Ensenada, Mexico - The Factory FMF/Bonanza Plumbing/KTM Team earned 2nd overall at the SCORE/Baja 1000 in only their second straight attempt as a Factory Team at the prestigious event.
The four rider team of Kurt Caselli, Ivan Ramirez, Mike Brown and Quinn Cody has been training throughout the year in preparation for this event. “We are glad to finish on the podium, but we are all pretty bummed that we couldn’t get closer to battle for the win,” remarked Caselli.
Brown also commented, “This is one of the craziest and scariest races I have ever competed in. You are wide-open the whole time just flying through the desert. Our team is a strong team but we are still learning each time and experience is key in the SCORE/Baja Series. Not taking the win here just motivates us to come back and fight harder next year.”
It was Mexico native, Ramirez, who started off on the famous 5X bike. He made the transfer to Mike Brown right before the 40 mile marker and Brown took it to mile 265 where Ramirez jumped back on. The KTM team was in 2nd place early on but lost a little time when they ran into a small mechanical problem that was fixed in the first half of the race.
Caselli jumped on after the halfway point and was able to gain 5 minutes back to help close the deficit to the lead team. He switched the bike off to Quinn Cody in the night time hours and Cody rode consistent for the next 200 miles. Twelve miles before his check Cody suffered a crash that resulted in a broken femur. While Cody was being transported to the hospital Caselli worked as quickly as he could to get transferred to the scene of the crash in order to get back on the race bike and finish the event.
Caselli found the bike approximately 45 minutes after the crash. Despite his best efforts, Caselli was unable to close the large gap that was left after the crash. He eventually crossed the line in 2nd place, a remarkable feat considering the injury of one team rider.
“We are very sad that Quinn crashed,” remarked Caselli. “He was riding really well and is a strong member of this team. We are grateful that he received help and will be treated by the best doctors. Unfortunately, crashing and injury is part of racing. We wish him a speedy recovery and we are thankful we were still able to finish the race with a strong bike that helped us earn a 2nd place result.”