Steady start to Australian Safari for Yamaha riders
The RMA Yamaha Safari Team is on track at the conclusion of day 3 of the Australian Safari, with all 4 riders performing consistently and quickly across the series of demanding opening legs. The event kicked off in the far northern regions of Western Australia, with riders settling into a steady groove in the 678km stretch from Kununurra to Fitzroy Crossing, adapting well to the unique and varied terrain.
Jonah Street and Jacob Smith sent a strong message to rival riders early in the piece, coming home in the top 5 and setting themselves up for a strong second day. Smith capitalised on the momentum during the second day, chasing the leaders across the first few stages and blasting by for his first stage win on Saturday afternoon. Casey McCoy’s progress was hindered as his bike became caught up in wire along the course, but he emerged as a competitive threat with a good comeback on Day 3, on the run from Broome to Port Hedland.
Yesterday’s bone-jarring course took competitors through a wide range of Western Australian terrain, with competitors having to negotiate narrow sandy station tracks, mud flats, salt lakes and abandoned roads through rough creek beds and deep gullies.
Provisional results as of the end of Day 3 see the top 6 riders separated by just 10 minutes, and the RMA Yamaha Safari Team is confident of continuing the good opening run of results. Team Manager Garry Williams said the riders were performing exceptionally well and was confident that they would begin to pick more spots up on the frontrunners as the days went on.
“All is good here at the start of the fourth day, but it is early in the piece. I believe the field is going to change drastically over the next two days, and I think that the race will come down to a duel between Jacob (Smith) or Jonah (Street) and Ben Grabham,” said Williams. “The current lead riders have a few time penalties to be applied that will adjust them back and despite getting caught in wire on Day 2 Casey made up some great time yesterday. The fleet of WR450Fs are running very well, and the boys are riding conservatively at this point to ensure we are there at the end. I believe their current pace will put them in position to fight for the win come the pointy end of the event.”
Street and Smith are 5th and 6th respectively, with McCoy closing quickly in on the top 10. Ross Mitchell is performing consistently and is confident of maintaining this run across the next few days as the course weaves its way south. Day 4 heads from Port Hedland to Newman, covering over 290 competitive kilometres across 4 stages.
Top 10 bikes – After Stage 11, Day Three, Australian Safari (Provisional)
1, A CHANNING (NSW), KTM 660 Rallye, 05:22:00
2, A COAKER (NSW), Honda CRF 450X, 05:27:31
3, B GRABHAM (NSW), Honda CRF 450X, 05:31:28
4, S DIENER (SA), Kawasaki KLX 450, 05:36:20
5, J STREET (USA), Yamaha WR450, 05:38:44
6, J SMITH (NSW), Yamaha WR450, 05:39:48
7, M FISH (VIC), KTM 525 EXC, 05:52:14
8, D SCHWARZ (USA), KTM 690 Rally, 05:55:54
9, P NELLIGAN (NSW), KTM EXC 525, 06:03:49
10, A RIEMANN (SA), KTM 450EXC, 06:05:47
Top 10 cars – After Stage 10, Day Three, Australian Safari (Provisional)
1, HEDERICS/WILLIAMS (VIC), Holden Rodeo, 04:41:40
2, DENHAM/DENHAM (NSW), Mitsubishi Trriton, 04:48:54
3, HARRINGTON/TWADDLE (VIC), Nissan Patrol, 05:00:41
4, CONNER/SMITH (VIC), Nissan Patrol, 05:02:14
5, OWEN/CAIRNS (VIC), Nissan Patrol Y 61, 05:13:18
6, DUNN/COVENTRY (SA), Toyota Landcruiser, 05:25:48
7, ROBINSON/ROBINSON (WA), Nissan Patrol, 05:32:56
8, OLHOLM/GRIFFITHS (QLD), Mitsubishi Pajero, 05:35:06
9, WALLENTHEIM/CARPENTER (SWE), Isuzu Vehi Cross, 05:37:09
10, GREG/MCNALLY (WA), Holden Jackaroo, 05:41:31