Ash Whisler did it tough after bad starts
Daniel Strickland had a weekend he would rather forget
Shelley Connor had to battle with the boys

Tough Weekend For Wellard Claas Yamaha

26 Apr 2012

Wellard/CLAAS/Yamaha riders converged on the Coastal Park circuit in Henderson for the opening round of the WA Senior Motocross Championships. With light rain in the lead up to the day, the wet, heavy sand made the track a real test to riders and machines.

Pro Lites rider Ashley Whisler (Mandurah City Yamaha) claimed third outright in the 2011 Championship and lined up behind the gates with high expectations. He suffered with bad starts all day leaving him mid pack in the opening laps and with plenty of work to do.

Whisler charged forward in every moto and with the three races done, Ash gathered enough points to be sixth in the title chase with five rounds to go.

“My starts were not there today I tried a few different things to see if they would help but none were what I needed”


“My fitness was really good and my suspension made the bike handle really well especially as the track roughed up. Consistency will be a key to this season so I’ll keep from putting too much pressure on myself and chip away at it from here,” Whisler said after the meeting.

Pro Open rider Daniel Strickland (Five Star Yamaha) had a day he would like to forget in his first race in the Pro class. After winning the Intermediate 450 Championship last year he, Strickland was hoping for good performance to announce his presence in with the big boys.

Unfortunately, the 17 year old was plagued with arm pump and crashes throughout the meeting which left him with a result that does not reflect his true ability.

“I have been trying to balance out my university studies with riding and up to this point I thought I was doing well. I knew my fitness and bike time was not quite where it needed to be but today was a disaster and I must reassess a few things from here.”


“From my form of last year and the guys I raced against I should be well in the top ten so today was a big wake up call for sure,” Strickland had to say about his day.


Sixteen year old female rider Shelley Connor (Five Star Yamaha) raced her first senior event with the boys as there wasn’t a Women’s class in round one. Stepping off a YZ 125cc in 2011 to the YZ 250F this year has been a big learning curve but one she has been making good progress with.


Entered in the Clubman Lites division Moto one was all about getting the nerves out of the way as she managed a mid pack result. Moto two saw her finish in 11th place and score some good points for her troubles. In the last the bad luck that plagued the team caught up with her just after the gate drop when she was involved in a first turn pile up that resulted in her losing her fuel cap and getting covered with fuel. Though she remounted, she was forced to retire from the race due to the broken fuel cap.


“My first senior event was interesting, I really did not know what to expect in the first race and did not ride as well as I could have. In the second I felt more comfortable and improved my finishing position quite a bit.”


“In the last moto I got a good start out of the gate and unfortunately a rider moved over on me as we got near the first corner bringing us both down. I don’t know how but when I got up my fuel cap was missing and had poured fuel all over my nylons and boots and fuel was spilling out everywhere so I could not continue on,” Connor added.


“What can you say about today? We had some very mixed and unusual results. The day did not pan out well for us at all but we will turn it around from here as the picture is clear on where we stand. Ash did well to fight back to where he did at the end of the day and I have never seen anyone lose a fuel cap in a crash before so I think Shelley’s results would have been better otherwise. Next round will incorporate a Women’s class so at least she will be racing in a suitable division,” Team Manager Peter Strickland had to say about his chargers.


Team Sponsors
: Wellard, CLAAS, Yamaha, Bridgestone, AXO, Yamalube, GYTR, Shark, EKS Goggles, DID chains, UniFilter, Blackbird racing and PivotPegz for their support.     

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