Hare & Hound National Champion Kurt Caselli began his quest for his first Baja title on the right foot by winning the 26th SCORE Tecate San Felipe 250 in Baja California, Mexico, March 12, along with teammate Ivan Ramirez on the Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F. The San Felipe race was the first of the three-round SCORE Baja Desert Series for motorcycles.
It was KTM’s first victory in Baja since 2005 when Chris Blais, Andy Grider and Quinn Cody also won the San Felipe 250.
The Caselli/Ramirez KTM crossed the finish line approximately 16 minutes ahead of the JCR Honda team made up of Colton Udall, David Kamo and Timmy Weigand on the Honda CRF450X. The Honda team was delayed significantly when Weigand suffered a hard get-off and Campbell had to get on the bike and get it to the next rider trade-off.
Mark Samuels, and Matt and Max Eddy finished third overall on their Honda CRF450X.
Some of the other favored teams struggled in this year’s race, which was described by many of the riders as brutally rough and challenging. The factory Kawasaki team, made up of Destry Abbott, Robby Bell, David Pearson, Mike Childress and Steve Hengeveld ran into problems right away. Bell crashed heavily a few miles into the race, as did Childress right after, ending their hopes of a top finish.
KTM’s second team, made up of Quinn Cody and Mike Brown, was put out of contention when Cody crashed and high speed and broke his wrist and collarbone.