Team Honda Rules Baja

Kit Palmer | June 4, 2001

Class 22 riders Steve Hengeveld and Jonah Street combined efforts to win the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, June1-2, for the second time in a row, though Street has won the Baja 500 three straight times. The Honda XR650R-mounted duo finished nearly 10 minutes ahead of fellow XR650R Honda riders Johnny Campbell and Tim Staab.

Hengeveld and Street completed the race in nine hours, 55 minutes and 26 seconds, averaging 48.77 miles per hour. Not only were they the top-finishing motorcycle team, but they were also the overall winners of the race.

The Campbell/Staab team was leading the race until their bike’s clutch failed at the 362-mile mark, but they were able to nurse the bike in for second place. The next-best motorcycle team finished over an hour behind the two Honda teams.

Other motorcycle class winners included Fred Willert who piloted a Honda XR650R to victory in Class 30. Jim O’Neal, another XR650R-mounted rider, won Class 40, while Richard Jackson (XR650R) topped the Class 50 division. Jose Ruvalcaba, on Yamaha YZ125, was the Class 21 winner.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.