The Ballards Yamaha team lined up and ready for action this weekend
Jarrod Bewley mounted on the 2012 WR450F
Josh Green in action

Yamaha Racing Launch into 2012 AORC

7 Mar 2012

Yamaha Racing will be out in full force and field a full strength line up at the opening round of the AORC (Australian Off Road Championship) when the championship gets under way this weekend at Dungog, NSW.

Ballard’s Yamaha / Park and Fly
Spearheading the Yamaha charge will be the factory supported Ballard’s Off Road Team featuring former world champion Stefan Merriman, rising superstar Matt Phillips and the teams’ newest member Daniel Milner.

Merriman (E3- bikes over 450cc) enters the 2012 season in good shape and well prepared after spending the off season working on his fitness and dialing in the all new Yamaha WR450F. Merriman is more than impressed with the fuel injected bike and has only made a handful of changes to suit his style and the racing conditions.

Matt Phillips (E2)announced his presence in the off road world, stunning the establishment at the ISDE (International Six day Event) last year where he was in contention for a outright podium finish before he had some issues on the final day. Still, Phillips is a man to watch and with some pre season training and riding in the US, he is primed to take the next step in his racing career. Phillips will also be WR450F mounted.

Making his debut on the factory Yamaha team is Victorian Daniel Milner. After a couple of seasons banging on the door, Milner had a break out year in 2011 and caught the eye of team manager, Geoff Ballard. His efforts were rewarded with a factory contract and he will represent the team in the E1 (bikes under 251cc) class on the YZ250F.

“2011 was a very successful year for the team,” states Ballard. “But we also recognize that we must continue to improve and as a result, the entire team has worked tirelessly through the off season.”

“The new WR450F has come at the perfect time for us and the riders really enjoy riding it. All our testing has been successful and as a team we are excited about the start of the new season,” Ballard finishes.

Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing
In addition to the Ballard’s team, Yamaha has also joined forces with AJ Roberts, Jarrod Bewley and Josh Green to form the Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing team. The Yamaha presence at Off Road events will be massive and the team will also fly the WR450F flag.

Jarrod Bewley is a man on a mission. Despite coming close to winning the AORC on a few occasions, the major trophy has eluded him so far. His return to Yamaha has re-energized the 25 year old New South Welshman and his early season form has been impressive. Bewley will hit the trails on the WR450F in the E2 class and be out to make the top step on the podium.

Joining Bewley on the WR450F will be AJ Roberts. Roberts, the multi time former champ, is back and enjoying his racing again and loving the time on the new bike. AJ has already tasted success in 2012 winning the Ironman class at the opening round of the Queensland Pony Express series recently. Roberts will also be doing the team manager duties and pass on his wealth of experience to his young riders.

Josh Green completes the team and while contest the E1 class on his Yamaha YZ250F. Green has overseas experience but returned to Australia to take up his role on the Active8 Yamaha team and is out to impress.

“As a team, things have come together really well,” explains AJ Roberts. “We have been able to get in plenty of testing and get the bikes sorted quickly, sponsors have jumped on board with enthusiasm and we have been able to get a couple of good results at local races in the lead up to the AORC.”

“I look forward to the opening round and measuring our team and riders against the best in Australia.”

The opening round at Dungog is contested over two days incorporating a wide range of conditions and under the Enduro format. Recent weather suggests the conditions will be wet but both teams are prepared and ready to go.

The championship then continues over five double header weekends with the final round on August 26/27 in Kapunda, SA.

For more information on the AORC:

Adam Riemann / AJ Roberts
Related Racing Teams: 
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