Yamaha off road teams and riders will all make a beeline for Mildura in North-Western Victoria in the coming days to contest the 2021 Hattah Desert Race. It is always one of the highlights of the racing calendar and 2021 is shaping up to be a memorable one.The long running and high-profile Hattah Desert Race is back for 2021 after being canned in 2020 due to Covid, the riders and teams are excited to be back at the popular event that sees over 600 riders compete over two days. The course is a sand based, 30 minute a lap track, that is as fun as it is challenging and the eight-lap length is a test of man, machine and everything in between.
Headlining the Yamaha challenge in 2021 will be a four pronged attached that will see the Shop Yamaha team rider Josh Green join Michael Driscoll in the 450cc class, while Kyron Bacon and Blake Hollis will spearhead the bLU cRU’s 250cc assault.
To view the team testing prior to the event: https://youtu.be/6wnA0NxSQ04
Green is no stranger to Hattah and as a previous winner, knows exactly what it takes to be standing on the top step of the podium at race end. It is four hours of non-stop, all out race attack on a track that deteriorates and becomes more challenging with each and every lap.
After a recent test run in the area, Green is more than happy with his set up for the big event and the team has his WR450F primed for the big event.
“Hattah is one of my favourite events, well actually, it’s a love / hate affair as it a lot of fun to do but also so demanding on both the bikes and the riders that finishing it can also be a challenge.
“With the event cancelled last year, I can’t wait to get back down there again. The atmosphere of the race is always good, and the team have worked hard to give us our best package yet. Only a week to go but we are ready and looking forward to a great weekend at Hattah,” Green said.
Michael Driscoll will be joining Green in the 450cc division for the event and although not his first Hattah, it’s still one that throws up a big learn curve for him as he comes to grips with the demands of such a unique event. It is essentially a four-hour motocross race and Driscoll with his junior motocross background is well suited to the event, hoping to secure his best result yet in 2021.
“Hattah is tough in many ways, but I feel better prepared for it this year than any other time I have competed here. I know the conditions, the surface and the intensity of the race and our pre-event testing has gone well, so everything is in place for a good result come race day.
Handling the duties in the 250cc class are the young guns of Kyron Bacon and Blake Hollis. While the highspeed nature of a desert race means outright victory on a 250 will be tough, both Bacon and Hollis will be out to not only win the 250cc class but put as many as their high-powered rivals behind them by the finish line.
Both will be mounted on the YZ250FX machine, a hybrid off road – motocross bike that is perfect for an event like Hattah. Both riders have started the 2021 well and are in good form to look for the two chargers ripping through the pack on race day. You will probably hear them before you see them!
There will be plenty more flying the Yamaha flag with the WBR Yamaha team having a huge presence at the event. Former Mx pro, Kale Makeham will leap on board the teams YZ450F for a crack at the event and while he has not been active in racing over the past couple of seasons, Makeham has kept his hand in riding running coaching schools and training for riders in the North-West Victorian region.
Initially planning to have MX1 rider, Max Purvis, to contest the race but they now have had to withdraw him due to the Pro MX rescheduling a week later. But stepping up for his first ride back with the WBR Yamaha team will be Bailey Malkiewicz. Bailey only recently got back on the bike and decided that he might as well jump in the deep end and contest the event on a YZ450F. It will be a baptism of fire for the talented rider.
Jess Gardiner and the Yamaha MX Store Ballards’ Off-Road team will also be racing the event. Gardiner will be back on the bike after a stint on the side-lines with a wrist injury and looking to get back on top of the Women’s division while Jeremy Carpentier will race the 450cc class and Danielle Macdonald in the junior girls.
And let’s not count out the Swedish pair of Emilie Karlsson and Stefan Granquist who will be back at Hattah and in the running for class honours.
Action gets underway on the weekend of July 3 and 4 and although under some Covid restrictions, it promises to be a great event and continue its long running and popular tradition.