Yamaha Australia will again have a massive presence in off road racing and the Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) with a host of riders and teams flying the bLU cRU flag in the 2021 season.Alongside the main ShopYamaha Off Road Racing Team, ran by AJ Roberts, Yamaha will expand its bLU cRU support team for the 2021 season. Michael Driscoll (E2) and Blake Hollis (EJ) will now be joined by Tasmanian up and comer, Kyron Bacon, who will contest the (E1) division, under the banner of bLU cRU Yamaha Off Road Racing.
The bLU cRU team will have the same look and feel as the main team and carry the same sponsors, with Yamalube, GYTR, Thor and Michelin adding additional support to make it a fully self-contained and professional unit to house three of the young-guns of Australian Off Road.
All riders showed serious promise in 2020 despite the Covid shortened season and will be looking to again take further steps up the ladder and establish themselves as major players in the 2021 championship. Driscoll finished fourth in the premier E2 division in just his first year on the 450cc machine. Hollis just missed winning the EJ (Under 19) championship by the barest of margins but is determined to make amends in 2021 while Bacon charged to third in the competitive E1 class and continues to improve with each and every outing.
“The bLU cRU Yamaha Off Road Racing Team has been a great initiative for Yamaha and boosts our off road presence significantly,” explains AJ Roberts. “We have three talented and dedicated riders in a team that fits in with Yamaha’s global step-up program and who are knocking on the door of a major team ride in the years to come.
“We will assist the team in everything from on course knowledge and mentoring to bike and technical set up to ensure they get they success they deserve. The team has been going for a couple of seasons now and 2021 is looking positive as we have great riders and team support in place to propel them to their best season yet,”
Also running on Yamaha machinery will be the Yamaha MX Store Ballard’s Off Road Team comprising of multi-time Women’s champ Jess Gardiner, Jeremy Carpentier and Danielle McDonald. Gardiner will be out to continue her domination of the Women’s class that has seen her racking up championship after championship in recent years. She will be mounted on the Yamaha WR250F.
Carpentier will contest the E2 class on the all new WR450F and will be looking to secure a podium position in class and lock down a top eight position outright, while young female star, Danielle McDonald, will move up from the 85cc to the 125cc as she continues her steep learning curve of off road racing.
Emilie Karlsson will also continue on in the Women’s division with Yamaha support. Gardiner and Karlsson make a formidable combination in the Women’s class and both a determined competitors.
Yamaha are also well represented in the junior divisions with Wil Dennett, Boyd Cooper and Harley Hutton, all competing on Yamaha machinery.
“Having Jess and her team is a bonus to Yamaha. She has proven herself to be a very successful rider both in Australia and overseas and does a great job of running her own team. It gives Yamaha great representation across a range of classes and bikes and the results are always good.
“In addition to the direct support to the riders and teams already mentioned, we will continue to offer assistance at the rounds for all Yamaha riders as we have done in years past. We have helped many riders with bike set up and advice as well as some parts when required and are the only manufacturer that brings that kind of support to off road racing” Roberts continues.
“We have things in place and a ready for a huge season as we get back to racing for 2021. I think we are all excited about the new season and can’t wait for the first round at Nowra to get under way,” Roberts ends.
2021 AORC Calendar
Rds 1&2: March 27/28 : Nowra, NSW
Rds 3&4: April 17/18: Golden Beach, VIC
Rds 5&6: July 17/18: Kyogle, NSW
Rds 7&8: August 6/7: QMP, QLD
Rds: 9&10: September 18/19: Kingston, SA
Rds 11&12: October 16/17: Omeo, VIC