Rod Faggotter heads the field after day one of the 2013 Australian Safari
Shane Diener sits in a very respectable fourth place
Vernon Strange charged from 21st to sixth on day one.

Yamaha’s WR450F leads the Way at Australian Safari

21 Sep 2013

Yamaha Desert Racing’s Rod Faggotter has forged to the lead at the end of competition on the opening day of the 2013 Australian Safari, held in WA.

The week-long event, the toughest of its kind in Australia, saw over 100 competitors’ face the starter on day one and the Yamaha Desert Racing team were looking to lay down a solid foundation on the opening day.

Rod Faggotter, Shane Diener and Vernon Strange are all Yamaha WR450F mounted and inside the top 10 after the three stages and nearly three hours of racing done today as they raced through the Western Australian wilderness.

Faggotter started his day calmly and finished the opening stage running fifth. Stage two and he stepped it up a notch to gain a position on the course and was he was fourth as he left the stage two check-point. Faggotter then continued his momentum in the final stage of the day, winning the stage and at the same time, moving into the lead in the motorcycle division.

Team mate Shane Diener’s day mirrored that of Faggotter as he too climbed his way forward throughout the day. Starting in seventh place he gained three positions by the time he reached the third and final checkpoint for the day at Mori-Yandi and will set off on day two running in fourth place.  

Vernon Strange made it an impressive day for the YDR crew moving from 21st place at the start of the day to be sixth at the end of day one. Strange was one of the big movers in the field on day one and is well placed as the Safari continues in the coming days.

“It was a solid start to the event for YDR,” said Faggotter. “No-one was really pushing too hard as it is in the very early stages, but we all seem to be riding well and the bikes are in great shape, so it’s a positive start and something we can build on as the event moves on.”

The 2013 Australian Safari will see competitors race across the WA inland and up and down the coast line for the next six days and cover some 3200kilometres before the field assembles at Geraldton on Friday for the finish.

All three YDR riders are experience campaigners in long haul endurance events with Faggotter and Diener claiming several wins at other prestigious events like the Condobolin 750 and the SA24 Hour event.

The bikes they are mounted on a production based Yamaha WR450F’s and have proven themselves to be a fast and reliable mount for adventure racing. The majority of changes to the bike made are to suit navigation and fuel loads for the long distances covered.

To follow the YDR crew; www.facebook/YamahaDesertRacing

Australia Safari / Day 1 Results
1st Rod Faggotter - 2.57.58 (Yamaha WR450F)

2nd Todd Smith  - 2.58.34
3rd Matt Fish  - 3.02.30
4th Shane Diener – 3.05.04 (Yamaha WR450F)
5th Lee Stephens – 3.06.24
6th Vernon Strange – 3.06.33 (Yamaha WR450F)
7th Russell Scoble – 3.11.15
8th Warren Strange – 3.11.21
9th Alister McCrae – 3.11.56
10th Ivan Erceg – 3.15.42

Ross Briggs
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