The ShopYamaha Off Road Racing Team took up plenty of podium space after a successful weekend contesting the 2022 Hattah Desert Race. In near perfect conditions, all three riders landed on the podium in their respective classes after four long hours in the saddle.Over 400 wild dirt bike racing combatants fronted up to the start line of the gruelling yet ultimately satisfying event. In front of them were eight laps of a 30-minute loop that took in everything from high-speed fencing line runs to slow, tight directional changes, all on a sandy base that cuts up and gets rougher as the day wears on.
To view the ShopYamaha Team in action at Hattah: https://youtu.be/J9sxa-uyASI
Josh Green led the way for the team taking a second place finish in the 450cc class and sixth outright but it didn’t come easy for the off road veteran. After not doing last years event due to injury, Green was unseated for the 2022 race and had to start his prologue down the field. He clawed his way through the pack only to have fall and finish in 18th place, meaning he was the 18th rider away in the main race on Sunday.
Green came out of the block firing on all cylinders and instantly started heading towards the front. After completing lap one, Green had moved his way to sixth and was desperate to keep pushing forward, but again gravity took a hold and he was ejected from his bike and he was back outside the top twenty.
He regathered himself, regained some composure and again set off in pursuit of the riders in front. Three hours later, he entered the final lap in fifth place, but then tangled with a lapped rider and hit the Mildura sand again. Dazed, tired, and simply beat up, Green crossed the finish line in sixth place outright and second in the 450cc class after what can only be described as an eventful day at the races.
“I think they desert beat me this week,” Green said at the end of racing. “I gave it everything that I had all weekend but now I’m sore, tired and in need of a long, hot shower. I crashed three times over the weekend, which isn’t that bad, just that each crash was decent and took a bit out of me.
“The team did an amazing job and I’m sure they were sick of me coming back in with a bent bike, crash damage everywhere and making them work so hard. So, thank you to all the guys as I made them earn their money this weekend.
“I’m coming back next year and I’m going to put some demons to bed and conquer this place,” Green ends.
For this event, Blake Hollis made the step up from his usual 250cc mount at the AORC rounds to the 450cc machine. Hattah is an event where horsepower makes difference and Hollis was excited to be on the big bike and ready to mix it up with the big boys.
Hollis completed the event in second place in the Under 19 division and fourteenth outright in a rock-solid performance. Despite a few scary moments and the odd crash, Hollis maintained a consistent second position in class and well clear of his rivals behind.
He also handled the 450 well and the extra power and weight proved noticeable by race end as over four hours of hanging off the bike left him exhausted.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the weekend went. The move onto the 450 was good and the team had the bike working well. It was my first time here on a 450 so it’s a lot different to just going wide open on a 250 and the bigger bike is more fatiguing but I managed to push through right to the end.
“I don’t have many war stories to tell like Josh other than my hands are carved up with blisters, but I’m content to get through the day and look forward to improving here as I really enjoy racing this event,” Hollis signs off.
Kyron Bacon stayed on his beloved WR250F for this event and knew before lining up that Outright victory, like he had already achieved at AORC and the A4DE, wasn’t the goal as power on the high speed course that gave the bigger capacity bikes a huge advantage.
Instead, Bacon’s goal was to win the 250cc class and keep his impressive 2022 form rolling along. And that’s exactly what he did. Bacon was wide open on the 250cc and finding him in the 400-rider field was easy as he kept the throttle wedged for over four hours in the Hattah desert.
He crossed the finish line as the lead 250cc rider, fourteen minutes up the track from the second-placed rider in his division and one of only two, 250cc machines to finish on the lead lap.
“Racing a 250 is tough as you give up a lot of power to the 450s and 500cc bikes but it was cool to race with them. I started out 38th and was able to make my way to 18th outright and had some good battles along the way, so that was cool.
“I don’t get to do a lot of this sort of stuff and it’s something I need to improve on but I do enjoy it and am thankful to the team for giving me a good bike and one that lasted all day as the sandy conditions and four hours of constant riding is too on the bike.
“I’m glad to get the class win and leave here in good shape so we can now get back to the AORC and continue to chase the 2022 championship,” Bacon said.
The ShopYamaha Off Road team switch back to AORC mode, with the next rounds of the championship coming up on July 16/17 at Mendooran, near Dubbo.