through.

The Story of the 1000 From The Well

Bob's Corner
Bob and Robby Bell after the 2012 Baja 500

Hello Everyone,

Well the Baja 1000 didn't end the way we had hoped. A DNF is a bitter pill to swallow, and it's something that really leaves a hole in your gut. A quick break down of what happened is as follows.

We started 7th and quickly moved up to 3rd. Through all the mountains we were right in the dust of the leading KTM, but were unable to push through it. Once we hit the desert, We closed in and began challenging for the lead. But as this was going on, Honda swooped by both our teams and took the lead. By San Felipe, we were into second, and chasing the lead Honda. By the time we were at 350 miles, we were approx. 8 minutes back. For the next 250 miles we moved closer, and got through to mile 585 approx. 6 minutes down. We did a full service and put the lights on, we were 9 minutes down to the lead, and had approx. 13 minutes on 3rd.

When the night time came, we began closing in. By mile 858, we were only 2 minutes behind and had 23 minutes on 3rd.. One last full pit and we were 4 minutes 20 seconds back. Over the next 100 miles, we pulled to within just over 1 minute back and closing fast. At mile 990, we were only down by 15 seconds, and moving in for the pass. At mile 995, our bike came to a stop.

A bearing keeper screw backed out. It went through the motor and caused enough damage to render it unrepairable. We would have had to replace the motor, which is against SCORE rules. In all the years that we have been racing and winning in Baja, we have never had this type of failure. The only thing I can say is that It was not a broken or failed part. The Kawasakis have been unbelievably reliable. Any one that knows me well enough I'm sure knows I've already over analyzed the problem and guarantee this will NEVER happen again. Just like when you get a stick through a radiator and DNF a race, the next race you have more protection in that area to prevent that.

THR Motorsports is a great team to be a part of and has given everything necessary to run up against heavily funded factory teams and beat them. With 127 miles to go, and being, by far, the fastest team at night, this race was well within our grasp to win.

Everything we tested and planned for this race worked flawless.

The Prerunning went without a hitch
The engine mapping worked great
The motor burned almost no oil
The coolant was still right at the cap
Our tire and air filter strategy worked perfect
The lights worked great, we were the fastest team at night
Our pits were spot on

With all the knowledge we've gotten from this first full year back in Baja, we will start next year much stronger and completely prepared.

I have to give a big shout out to everyone who supported us.

FMF for their amazing exhaust systems. The performance was awesome, and the silencer still had plenty of packing after 1000 miles
IMS for getting us tanks giving us the mileage we need and great foot pegs.
BRP for the best chain sliders and guides. The wear was exactly what we needed and the triple clamps worked great as always
Kalgard lubricants the best oil period
GPR for a great stabilizer. Thanks for getting it working so perfect
VP Race Fuel wouldn't run anything else
LAPC for their great pistons
DT1 air filters. Through all prerunning and the race, perfect performance
ZipTy Racing great products and quick wheel change parts
Dunlop Tires worked great and really extended our pit stops
Renthal sprockets, grips, and handlebars
RK/Excel chains and A60 rims
Works Connection Perches
Acerbis plastic
Hinson clutch parts
Baja Designs lights
ZLT Graphics

THR Motorsports, Hoosier Precision Machining These are the guys that make this team happen. Thanks to Rob Sims and Scott Jacobson for their passion and desire to have a top level off road race team.

Monster Energy
Precision Concepts They all play a huge part in the success of the team
Kawasaki Motorcycles

The riders who had the speed to win

Robby Bell
David Pearson
Steve Hengeveld
Destry Abbott

Also thanks to Ty Renshaw for the tireless hours he puts in prepping pit equipment, building prerunners, and modifying the light set up to work for our needs. We have to run one of our lights with a battery, and his design allows us to change a battery as fast as you can put fuel in the bike. Nice !

Phil Valdez for prepping another great race bike.
Rich Barrows for another great pit and race support book
All the people who helped in the pits, and Baja Pits for being so helpful and professional.

We still have a few more races this year. David Pearson will be looking to clinch the BITD title this weekend, and Robby will be going after some Big 6 titles.

Again, thanks for all the continued support. We will be relentless in our pursuit to over come this disappointment and get back to winning.

Bob Bell

bump screwed with this post 11-30-2012 at 12:28 PM
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