Ballards Ballarat Weekend
The Ballard’s Yamaha Off Road Team has delivered a solid showing of results at rounds 5 and 6 of the Australian Off Road Series this weekend, making their presence felt at the season’s half-way point.
Once again it was Jarrod Bewley who led the way in the Championship charge for the team, taking both round wins across the Saturday and Sunday and further increasing his commanding lead in the Pro E3 category with 150 points to his name.
Bewley has now won every round of the series in 2007 and is making a big impression on the outright leaderboard in 3rd place, with 116 points. “It was a good weekend, good to keep up the run of wins and the weather worked in our favour, turning a really dusty and dry area into an interesting and challenging track,” said Bewley.“I’m really enjoying riding the Yamaha, it’s quick, consistent and powerful at any range, it’s definitely been a telling factor in 2007 so far.”
“I’ll look to keep on going how I have been, Conondale is up next, a different surface and conditions to contend with, it should be great.”
Chris Hollis traded some fast heat times on day 1 within the top 3 in the E1 class, outpacing his rivals on a number of occasions. His round 5 campaign saw him finish third, around 10 seconds off the overall time of the second placed rider.He clawed his way back on the second day of competition and was much racier, outgunning Ben Kearney for many of the heats but falling short at the mid-way point.
A tiny 3-second deficit was all that separated him from taking round 6 victory, and in outright terms he now sits 4th on 107 points, while still maintaining a handy class lead. “It was disappointing to lose out on the second day by just a few seconds but still a pretty good weekend overall,” said Hollis.“The competition was tough as always and the special tests were well designed, while I didn’t come away with a round win I managed to keep my championship standing in E1 and I know I can bounce back at Conondale.”
Despite showing flashes of brilliance throughout the weekend, Shannon Lewry was unable to find his regular pace and rhythm. He still managed to record two top 5 round finishes – 4th on Saturday and 5th on Sunday – keeping his E2 campaign on track.Ballards’ other Championship competitors were at their best across the weekend, with another dominant performance by Geoff Ballard in Masters and Alison Parker in Women’s.Ballard stretched his win streak to 6 from 6, with a perfect points haul to place him 1st on 150 points.
Completing the same feat was Alison Parker, who was particularly dominant once again. She too heads into the next round of the series with an unbeaten 150 points, and said the weekend had turned from what looked to be a dry and difficult run into perfect conditions.“The team went into the weekend knowing that it would be tough with such dusty conditions, it looked pretty miserable. Luckily the rain came at a perfect time for us early on Saturday, it was a massive downpour and made the track really rideable.”
“It made all aspects of the racing better, we ended up with much more track time too. I was able to put in a number of quick laps and ended up comfortably leading on both days. I’m looking forward to heading up to Conondale in Queensland and delivering a repeat performance on my Ballard’s Yamaha, which is proving the quickest out there once again.”
Despite enjoying the conditions, Jason Cater was unable to find the advantage to take first place from closest rival Stuart Bennett in Expert Veterans, finishing second across both days.Josh Ballard was in good form in the Expert E2 class, coming in 4th on Sunday after some quick special test performances.
The Yamaha Australian Off Road Series heads to Conondale on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, May 21-22 for rounds 7 and 8 of the national competition.