What originally was planned as a solo ride in the Pro Moto Unlimited class, went to a two-rider effort on Monday, ended up with a five-team effort to help the injured rider of record Colton Udall, finish the 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship undefeated with four straight victories.With a whole lot of help from his friends after he was injured while pre-running on Tuesday night, taking the overall and unlimited class win for the fourth time in the last five years in this race was the Ox Motorsports team led by Colton Udall, Yucca Valley, Calif.
Suffering a severely broken left collar bone while pre-running near Borrego Tuesday evening, Udall quickly adjusted his rider list for his 1x Honda CRF450X, moving one rider from his Ox Motorsports 3x motorcycle and quickly recruited two additional riders to pick up the slack for his 1x team.
Regular teammate Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif., added additional miles to his racing sections, Australia’s Daymon Stokie was moved from the 3x team to the 1x and Udall recruited two addition riders who weren’t planning on racing this year in Justin Jones, Murrieta, Calif. and David Kamo, Boise, Idaho.
SCORE rules call for a rider of record to either start or finish a race, Udall wanted to win the race and the season point championship so he returned to Ensenada after surgery in San Diego to start the race and ride to the first turn some 100 yards from the start to fulfill that requirement.
In splitting up the race, Udall gave the motorcycle to Kamo who rode to race mile 90. Jones took over at that point, went to race mile 300 where Samuels got on for the first time and rode to race mile 520. Stokie then took it to race mile 780 where Samuels got back on for the final victory ride to the finish.
While Udall has now earned four overall race wins in the SCORE Baja 1000, Samuels and Kamo have won three each and this was Jones’ second straight.
“They didn't need me. When I was pre-running down in Borrego I made a bad decision and had to pass a guy in the dust. I took myself where I shouldn't have gone and ended up over the handlebars and stuck my shoulder into the ground and it broke. Fortunately I had people like Robby Gordon pulling me out of the desert and helping me out.
“I crashed on Tuesday night, had surgery on Wednesday afternoon and I was back down here on Thursday. About three and a half hours after I crashed we were already thinking about what our strategy was going to be for the race. We moved Daymon Stokie up from the 3x bike to the 1x bike and fortunately David Kamo was down here and came out of retirement. He is a three-time SCORE Baja 1000 champion and we earned those championships together. He raced about 90 miles and it took some of the work away from Mark and we got it done. We moved some things around and our team is solid. The way I helped on race day was by making sure every I was dotted and every T crossed.”