The pre-season races are underway, the team bikes are being tested and developed while the riders fine-tune their final preparations as round one of the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship fast approaches for the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team.Boasting a strong three rider line-up, all mounted on the Yamaha YZ250F, featuring Alex Larwood and Jayce Cosford in the MX2 division as well as reigning WMX champion, Charli Cannon, the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team will be a hive of activity on race day but feel they are well prepared to tackle the challenges of the 2023 ProMX Championship.
Larwood returns after a long stint on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury. The South Australian native was running second in the championship in 2022 until a shoulder injury took him out of the championship and surgery was required to get his battered body back into shape. Now back to full health and riding his way back into shape, Larwood is keen to get back on track and back near the front of the MX2 back.
With injury and covid putting a damper on his previous three seasons, now one is more excited than Larwood to be back behind the start gate at the opening round at Wonthaggi as he looks to rebuild his career.
“The last couple of seasons have been tough with injury and I have missed a lot of races but I’m hoping all that is behind me now and I can get some continuity in my racing and continue to develop my riding,” he explains.
“I had a full shoulder reconstruction done last year and began riding in December again and things have been going well. I still have a bit to go but I’m focused on building a strong and consistent year as I work back towards being at my best.
“The team have been great and I have been in Queensland the past couple of weeks working with them and doing some local events to get back in the swing of racing.
“Wonthaggi is a track I know well and have done well there in the past, so I’m excited for round one and desperate to be back racing at a national level again,” he said.
Joining Larwood on the team for 2023 is Queenslander, Jayce Cosford. Cosford has been a long time Yamaha privateer and in 2022 put in some credible performances that earnt him a ride with the Yamalube team for the season ending Australian Supercross Championship. He now joins the team full time in 2023 and has been working hard to make the most of this opportunity.
“Since getting my contract at the end of 2022, I have worked harder than ever to ensure 2023 is my best season yet. By having the support of a team means I have been able to use my time better to prepare myself both on and off the bike.
“I have also hooked up with Dean Ferris over the summer and spent plenty of days at the track with him. Being close to a three-time champion and watching how he goes about things is something I can learn a lot from. Having team support and Dean are just two of the positive changes I have made and hope that it shows on track come round one in a couple of weeks’ time,” Cosford said.
And maybe the busiest rider for 2023 will be Charli Cannon as she divides her time between contesting the ProMX Championship here in Australia for the Yamalube Yamaha team as well as contesting the World Motocross Championships for the JK Racing Yamaha team.
Cannon came to prominence in Australia in 2022 by dominating the Women’s division at the ProMX but now with an opportunity at a world level, Cannon has her goals and sights set high as she embarks on a challenging yet rewarding racing season.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to do what I do and also to see the changes in Women’s racing over just the past two seasons. In the last two years, we have seen female riders added to manufacturer teams and the increase in profile from racing at events like the ProMX.
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I have this year and thank you to not just the Yamalube Yamaha and JK teams for their belief in me, but also companies like Yamaha Financial Services and ShopYamaha who have stepped up to help me.
“I have also been overwhelmed by the support of the general public and the amount of people who wish me well at the races. I hope to do my best in both championships and represent myself, my team and my family who have all been major supporters of me,” Cannon offers appreciatively.
The opening round of the Penrite ProMX Championship gets under way on March 5 at the tough and technical Wonthaggi circuit in Victoria before finishing at the final round in Coolum in August.
Team Manager, Mike Ward, is also fired up and ready to go for the new season and looks forward to seeing what his riders can produce after a busy off season.
“As a team we have kept at it over the Christmas period and worked hard to improve the team both on and off the track. Like the riders, as a team we also want to be better every year in what we can offer and also the support of the riders in assisting them to get their best results.
“We are fortunate to have a great list of sponsors behind us and have again continued their support in 2023 and we aim to achieve even more success in the coming season,” Ward ends.