The ShopYamaha Off Road Racing Team continued their sensational start to the 2022 Australian Off Road Championships with Kyron Bacon and Josh Green dominating their classes and all four riders visiting the podium over the two day event.Media Formation: 11 April 2022
Gum Valley, about 45minute drive south of Mackay hosted rounds three and four of the AORC and the organisers laid out a fast, flowing an challenging range of tests for competitors on a picture perfect landscape. The weekend saw around 300 riders take on three special tests in the sprint format, range from a grass track, almost motocross style five-minute loop, to a 25minute-high speed, adrenaline charge through the cane field. Add in the heat, humidity and some rain and you have one tough event.
To check out the action: https://youtu.be/Vg5aJCE8-2g
E1 – 250cc
The duo of Kyron Bacon and Blake Hollis are proving to be a solid combination for the ShopYamaha team in the E1 division. Bacon is establishing himself as a major player in the off-road world, while Hollis continues to improve as he gains more experience.
Bacon, the 19year of Tasmanian took another double class win and cemented his position at the top of the E1 division. He overcame a couple of falls on both days but still showed he is the man to beat. He was first in class and third outright on day one, while day two saw him again take the class win but also lead the Outright in another impressive performance.
“We had a bit of everything thrown at us this weekend,” Bacon begins. “The heat and humidity were tough for me, the speed of some sections of track was fast and then we had some rain so there was a bit going on every time I got on the bike.
“But happy to come away with win on both days in class and be riding well. The bike was awesome all weekend and we just poured fuel in each time. The team did a great job, and the venue was cool, so hopefully we can come back here at some stage and do another event.
Hollis also made his way to the podium on day one with an impressive second place finish making it a team 1-2 on the day. Hollis kept his teammate honest during the day and was his best result since entering the E1 division.
Day two wasn’t quite as good as a crashed early in the day left his hand and thumb battered and bruised. He soldiered on to finish the day in fourth place and moved to third in the championship.
“A bit up and down for me but I was able to move up in the championship and get my best result in E1 so I will take the good from that and keep working hard for the next one,” Hollis explains. “I might need a few days off the bike with my thumb but otherwise I will be good to go and aiming for more podiums in the coming rounds.”
Like Bacon, Josh Green finished the event with class wins on both days and locking down top spot in the E2 division. Green came into the event feeling a bit under the weather but battled on bravely through the two days as the heat and humidity began to sap his strength. Still, he was able to stay in the fight right until the end and his effort was rewarded with a class win and second outright on day one, while day two saw another class win and fourth outright.
“That was a tough one for me. Just felt pretty flat during the week and a bit ran down so to turn up here in the tropics and race for a few hours on some tough conditions was a real challenge. I‘m glad I was able to get through and now can have a few days off to recover as I’m drained now.
“It was good fun battling with Kyron on day one as we were both so close in times. I think I got him by a few tenths for second place outright and then I got him good with some mud in the shootout the next day, so he is going to be dirty with me.
“But all up I’m tired but satisfied with how it went and will rest up for the four day which is next in the calendar.
Michael Driscoll also made a couple of trips to the podium over the two days. Driscoll took third in E2 on day one in a tight battle for second and third with Todd Waters, but he reversed the tables on day two as he managed to hold waters off to finish second.
Driscoll proved consistent all weekend and no matter the conditions he was able to ride at a good pace and reduce any major risk. His reward was another weekend of double podiums, making it two rounds in a row and his form is on the rise.
“I don’t think anyone will say that was easy, so I am happy to finish the event with some good results and in good shape. It didn’t take much for it to go wrong and while I had a crash or two out there, nothing to wild or crazy.
“Thank you to the ShopYamaha Team for their support as well as the organisers for the event,” Driscoll ends.
The focus now shifts to the Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) which will be held at Erica in Victoria in one months’ time. The event has long been held as one of the more prestigious on the off-road calendar and the ShopYamaha team preparations have already began.