Daniel Strickland (Five Star Yamaha) has won CLAAS Yamaha its first 450cc title by wrapping up the Intermediate Open division of the Western Australian Motocross Championship last weekend at the Noble Falls circuit East of Perth.
In his first year in seniors he opted to skip the 250cc division which is the more traditional entry from Junior’s to ride the bigger 450 machine and it has paid dividends.
Coming into the day, Strickland was tied for first place but leading with more wins. His only issue was never having ridden the Noble Falls track before. Being a good hard pack rider he was confident of getting the hang of the layout quickly.
This proved evident in practice when he set the fastest lap time and with a good gate pick powered his YZ450F to a win in race one. Another explosive start saw the same result for the second race.
With one more ride for the day the young charger was set to make a clean sweep of it when he crashed in spectacular fashion on a downhill jump whilst duelling for the lead. Though dazed he remounted in eleventh place and rode through the field to get back to sixth by the checkers securing enough points to clinch the title.
“Today was a big day for me, to win a 450 championship for CLAAS and all our partners in my first year in seniors is pretty cool. At the start of the year I was not sure how well I could ride the 450 let alone win a Championship.
“But I did not have to worry as my YZ450F is awesome to ride, right from Thommo’ s suspension to my PivotPegz nothing bothers it, a little tweak here and there and it is a weapon. I look forward to going into the Pro ranks now,” Daniel had to say.
Pro Lites rider Ashley Whisler (Cully’s Yamaha) was also looking to consolidate his top three position for the title as he came into the event in second place. Ash was frustrated with his starts all day and unable to get around the first corner near the front of the pack.
Like his teammate he is a good hard pack rider and was able to fight his way through the field in each moto but would have preferred to be a little better out of the gate. Results of 3-4-3 saw his valiant efforts to make the podium come up short by just one point.
“I could not buy a start today and had to eat a fair bit of roost while making my way through the field. Unfortunately I have slipped back to third in the Championship by one point, so the one point I needed to make the podium had a big effect on the title outcome as well. Luckily the way the Championship is structured I have one round to go which is my home track. I know I can do a good job there,” Whisler lamented.
“Any day your rider wins a championship is a good one. There is not much I can say about the Ash and Daniel they just get out there and do the best job they can every time they race. We are a really new team with young riders and can only get better in the future which is pleasing for sure. From here we will get behind Ash for the last round to make sure he keeps his Yamaha on the podium,” Team Manager Peter Strickland added.
Daniel and Ashley would like to thank their advertising partners CLAAS, Yamaha, Five Star and Cully’s Yamaha, AXO, GYTR, Bridgestone, EKS Goggles, Wellard, Yamalube, Endura, Shark, DID, Unifilter, Incite Graphics, PivotPegz and Pro Art for their continued support.