Double for Hollis and Yamaha
Yamaha’s Chris Hollis has added an Off Road Championship to his A4DE win.
Yamaha’s Chris Hollis has capped off a stellar season of off-road endurance competition, adding the outright Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship trophy to his historic A4DE win at Nowra on the weekend.
The pacesetter for much of the competitive 12-round championship, Hollis came home strongly in the final stages of the 2008 season, finishing second on Saturday and cruising home to fifth on Sunday to win by an incredible 19 points. The 24-year-old from Port Macquarie exploded onto the scene as the season kicked off, winning five consecutive rounds and maintaining a solid lead at the front with an extended run of podiums aboard his WR450F.
Hollis sealed the deal on Saturday, amassing a points gap that was unable to be bridged by the conclusion of racing on Sunday afternoon. He wrapped up his campaign with 253 points next to his name, 19 clear of defending champion AJ Roberts, who won both rounds on the weekend. The Ballard’s Yamaha Off Road pilot was elated with the win, his first in the national championship and the first for a NSW-based rider since the AORC’s inception in 2005.
Hollis will also go down in history as the first rider to complete the envious ‘double’ – outright AORC and A4DE wins in a single season.
“Going into the season my goal was to win both the four-day and the championship outright, it’s a really good feeling to achieve this,” said Hollis. “Wrapping things up definitely took the pressure off on Sunday, I was able to just cruise around and take everything in, it’s been a long season and this is a good reward.”
“The WR450F was the perfect bike this season, it certainly suits my style a lot better, I feel like I can ride a lot smoother and get the power down easier. A lot of effort behind the scenes went into this win, I have to say a huge thankyou to the team at Ballard’s for a fantastic season – everyone has played a part and I’m glad we’re able to celebrate a good finish together.”
Hollis’ outright championship win converts to a convincing class win – he took Pro E2 honours by a 22-point margin over teammate Jarrod Bewley. Bewley wrapped up third outright in the title chase, finishing just 4 points off second place after a strong run home in the second-half of the championship. He was another frequent visitor to the podium throughout the season, taking two round wins, four second places and two third places. This run of results saw him finish an impressive second in the Pro E2 ranks, with 252 points.
"It’s been a great season for me and for the team, I came close to taking second and was ahead on points after Saturday so its tough to lose out by such a small margin," said Bewley. "I feel I’ve ridden consistently throughout the year and am really happy with the final result."
Between them, the teammates claimed an incredible 8 from 12 outright round victories, a record that underlines Yamaha’s dominance of the championship classes. The manufacturer took 5 from 6 class wins to go with the outright AORC trophy.
The honours list includes Geoff Ballard (Ballard’s Yamaha Off Road / Masters), Stuart Bennett (Sam Laws’ Yamaha / Veterans), Alison Parker (Women’s), Matt Gangell (Ballard’s Wellard Development Rider / Expert E2) and Ben Burrell (Ballard’s Yamaha Off Road / Junior Lites).