With the Covid pandemic grinding the racing world to a halt, the last time all major teams and riders faced off for a national round was way back in August 2019 but things are building up for a huge return to racing this weekend and Yamaha Racing will be out in full force as national competition remains.
Yamaha Australia kept all their major race teams intact throughout Covid and four well credentialled and established teams will take to the track with limitless energy and enthusiasm.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team
CDR Yamaha will hit round one all systems go with both riders fighting fit and desperate to make the 2021 season their own in the premier MX1 (450c) division. Luke Clout returned to the team after a stint in the USA in 2020 and has picked up where he left off while Hayden Mellross has put an injury riddled year behind him and is back up and firing on all cylinders.
Team owner, Craig Dack, has been vocal and confident in his 2021 line up in the lead up to the series with both riders in their physical and mental prime for motocross. On top of that, the team have the YZ450F working perfectly and are confident of a good start to the year on a tough and challenging track.
“I think I speak on behalf of everyone in Australian motocross when I say that I can’t wait to go racing this weekend,” Dack begins. “2020 had challenges in so many ways but it’s so good to finally get past a lot of that stuff and actually get some bikes back on the track at a national level and go racing.
“The team is in great shape with not many changes over the time. Our long term and loyal sponsors have stayed with us and the YZ450F was relatively unchanged from 2020 to 2021 so we are ready to go.
“Both riders are fit and prepared well so its just a matter of getting a round under our belts, so how things stack up and get to work on chasing the 2021 Pro MX Championship.”
The 1-2 punch of Nathan Crawford and Jesse Dobson form a formidable duo in the MX2 (250cc) class as Serco Yamaha put the finishing touches on their 2021 preparations. Dobson retains his ride with the Queensland based team after a promising local season last year while Crawford returns from stint in Europe.
With Serco being a distributor of motorcycle products throughout Australia, the race team often reflects the range Serco supply to the industry. The most obvious change is the move to SEVEN gear for both riders in 2021. One thing that didn’t change is the team will again use the potent YZ250F in their quest for championship success.
“Its all starting to get serious now and the anxious nerves are building as round one looms closer,” explains team owner, Gavin Eales. “The race truck has been parked up for way too long so the reality of racing really hit the team the other week when the truck was fired up and any last minute changes or altercations made.
“Paul and Ben have done a great job on the bikes and we are looking forward to round one, the return of motocross and a new championship that will be published and promoted better than ever,” Eales said.
Yamalube Yamaha Racing
The Yamalube truck will be over flowing in 2021 as three riders now work under the awning this season. Experienced campaigner and former champ, Jay Wilson returns and has two MX2 debutants in Levi Rogers and Rhys Budd alongside him.
Wonthaggi will mark the first national race for Rogers and Budd in the hotly contested MX2 class but both have lined up alongside many of the countries top riders in pre season events and have shown they are more than capable of mixing it with the established names.
Wilson is back and determined to make the 2021 season his best yet. He is also a great sounding board for the younger riders as the team continues to develop riders for Yamaha.
“We have a good blend of youth and experience for 2021 with two young riders looking to make a name for themselves while Jay is the elder statesmen that can offer guidance and knowledge throughout the year,” Mike Ward of the Yamalube teams offers.
“We have been able to do some local events in Queensland in the lead up to the Pro MX and all three riders have won races and all come into round one confident of a good showing. It’s a tough track to race, both on the bikes and the riders, but we are excited to get things rolling and looking forward to a great championship.”
The WBR Yamaha Bulk Nutrients Team will be busy on race weekend as they have three riders with them in 2021 contesting two classes. Two time NZ MX champ, Maximus Purvis will return to the team but move up to the MX1 class for the new season, while Yamaha young gun, Alex Larwood will make his MX2 debut. The team also are working with Liam Andrews in a support ride for the 2021 season.
Only a week ago, Purvis wrapped up his second MX2 NZ championship, but his time is often spent on the larger capacity 450cc machine. He has since landed in Australia, finalised his settings and will be a real dark horse in the MX1 class.
Larwood and Andrews will fly the flag in the MX2 class and both have been long term and loyal Yamaha riders coming through the Yamaha Junior Racing program. Larwood has moved from his SA based to surround himself with faster riders while Andrews is finally back to full fitness after a horror run with injuries.
“I like the make up of the team in 2021 as we have had a good working relationship in place with all three of them. The move to the 450cc class with Max is an exciting one for us and we think he will adapt quickly to the bike and will surprise a few people with his pace and fitness. He has raced the majority of tracks we go to in 2021 so he is confident he can put up a good showing.
For the Alex and Liam, both are young and going to make some mistakes as they work their way through a full season of racing. Our aim here is to provide a good environment for them and see them improve through the year.
“Wonthaggi is a great place to start the season and we hope plenty of people turn out to see the racing as we have been starved of it for too long,” finishes Travis Whitten from WBR.
Yamaha will also have a presence in the newly formed MX3 class that will see the nations’ best 14-17 year old riders fight it out in a high profile and professional setting. GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing Riders of Ryder Kingsford, Kobe Drew, Jackson Camilleri and Pat Martin will all be in attendance and looking to make round one a winner as they compete on their YZ250F’s.
Action gets underway at 8am on Sunday, but if you can’t make it to the track be sure to tune into SBS from 1pm and catch the final round of action live.