ShopYamaha Off-Road Team Ready for AORC Open

Blake Hollis.

IThere are only a few weeks left for the opening round of the 2022 Australian Off-Road Championships (AORC) and the ShopYamaha Off-Road team can’t wait to see racing return.

It’s been two long years in the off-road racing scene in Australia. The 2020 and 2021 seasons have been ravaged by covid with only a few national events taking place during this period but all that has done is raise the level of excitement in the ShopYamaha Off Road team as the first race weekend is approaching.

The first AORC race weekend of this year kicks off in Cherrabah, Queensland, hosting rounds one and two of this year’s championship. Nestled on the western side of the Great Dividing Range, an hour from Brisbane, Cherrabah is a country-style resort town that offers scenic driving and a great vibe to kick off the year. And even if the landscape is calm, the race will be far from it.

The ShopYamaha team will have a busy weekend as they are now a four rider unit under the leadership of the former champion, A.J. Roberts. With two riders competing in the E1 class (250cc) and two riders in the E2 class (450cc), AJ will need some eyes behind his head on opening weekend, but he is more than happy to get to work and get back to what he loves to do.

Photo of ShopYamaha Off Road Australian Off Road Championship rider Josh Green
Josh Green

“The hardest thing for a racing team to do at the height of the pandemic is not to race. We’re all ready for racing, it’s been a part of our lives for so long and when it stopped we were all restless and looking for things to do,” he explained.

“But having the whole team here at our base last week, going through all the final preparations and doing the photo shoot means we are getting closer to the race and I could feel him in the team. The guys are excited and ready. to let the competition juices flow.

“Testing and photos quickly turned into a race, changing tires became a competition and I think they’re just desperate to get back to it and do what they love.”

The team has recently undergone some adjustments and all are brought together under the ShopYamaha umbrella. The team will still take two trucks to each event and offer support to Yamaha riders at AORC events, as they have done in the past.

Photo of ShopYamaha Off Road Australian Off Road Championships rider Kyron Bacon
Bacon Kyron

Josh Green and Michael Driscoll will spearhead the team in the 450cc division with both riders more than capable of lifting the championship trophy at the end of the season. Green continues to prove that age is no barrier as he shows no signs of slowing down and is still motivated to race. Driscoll is at the perfect age where he now has the physical and mental maturity to ride the 450cc well in all conditions and has served his apprenticeship in the category. He is ready and eager to win.

In the E1 (250cc), it will be Bacon Kyron and Blake Hollis flying the ShopYamaha flag. Bacon has improved tremendously over the past two years and nothing less than an E1 championship will satisfy him this year. While Blake Hollis is advancing well and focusing on his more experienced teammate.

“We have worked hard in recent months to prepare for 2022,” continues AJ. “Yamaha has been so supportive of off-road racing both with our team and the championship and I think our bikes are as good as they have ever been. The riders are happy with what we have been able to produce for them and now it’s about putting everything to the test of racing in real conditions. It’s only two weeks away and we can’t wait,” he concluded.

Photo of ShopYamaha Off Road Australian Off Road Championship rider Michael Driscoll
Michael Driscoll

CROA Calendar 2022
March 19-20: Rounds 1 and 2 – Cherrabah, QLD.
April 8-9: Rounds 3 and 4 – Mackay, QLD
July 18-19: Rounds 5 and 6 – Kyogle, NSW
August 6-7: Rounds 7 and 8 – Nowra, NSW
September 17-18: Rounds 9 and 10 – Kingston, South Africa
October 8-9: 11 and 12 rounds – Wynyard. TAS.

About Rachelle Roosevelt

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