Ballards set for Ballarat
The Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship will hit the season mid-way mark at the conclusion of this weekend’s dual-round format, and riders from the Ballard’s Yamaha Off Road team are set to maintain their winning ways.
The series heads to a new location on the calendar this weekend, with racers to do battle at Monza Park Raceway in Buninyong, on the outskirts of Ballarat. It is the first of two rounds to be staged in Victoria this year – riders and teams will head to Wonthaggi in August. The schedule will consist of two full days of competition, taking on a sprint format for both Saturday and Sunday.
For the victor in each class, there is 25 points on offer on each day, and for Ballard’s Pro riders their total points haul will accumulate towards the outright championship ladder also.Heading into the event, Chris Hollis and Jarrod Bewley maintain a perfect winning class record for the season, both on 100 points.
The aggregate event timing for the four rounds so far puts them in 3rd and 4th place in the overall chase for the series leader,AJ Roberts, and they are sure to exert every effort in order to close the gap at the front.
For Hollis, the weekend will be about maintaining his Championship E1 class lead by putting together quick and consistent heats, and he is aiming to add the maximum 50 points to his score as the event concludes on Sunday afternoon. “I’ve had a very successful start to what’s been a competitive season, there are any number of riders who have the skill and speed to be leading so I’m pleased to have put in good performances at the opening round to hold the upper hand,” said Hollis.”The new location this weekend is sure to mix things up, I’ll definitely be aiming for some quick heats first up to make sure I’m within reach for both days.”
“The bike is great and Ill be going my hardest to overtake AJ Roberts and Brad Williscroft in the championship overall points chase.”
Bewley’s domination of Championship E3 has been comprehensive to date, with the bike working brilliantly beneath him. “My Ballard’s team have been perfect this year, and have enabled me to win 4 from 4 rounds so far – I’m hoping to make it 6 from 6 with another good weekend,” said Bewley.”Once some good lines develop on Saturday I’m pretty confident it will be the leading machine in E3 once again.”
Up against some tough opposition in Championship E2, Shannon Lewry has found his feet and is closing the gap on the frontrunning trio, sitting only a few points shy of third. “I’m happy with the progress I made in rounds 3 and 4 and I’m a lot more confident on the bike, I’m aiming for consistency this weekend and will be putting pressure on the front guys,” said Lewry.”It’s important that I make a good start and the WR450F has shown that its a great enduro machine and just as quick and easy to ride as any out there.”
Ballard’s Off Road Expert and Clubman riders will also be out to showcase the skills that have them comfortably leading 3 from 4 classes. Both Geoff Ballard and Alison Parker are sitting on 100 points going into the weekend, showing little sign of slowing down or relinquishing their points advantages.
Jason Cater is tied for top spot on 94 points in Expert Veterans, and will look to gain a competitive edge over rival rider Stuart Bennett.
Also on the improve and looking to build on an impressive performance from last round is Josh Ballard. He took away 1st and 2nd place finishes from Mogo and is confident he can go one better and claim the double-header win aboard the WR450F in Expert E2.
With each and every Ballard’s team member taking a podium for Yamaha at the last round, there is certainly a lot of momentum to be capitalised upon, and the committed 7-rider squad is sure to make strong series inroads once again.