Motocross

Yamaha Revamp Racing Structure For 2024

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Photo of motocross rider Kaleb Barham
Kaleb Barham made the most of his guest ride with the Yamalube Yamaha Racing team in 2023 and landed himself a full-time spot in 2024.

Yamaha Racing has reset its motocross structure for the 2024 season and will see four major teams contest regional, state and national motocross and supercross events, ranging from GTYR Yamaha Junior Racing all the way through to the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team..

The restructure will see the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team remain as the MX1/ SX1 team in the premier division, Yamalube Yamaha Racing tackle the MX2/ SX2 duties, WBR Yamaha Bulk Nutrients Racing focus on the MX3/ SX3 class, while GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing nurtures some of Australia’s best dirt bike talent.

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team

As already announced CDR Yamaha are locked and loaded with a powerful rider combination in reigning ProMX champ, Dean Ferris and alongside him will be Jed Beaton. The duo will be tough to beat in the 2024 motocross season and already both riders are working hard towards the new season.

Yamalube Yamaha Racing

Showcasing the high-performance Yamaha brands, including Yamalube, GYTR and Akrapovic, the in-house Yamaha team take on the MX2 / SX2 duties for 2024. The team are no strangers to success having won multiple championships across a wide range of classes in their history and now look to take the next step in their development.

At the controls of the new 2024 YZ250F will be Jayce Cosford, Ryder Kingsford and Kaleb Barham in a three-rider team. All three riders have shown significant improvement over the past 12 months and are brink of success with continued hard work and good support behind them.

Cosford, despite an injury during the 2023 season, has posted some impressive results as he continues to improve and recently has locked himself inside Australia’s top five MX2 riders in both motocross and supercross.

“2023 was my first year working with the team and to be back on board for 2024 is unreal,” Cosford explained. “I was able to dedicate more time to riding and training this year and as a result, improve my riding to the point where I think the podium is within reach every time I’m on the track.

“The team have been awesome and now that we have had a year working together and know how to get the best from each other, there is no reason why the results shouldn’t continue to get better,” Cosford concluded.

Parked next to Cosford under the truck awning will be the talented young gun, Ryder Kingsford. Kingsford is a product of Yamaha Junior Racing, having come through the program since joining in 2017. He then moved to the WBR Yamaha team as he progressed to MX3 and now moves into the Yamalube Yamaha Team for his tilt at the MX2 championship.

Kingsford started the year with a foot injury and only re-joined the ProMX championship late in the series. But he has come out swinging in the Australian Supercross Championship and in 2022 proved he could take it outdoors when he made consecutive podiums early in the season.

“I already have a good relationship with the guys on the team and have plans in place to get started with riding and testing for the new season. The aim is to get a big preseason under my belt, and it will be the first time in a few years that I came into the season in good shape and ready to go.

“It’s awesome to stay with Yamaha and looking forward to another successful year and establishing myself as a consistent top-five guy in MX2,” Kingsford said.

Kaleb Barham made the most of his guest ride with the team for 2023 and landed himself a full-time spot in 2024. Barham and the team gelled well in 2023 and finished the season strongly with some great results in supercross and a desire to continue working together in for the 2024 season.

“I have really enjoyed my time with the team and we have worked together well, so I’m grateful that we are able to build on what we started in 2023 and have a complete season in 2024,” Barham said. “The bikes, the support and the team sponsors have been awesome and its time to reward everyone with some good results in 2024 and make this my best season yet.”

WBR Yamaha Bulk Nutrients Racing

The dealer-based Yamaha team will handle the MX3/ SX3 duties and go back to where they had their most success. In 2018, when WBR Yamaha joined Yamaha’s MX teams, they roared to life with a bang, taking Bailey Malkiewicz and Hugh McKay to a 1-2 finish in the MXD class and then took the FIM World Junior Championships by storm with Malkiewicz claiming the title on the YZ125.

The Whitten family will provide the perfect environment for young riders entering the pro ranks with their caring and nurturing ways and being purely focused on the MX3 class, giving their riders the best chance of success.

The team lineup for 2024 will be Kobe Drew, Kayd Kingsford, Seth Burchell and Koby Hantis, all graduating from Yamaha Junior Racing. Drew has been a solid performer over the years, always in the hunt for race wins. Drew dealt with some injury during the 2022 and 2023 seasons but is back to full health now and the speed and skill are beginning to shine through with some consistent results in the ProMX championship finishing fourth in this year’s championship and charging to a second place finish in the SX2 class in the Australian Supercross Championship.

Kayd Kingsford is progressing nicely as he transitions from juniors into senior racing. He is starting to fill out his body and has taken to manhandling his YZ250F around the track. The younger brother of Ryder, Kayd plans on bursting out of the shadows in 2024 and making a name for himself as he desperately wants to add a championship or two to his resume. Kingsford impressed during the Australian Supercross Championship and will no doubt look to continue the momentum for the 2024 season.

Seth Burchell continues his long relationship with Yamaha that started back when the YZ65 first entered the market. Burchell attended the first demo day of the bike in 2018 and has been a Yamaha rider ever since. He has speed to burn and with a new focus on his racing for 2024, standby for Burchell to make inroads in the MX3 class.

Kobe Hantis will fill out the team in a four-rider lineup. Hantis, a long time Yamaha rider, joined YJR for the 2023 season and did enough to impress the WBR Yamaha Team and offer their assistance for the new season. Hantis sat out the Supercross championship with a wrist injury back will be back on the bike soon and come out all guns blazing in 2024.

“It’s going to be a busy year, but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” explained WBR Yamaha’s Travis Whitten. “Four riders will keep us on our toes and make the race truck a hive of activity, but we are looking forward to the new role within Yamaha and working closely with some talented and developing riders.”

GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing

Back again for 2024 and the only manufacturer supporting riders from a YZ65 to the YZ 250F, motocross to off-road, YJR will continue to unearth talent and get them started on a career path to the top.

Five riders across four states will make up the 2024 motocross line up with Blake Bohannon (65/85), Heath Davy (85/125), Deegan Fort (85/125) and Jobe Dunne (125/250) all retuning and will be joined by Queensland based talent, Lachie Allen (125/250). The riders will contest their local and state-based events as well as rounds of the ProMX and the Australian Junior Motocross Championships.

Yamaha’s presence in Enduro has also made a mark and will continue in 2024 with Harley Hutton (J2) and Marcus Nowland (J3). The move into the junior ranks in the Australian Off-Road Championship has seen Yamaha’s presence increase considerably this year and both riders are looking forward to not just achieving great results but also showcasing the versatility of the Yamaha range.

“Yamaha Australia remains committed to racing in Australia and in 2024 will again invest heavily not just in our race teams but also in the events and major championships we contest,” explained Motorsport Manager, Scott Bishop.

“YMA continue to support racing at all levels, with sponsorship of every national championship in motocross, supercross, road racing and off road as well as support rider safety via RACESAFE.

“Unfortunately, we are no longer able to continue with Serco Motorsport and we thank Gavin (Eales) and the entire Serco Team for their efforts, energy and passion. Despite the challenging times, Yamaha has been able to keep four teams in the motocross paddock, with the same amount of supported riders, each with a dedicated focus on their racing divisions to offer the riders their full attention. The pathway from YZ65 to YZ450F is laid out and a range of teams, support and rewards are in place for riders wanting to make it to the top.

“We look forward to the 2024 season and wish the riders and teams the best in the coming year,” Bishop concluded.

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