Michelin Claims Overall Motorcycle Win At Baja 500
The rock, silt and extreme heat took its toll on many riders at the 48th SCORE Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico.
While others faltered, the Ox Motorsports team of Colton Udall and Mark Samuels, rode their Honda CRF450X, strapped with a combination of Michelin Desert Race and Michelin Starcross 5 tires, to an unofficial win in the overall motorcycle class.
The 477-mile course included grueling terrain across long sand washes and summit peaks where the temperatures reached nearly 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Udall and Samuels laid out a sound strategy after a disappointing starting draw had them starting eighth, very last in the Pro Moto Unlimited class.
Using a combination of Michelin Desert Race tires and Michelin Starcross 5 medium, the Ox team passed their competition and claimed victory. Overall, Udall and Samuels rode the Starcross 5, a championship pedigree motocross tire which comes in a range of compounds and versions for various terrain, more than 120 miles. Earlier this year, the team chose to use the Michelin Starcross 5 soft for the deep silts that they encountered when they claimed the SCORE San Felipe 250 Pro Moto title.
“The heat was extreme,” said Udall. “I’ve never really raced in anything hotter than that before in my life. I pretty much just raced 250 miles of 115-degree weather and my brain feels like it is cooked. The most important thing about Baja is knowing the course really well. You have to be prepared. For me (in preparing for long mileage) I just do a lot of cycling. It helps me think. I have a lot of time training and it keeps my heart really strong.”