Cyril Despres, pictured here, was part of the winning Honda team for the Baja 1000

Cyril Despres, pictured here, was part of the winning Honda team for the Baja 1000

 

Honda team wins Baja 1000

By Dave Rawlings -

 16 November 2007 11:00

The 40th Baja 1000 has come to an end with the Honda Team of Steve Hengeveld, Kendall Norman and Johnny Campbell taking the spoils aboard their CRF450X.

The Baja 1000, in its 40th year and considered to be one of the most challenging in the world of motor sport, took competitors through the Mexican Baja Peninsular in a true "survival of the fittest" dash to the finish.

Second place went to another Honda riding team but the surprise of the tournament was KTM’s super team with Cyril Despres, David Pearson and and Quinn Cody coming in third place aboard the Austrian factory’s new 690Baja bike, which was making its debut at the event.

The 1,000 miles of pavement, brush, rock trail, desert and dry lake between Tijuana and La Paz was first covered as a day-and-night-long expedition by a pair of motorcyclists in 1962, and the first Mexican 1000 Rally was staged five years later.

Sixty-eight vehicles started; only 31 finished, led by a dune buggy and a dirt bike. These days, the race is called the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Despres, a veteran of the world's most challenging events and winner of the famous Dakar said: "Now I really understand why this race is such a legend. The huge distances, the atmosphere, the amazing scenery, the night riding, the team spirit - it really is a unique event…"

Despres paid tribute to team manager Chris Blais, the Austrian factory mechanics and the 60 other team members who manned the 21 pits spread out along the route, a sentiment that was underlined by Trunkenpolz at the conclusion of the 2007 Baja 1000.