Class 25 winning team and quad, from left to right: D.J. Noerr, Dustin Nelson, Josh Row and Travis Dillon

This year’s Baja 500 is won on a Yamaha ATV equipped with Elka Suspension’s Stage 5 shocks, a first in several years

This past weekend was held the 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Desert Race, the fourth round of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series, in Ensenada-Baja California, Mexico. This race stretches almost 500 miles across rough desert terrain which is a gnarly test of endurance for the riders, the machines and the suspension.

Team 5a managed by Mr. Greg Row with mechanic Kevin Avina and riders Dustin Nelson, Josh Row, Travis Dillon and D.J. Noerr was First in class and First overall ATV to finish, therefore winning Class 25. Their victory aboard a Yamaha YFZ450R put an end on Honda’s domination of the Series.

Rider Josh Row commented after the race: “For the race that we had it was a day of mistakes and bobbles and things like that. We were just making less mistakes than everyone else. We had gas and go all day, other than a couple of rider errors and getting a couple of flats. Other than that, everything was flawless. I can’t explain it. I was stoked. I was coming over the summit and I overshot a corner and stuck it into some rocks. I had to get off and pull it out. It tired me out a bunch. Finding all my lines, it was a long day but it was well worth it. This is my second or third Baja 500 racing to win and we got it done today.”

Dustin Nelson at race mile 314 in San Antonio Del Mar, photo by Edgar Vindiola Gonzalez.

The team trusted their long-time sponsor Elka Suspension for their shock absorbers, a key component for such rough racing. The technicians at Elka provided the team with their latest Stage 5 model, which was previously thoroughly tested with them throughout the WORCS and Quad-X race series. Only days prior to the race, team rider Dustin Nelson also tested intensively with Elka technicians in Quebec in preparation for the 12 Hours of La Tuque endurance race, where they have been able to further improve their setups. Asked about the suspension, Dustin Nelson said: “Having the best suspension is a key factor for our team, helping us riders stay fresh throughout the race so we can attack the course and focus on our race strategy, not the obstacles. Elka’s new Stage 5 delivers all we need and then some. It’s comfortable, tracks precisely and absorbs all the nasty hits we can encounter on a demanding course like the Baja. The shocks were never a concern and kept working great during the entire race. We could not have won without Elka Suspension and our Stage 5 shocks.”

The entire staff at Elka Suspension congratulates the team riders, manager and mechanic for their fantastic win. Well done guys!