Enduro

Ballard’s Yamaha Off Road Team announces 5-rider factory team for 2008

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Leading off-road outfit Ballard‰Ûªs Yamaha has confirmed its rider lineup for the 2008 endurance season, which incorporates the Yamaha Australian Off Road Series and selected multiple-day events such as the Australian Four Day Enduro. Ballards‰Ûª Pro Class charge will be headed by newly-crowned champions Chris Hollis (Pro E1) and Jarrad Bewley (Pro E3). 2007 was an exceptional year for the gun pairing, who dominated their classes in the national series, excelling in all areas and proving their versatility across sprint and cross-country formats. Hollis stole headlines from experienced internationals as he finished a close second outright at the A4DE, an incredible effort and a good indication of his talent and determination. He will return in 2008 aboard Yamaha‰Ûªs updated WR450F, set to resume the fight for overall honours in the national series. "I'm really happy to be returning to race with Geoff Ballard and the Yamaha team for 2008, I feel as though it will be my best chance yet to chase down an outright win in the series after a strong year," said Hollis. "There is a really positive team environment and the support and products provided by Yamaha are second-to-none." Bewley‰Ûªs domination of the Pro E3 class turned heads this season, and rightly so. The New South Welshman was relentless in his pursuit of class honours, and will look to stage a repeat performance in the new year. Third outright for the series was a good effort, and he finished just 3 points shy of teammate Hollis who grabbed second. "2007 has been my best year to date and I can't wait to get underway in the new year with Ballard's Yamaha and keep up the run of results," said Bewley. "I'll be working very hard in the off-season to maintain my fitness and am looking forward to getting in some valuable practice time on the team's new Yamaha bikes." The team will also be joined by current Junior Off Road champion Ben Burrell, who will continue his long-standing association with the Ballards' Yamaha outfit in the junior development squad. The father and son combination of Geoff and Josh Ballard will round out a five-prong rider lineup for 2008. Geoff steamrolled the Masters class across the 12-round series, not giving away a single point to the competition and showing no signs of slowing. Josh also honoured the Ballard name by talking out the Expert E2/E3 class in 2007. The Ballard‰Ûªs Off Road Team Principal will be back to do it all again next year, and is looking forward to another sensational season alongside Josh, Chris and Jarrod and newcomer Ben Burrell. "We've had a really successful season and we plan to build on this momentum in 2008. Chris' results throughout the year and the A4DE performance have shown him to be an outright contender, and Jarrod has also been very impressive," said Ballard. "After a really impressive year, Josh will be stepping up a class, he has shown he is more than capable and feels he is ready for the new challenge." "It will be great to welcome Ben on board, it is important for juniors to see that there is an avenue available to them in order to develop their off road skills, similar to the motocross programs." "We're also making further investment in the infrastructure of the team, employing another mechanic to assist in the preparation of our race machines." Said Ballard.

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