Off Road

Yamaha riders aiming for strong start at Off Road opener

Posted:

The 2008 Yamaha Australian Off Road Series is shaping up as the naming rights manufacturer's best shot at reclaiming the overall trophy, with competition getting underway this weekend. The factory operation, Ballard's Yamaha Off Road, are set to field a fit and determined five-rider lineup for the opening stoush at Port Macquarie, which incorporates rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday respectively. There's change in the air with a shake-up of classes amongst the Ballard's riders. In 2007, Chris Hollis blitzed the Pro E1 class, and Jarrod Bewley decimated all challengers in Pro E3. 2008 sees them pair up in E2 class, both aboard Yamaha's WR450F. Josh Ballard will also step up to the Pro Endurance ranks, slotting into Pro E1 on the WR250F after winning the Clubman Expert E2/E3 class last year. All three pro riders lined up at the opening NSW Sprint Series round, the first competitive outing for the year. The factory riders were in strong form, with Hollis winning easily and both Bewley and Ballard carving their way through the field after slow starts. Hollis recently returned from Thailand where he teamed up with some local riders from Coffs Harbour to compete in the International Six Hour event. The depth of talent in the Australian camp became apparent as the trio, led by Hollis, dismissed any local challenges, winning the event easily. The going was tough in the early stages, with poorly marked trails and only two individual pieces of track bunting throughout the course of the 9-minute lap causing chaos as riders made their own arrangements through the forested areas. Hollis said he was surprised how similar the terrain was to what he was used to back in Australia. "We didn't know what to expect and the track was really good to ride on by the time the lines had been set, there was some big powdery berms and some great fast sections, it was really a lot of fun," said Hollis. "There wasn't too much local competition so we spent most of the race trying to better each other's laps, it was great practice for the Off Road round this weekend." "This will be my local round so I'm looking forward to a good run, I'm finding myself easily adapting to the WR450F, it's a great bike and its going to be a very close series this year." Bewley is confident he can find a good setup for the WR450F as competition gets underway this weekend after struggling initially at the Sprint Series event. "I had to ride so hard that I ended up with a few big blisters that I just had to ignore and press on," said Bewley. "The E2 class is super competitive so I'm looking forward to teaming up with Chris and giving it a good shake up this year." Josh Ballard steps up to the pro ranks after a convincing win in last year's Expert Clubman class. At just 18 years of age, he will be one of the youngest in the Pro E1 class, but said he was looking to let the results do the talking after stepping up his training preparation in the off-season. Also in action for the factory off road outfit this weekend are reigning Masters champ Geoff Ballard and newcomer Ben Burrell, and the team will be joined by Wellard Yamaha team rider Matt Gangell as well. Image Credit ‰ÛÒ Collin Chan

Share Article:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Pinterest
Reddit
Email
Print
Action Sports Decals

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines

Motocross

Factory Honda In Winning Early Season Form At Sunshine State Championships

Dirt Track

2024 NSW Dirt Track Season Lifts Off At Somersby Super TT Meeting

Supercross

World Champion Max Anstie Secures 2024 East Coast Supercross Championship Red Plate

Motocross

Jed Beaton Tops The Podium At 2024 New Zealand Motocross Championships Round Two

Supercross

Cooper Webb And Haiden Deegan Win Drama-Filled Arlington Supercross

EnduroCross

Billy Bolt's FIM SuperEnduro Win Streak Continues In Bulgaria

Supercross

Shoulder Injury Rules Evan Ferry Out Of Arlington Supercross

Supercross

Christian Craig To Sit Out Arlington Supercross

MXGP

Mattia Guadagnini Joins The Early Season Injury List

Motocross

Jake Cannon Signs With Factory Honda

MXGP

Liam Everts To Miss MXGP Season Opener

Motocross

Tim Gajser – Motivated for 2024

What's On This Week

AMA GNCC - R2
Wild Boar, Palatka, FL
Monday, March 4th, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 8
Daytona International Speedway -Daytona Beach, FL
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
FIM SuperEnduro World Championship - R7
GP UK, Newcastle
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

Featured:

First Look At The All New 2024 Beta 450RX

2024 Yamaha YZ250F Review

Enhance Your Bike’s Protection With Force Accessories Custom Clutch Cover

2023 Sherco 300 SE Factory Ride Review

Michelin StarCross 6 – Inspected

Drink Wirelessly with SoleStream

What's On This Week

AMA GNCC - R2
Wild Boar, Palatka, FL
Monday, March 4th, 2024
AMA Supercross Round 8
Daytona International Speedway -Daytona Beach, FL
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
FIM SuperEnduro World Championship - R7
GP UK, Newcastle
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024