'Three men on a mission' is the team motto for the Active8 Yamalube Yamaha team in 2017 as the field a three pronged attack to contest the Australian Off Road Champion (AORC), the Australian Four Day Enduro as well as high profile off road events like the Finke and Hattah desert races.
Beau Ralston, Josh Green and Wil Ruprecht will compete in the E3, E2 and E1 classes respectively under the guidance of former off road champion, AJ Roberts.
Beau Ralston finished the 2016 season on the injury list after sustaining an ankle injury late in the year. But he has recently got back on the bike and returning to training in his preparations for the 2017 season.
Ralston will handle the E3 duties for the team, mounted on a YZ300X, a GYTR big bored YZ250 two stroke, with Ralston already loving the change back to a bike he is familiar with.
“Before I switched over to off road, the last few season of motocross I raced, were on a YZ250 two stroke so when AJ threw the idea of racing one again, I was all over it,” Ralston said with enthusiasm. “From the moment I did my first loop I felt comfortable and the lightness of the bike is going to be a huge advantage in the bush. The YZ250 is an awesome bike and with the extra power that the big bore gives it makes it a ton of fun to ride.
“My ankle is improving and even though I have just started riding, I managed to get through three days of testing without too much discomfort. There is still a lot of rehab to go but I’m confident I will be 100% for and ready to go for the opening round of the AORC in April,” Ralston ends.
Josh Green has put the knee injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2016 season behind him and putting in the hard yards during the off season in an attempt to make this 2017 season his best yet.
After five months off the bike, Green successfully returned to action at the A4DE last month to take the 250cc (E1) class win but hasn’t stopped riding and training since then to make up for the lost time due to injury.
Green will step back up to his preferred E2 division and campaign the Yamaha WR450F chasing class and outright honours in all major events. Green has shown he has the speed to match it with anyone in Australia and will be ready to rumble when the opening round roars to life.
“Sitting on the sidelines watching your mates have all the fun sucks but it has given me plenty of motivation for the 2017 season,” Green explains. “I hated not being out there and watching has given me some more appreciation of how cool my job is and that racing dirt bike is just dam good fun.
“Because I didn’t race a lot in 2016 I don’t need an off season so since the 4 day, I have continued to ride and train so I will prime for this year.
“It’s time I start winning a few more things,” Green signs off.
Making his debut on the Active8 Yamaha team is 18 year old New South Welshmen, Wil Ruprecht. Ruprecht scored the ride with the Active8 Yamaha team after a breakthrough season in 2016 after winning the U19 category at the Australian Off Road Championships.
Ruprecht will be mounted on a YZ250FX and his focus will be the endure like the AORC and the A4DE.
“I kept my eye on Wil throughout the year and was really pleased how he progressed,” states team manager, AJ Roberts. “He is a young kid with great style and understanding of off road and he fits in perfectly with Yamaha’s step up program as a rider we can develop in the future.
“He will represent the team in the E1 class and come up against some well-established names, but we believe he has what it takes and placing him in a good environment with good people will benefit his racing.
“Working with young, determined riders is always exciting and I look forward to working not only with Wil, but continuing with Beau and Josh and chasing some championship success together,” AJ ends.
The AORC is down for 12 rounds starting in April as the first major event of the year. Combine the desert events and the 4 day and the Active8 team is in for one busy season.