The WBR Yamaha Team will be working over time as they contest both the MX1 and MX2 classes at the 2023 ProMX Championship. The team have enlisted a contender in each division in the new season.Ryder Kingsford will return to the team for 2023 in the MX2 class while Bailey Malkiewicz will move over from the Serco Yamaha team to WBR and take the controls of the YZ450F in the MX1 category.
Kingsford proved a real surprise packet in 2022 where he made the transition from the MX3 class to a podium regular in the MX2 class before injury stopped him in his tracks. He dropped out of the championship after round four after taking two podiums in the first four rounds.
He then went in for surgery with a knee injury and is just now returning to riding in preparation for next season.
“I think I made good progress during 2022, its just disappointing that I couldn’t keep the momentum going for the full year. But I now know the work it takes to get towards the front of the MX2 field and I have already been working hard on my fitness as my knee recovers.
“I have also been cleared to get back on the bike and despite being a little rusty, things feel good.
“The WBR Yamaha Team have been great to deal with and they have stepped up their support of me in 2023. They do an awesome job and the atmosphere in the truck is good, so I’m looking forward to another season with them,” Kingsford said.
Yamaha’s profile in the MX1 class will increase with WBR Yamaha fielding Bailey Malkiewicz in the premier division. Malkiewicz finished third in the 2022 MX2 class on a YZ250F but given his size and riding style, he seems well suited to the more powerful YZ450F.
Malkiewicz was in great form leading into the Australian Supercross Champion but a broken foot at round one kept him sidelined. He is expected to be back on the bike early in the new year and the challenge of racing at the highest level has him motivated.
“Its great to be back with the WBR Yamaha Team and in the MX1 class. I have been able to achieve the best results of my career racing with the WBR Yamaha guys and we have a great working relationship.
“The move to the 450 class is also exciting. I spent some time on a 450 at the start of 2021 before I headed back to Europe and loved riding the more powerful bike. Yamaha also has a new bike and everything I see and read says that the bike is awesome, so I’m excited to get on it myself and take some laps,” Bailey offers.
Team owner, Travis Whitten, believes his team is in great shape leading into this season and likes his chances with two young guns of Australian motocross.
“It’s exciting to have landed Ryder and Bailey for this season. Both have shown they have the speed and skill to be at the front of ProMX events and we look forward to a great season with them.
“Having a rider in each class will make things busy for the team but we have the staff to make it work, happy to fly the Yamaha flag in the MX1 class with CDR and also race the new YZ450F.
“It’s going to be a great season and we are working hard to make it our best yet,” Whitten stated.