Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab take win and set record Tecate
SCORE Baja 1000
2001 SCORE Desert Series, Round 3: Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Baja California,
Mexico, November 8-11, 2001
Honda Red Rider Johnny Campbell made history in the 2001 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Not only did he and partner Tim Staab win the overall race, giving Campbell a
record-breaking fifth consecutive 'long' Baja victory, their feat also made
Honda the most successful motorcycle manufacturer in Baja, with a similarly
record-smashing 12 overall wins in the 34-year history of the race. At the end
of the day, Honda XR650Rs took the top five motorcycle positions.
Campbell and Staab covered the 667-mile course on their Honda XR650R in a time
of 13 hours, 51 minutes and 40 seconds. They averaged 48.8 miles per hour over
the rugged, technically challenging terrain to also win the Class 22 title.
Their dominating performance resulted in a victory margin of over 54 minutes.
Don't think for a minute it was easy -- nothing comes easily in Baja. First,
there was the matter of a spectator on the course with his ATV that Campbell
sideswiped. That wasn't too bad -- just an adrenaline rush, a twisted fork and a
bent brake pedal.
The cow that happened to look out from behind a tree along the 677-mile course
was another matter, with a literal head-first collision sending Campbell flying
sans XR650R. "I was going about 45 miles an hour in a wash when all of a sudden
I saw a big, brown head," Campbell recalled. "There was no time to react -- no
brakes, no nothing, just bam! I didn't even have time to think, it was so quick.
The impact flipped me off the back and fortunately I landed on soft silt or I
would have been hurt really bad."
Again, he was fortunate, with no injury and minimal damage that required little
time to repair at the next pit. "It was, 'Okay, hit a quad, hit a cow;' I'm a
little scared for the next section," Campbell joked.
From there, however, he and Staab enjoyed a trouble-free run to the finish with
a substantial lead, though that didn't mean the pressure was off. Campbell took
it in stride, saying, "I didn't think much about breaking the record. It was
just another race I needed to win, and that's the way I rode. I didn't go out
trying to break the record; it came to me. I think rather than focusing on the
record-breaking stuff, I concentrated on winning the race because I didn't want
to get shut out this year in Baja."
And in the end, he certainly didn't get shut out.
Neither did fellow Honda Off-Road Racing Team members Steve Hengeveld and Jonah
Street, who had won the previous two SCORE events. Their runner-up finish at the
1000 guaranteed them the series championship, with Hengeveld cinching the Number
One plate for 2002.
Third overall went to the Chris Haines team on an XR650R, made up of Haines,
Jack Johnson, Bob Johnson, and Craig Adams.
Baja 1000 Results, Top Finishers
1. Johnny Campbell / Tim Staab - Honda
2. Steve Hengeveld / Jonah Street - Honda
3. Chris Haines / Jack Johnson / Bob Johnson / Craig Adams - Honda