Yamahas Jacob Smith finishes 2nd in Aus Safari
Yamaha’s Jacob Smith has confirmed his position as one of the country’s leading off road motorcycle riders after an amazing debut in the gruelling 2007 Australian Safari in Western Australia where he has finished second.
Yamaha’s Jacob Smith has confirmed his position as one of the country’s leading off road motorcycle riders after an amazing debut in the gruelling 2007 Australian Safari in Western Australia where he has finished second. The 18 year old from Condobolin in NSW has amazed the Australian motorcycle racing industry by finishing on the podium in what was only his second ever navigational rally.
Smith rode consistently throughout the event to finish only eight minutes and 53 seconds behind the vastly experienced Ben Grabham and upstaged a host of more credentialed local and international riders along the way. Proving to be something of a phenomenon onboard his Sam Laws Motorcycles Yamaha WR450F, Smith has excelled across a number of disciplines this year while preparing for the Australian Safari and said it was nice to see the hard work pay off.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Smith. “We went into the event with a ‘take it as it comes’ attitude but knew if we played it smart we could get a podium so really, we have ended up with the best possible outcome. The bike was just awesome and didn’t miss a beat over event and for that I would really like to thank Yamaha, our Team Manager Gary Williams and our team sponsor Ross Mitchell.”
“Special thanks must also go to my team mate Jonas Street for helping guide me through the last nine days,” Smith acknowledged. The third Yamaha to complete the event was team mate Ross Mitchell who finished the event 32nd while fellow RMA Yamaha Safari team member Casey McCoy was classified a finisher in 61st after a number of unscheduled stops to make repairs to his WR450F.
Also experiencing difficulties over the nine days, Jonah Street was forced to the sidelines on the final day, unable to finish the event. Team Manager Gary Williams had nothing but praise for his teenage charge and acknowledged he had a big future ahead of him. “Jacob showed skill and maturity way beyond his 18 years over the course of the Safari,” said Williams. “He did everything we asked of him and rode to the plan without fail. With the help of Sam Laws I think we have unearthed Australia’s next off road star.”
“It was very disappointing for both Casey and Jonah because if it wasn’t for the unexpected mechanical gremlins they experienced I am sure they would have been right up there on Jacob’s tail. This was the best team we have ever put together for the Australian Safari,” Williams continued. “We have a fantastic sponsor in Ross Mitchell who also took on the challenging event finished a very credible 32nd.”
Australian Safari Final Results (Provisional) Top 10 bikes – After Stage 33 Day Nine (final stage/day)
1. B GRABHAM (NSW), Honda CRF 450X, 15:52:12
2. J SMITH (NSW), Yamaha WR450, 16:01:05
3. A CHANNING (NSW), KTM 660 Rallye, 16:21:44
4. A RIEMANN (SA), KTM 450EXC, 17:29:01
5. M FISH (VIC), KTM 525 EXC, 17:51:03
6. A COAKER (NSW), Honda CRF 450X, 17:52:36
7. D SCHWARZ (SA), KTM 660 Rallye, 18:09:39
8. B KIENHUIS (VIC), Husaberg FE 650, 18:12:36
9. B HUDSON (QLD), KTM, 450 EXC, 18:18:42
10. T O’CONNOR (NSW), Yamaha WR410, 18:22:55