baja rally 2022

Follow along as we share coverage from our friends WestX1000 from the Baja Rally 2022.

Begin Press Release: 

 Rocking and Rolling 

Enduro Veterans Move Up The Rankings 

Key points: After Stage Four of the Baja Rally, 27 of the 30 entrants are still in the game – even though two of them had to replace their bikes. Nick and Alec Brawner and Paul Neff continue dominating the stages, while Nick Brawner remains the overall leader. 

Portrait of the Stage. The route of the Special Stage Four was only 70 miles, but these were the hard miles. The day started with the fast tracks, but then followed with the crazy uphill climbs with parallel and perpendicular ruts of all types, each seasoned with a diverse smattering of stones. Who loves enduro? 

They Do It Again. The brothers from Kansas, Nick and Alec Brawner, keep rocking it – literally. Today they’ve repeated their first-day combination finish – #44 Nick on the top of the podium and #43 Alec just below with #10 Paul Neff landing on third step. The difference between them is merely minutes, but in the overall classification, Nick Brawner remains an indisputable leader. However, there are still two stages to go, and we all know that in rallies things can change fast. In the General classification, Nick Brawner continues building on his half-hour gap, and Paul Neff has put another half an hour gap between him and P3. The spaces between the remaining top five riders – #3 Johnson, #1 Pearson, and #30 Palandrani – become tighter, as only eight and four minutes separates them from each other. 

There are changes, however, in the International Rally 1 category. The leader of the previous several stages, Benjamin Meyers, received a big penalty and went down the ranks, giving way to the new frontrunner, Canadian enduro rider and Husqvarna Ambassador, #56 Rome Haloftis. Haloftis admits he normally doesn’t go fast, but today was his day. In his group, he is followed by South African racer and rally route builder, Willem Avenant. 

“We were warned about the difficult rocky section coming up, and I was thinking – oh, that sounds good. That’s my thing! I had that in mind from the start and pushed a bit at the faster sections as well to make a good day overall. Technical stuff at the end of the section was gnarly. Any enduro rider would love the route today. I got stuck once in a narrow bottomless rut, but that took only two minutes to take the bike out. I felt at home – completely at home.” – Rome Haloftis

“Rocky, rocky, and more rocky. We started this morning in the fog – again. Then we dropped down into a valley and started climbing. It was super rocky and with unexpected ruts. You go fast, and all of a sudden, the road is just gone. Pretty much everybody had some sort of crash today. Everyone made it back, so it’s good. It was a tough day but nice and short. Navigation in the end was good, lots of people became lost. I had one crash, but both the bike and I are okay.” – Willem Avenant, Freedom Rally Team

Rookies continue misbehaving, and overtaking Pros: five of the Top 10 in today’s results were posted by the participants of the Rookie class. It was also a good day for the only ADV participant #41 Brett Fox, who finally had no mechanical problems to endure and finished 13th Overall on his Triumph Tiger 900cc. 

Story of the Day. Dakar finisher and Rally Comp developer #3 Mike Johnson was showing pro-league results so far, taking 3rd overall all week. But today after an unfortunate crash right before the finish line, he broke his finger, which looked really bad. Mike still intends to continue the race, and such trifles as a plaster on his left hand will not stop him. 

As long as I can hang onto the bars, I should be good. Everyone gets their bumps and bruises, but this will be my first time riding with a fracture. If Im able to start in the morning, I will try. I had a dislocated shoulder two weeks before I went to the Africa Eco race, I had a brace and was running with that. I’ve done every Baja Rally, except for the year when I introduced RallyComp here. I just love racing rallies.” – Mike Johnson 

We’ll continue following up with daily updates and more stories from the one and only premiere Rally Raid on Baja peninsula. You can also check @bajarally Instagram account for behind-the-scenes footage. 

Unofficial Stage 4 Results Overall 

1. #44 Nick Brawner (USA) 

2. #43 Alec Brawner (USA) 

3. #10 Paul Neff (USA) 

4. #30 Tony Palandrani (USA) 

5. #3 Mike Johnson (USA) 

6. #1 David Pearson (USA) 

7. #46 Oswaldo Lara (Mexico) 

8. #6 Patrick Reyes (Mexico) 

9. #31 Steve Varni (USA) 

10.#56 Rome Haloftis (Canada) 


1. #10 Paul Neff (USA) 

2. #3 Mike Johnson (USA) 

3. #1 David Pearson (USA) 

Rally 1 

1. #56 Rome Haloftis (Canada) 

2. #20 Willem Avenant (South Africa) 

3. #26 Scott Purcell (USA) 


1. #44 Nick Brawner (USA) 

2. #43 Alec Brawner (USA) 

3. #30 Tony Palandrani (USA)