Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Pepeekeo’s Tim Withers wins Bittersweet Motorcross Title

Chalk up another dirt bike title for Pepeekeo’s Tim Withers in what is considered one of the most dangerous courses in the world.

Withers crown jewel came in the desert sand of Baja, Mexico during the 43rd Annual running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race without him even starting his bike.

“It was a bitter sweet victory,” Withers said.  “This was the third and final race in the SCORE series and I was to ride the second leg over 97 miles of rocks when our number one rider’s bike broke down.”

Withers had been participating in the relay event for the past 10 years and he and his teammates have won nine consecutive titles using Honda 450’s.

The SCORE International Championship Series for motorcycles consist of the San Felipe 250, Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 and since Withers and his team had won the first two races in the series they acquired enough points to be declared the Overall Series Champions for the ninth year in a row.

“I have a renewed respect for that place,” Withers said.  “I did a practice run on the 97 miles of the course that I was supposed to have raced on and it was one of the most difficult areas.”

The Baja 1000 started in Ensenada, Mexico 65 miles south of the U.S. Mexico Border and the finish line was in La Paz, Baja California.

The entire course consisted of 1061 miles and had over 300 entries from 37 states and 19 foreign countries.

“The event is open to seven sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATV’s,” Withers said.

Honda motorcycles once again dominated the off road race and this year the bike had 20 overall victories, including 13 in a row.

Husqvarna followed the Honda with 11 wins, with Kawasaki taking 9 and Yamaha two road wins.

“Honda is the best off rode bike for sure,” Withers said.  “The bike has been tested on this difficult terrain year after year and we keep coming up on top of the competition.”

Withers considers Baja to be the Mecca of off road racing as he continues to race in the professional class and his team of riders have been relentless in their ability to capture the championship series titles year after year.

“We got in two weeks prior to the race so that we each could practice on our section of the course,” Withers said.  “There were six of us, but during our practice rides two of our teammates got injured and the remaining four had to increase our mileage to make up for those injured.”

Originally Withers were to ride a hazardous 97 mile section, but his leg was increased to 260 miles to make up for his injured teammates.

“Through the days riding this section I found out how gnarly this course can be,” Withers said.

“In one 70 mile section there were two tracks of road with huge rocks which made for extremely dangerous conditions,” Withers said.  “During the practice runs I was averaging 97 miles per hour and if I was to lose focus, just for a second, the results could be tragic.”

Withers now owns seven 40 pro class titles and two 50 pro class titles which have all come in consecutive years.

“This was the first time in those nine years that we’ve ever had a mechanical breakdown,” Withers said.  “Our first rider’s engine failed at the 200 mile mark and I was waiting for him at mile 232 which was the Honda pit stop.”

It took Withers months to prepare for the season finale as the 54 year old has to be in top physical and mental shape.

“We have to practice hard and service our bike regularly, then fly in and practice on the course for two weeks prior to these events,” Withers said.

With his bittersweet victory Withers remained philosophical about the event.

“Though I am disappointed with the break down, that’s racing,” he said.  “I’ve had an unbelievable career racing in Baja and the results speak for themselves.”

Withers seemed uncertain of his professional racing future and didn’t want to comment if retirement from the sport was forthcoming.

“I’ve had great mentors and supporters and I’d like to thank them all,” he said.


December 18, 2010 - Posted by | Off Road Motorcycle Racing | , , , ,


  1. Is Tim still racing, haven’t seen his name lately.

    Comment by Ted Fujikawa | June 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Good question. I’ll give him a call later and ask

      Comment by waynejoseph | June 7, 2012 | Reply

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