Yamaha Racing Take on Manjimup

The long weekend in June has always been dedicated to the Iconic Manjimup 15000 and the Wellard/BRM/Yamaha team was there in force for the three-day event. With juniors and Women on Saturday and Seniors on Sunday the weekend was full of action packed racing.

No rain and warmer than usual temperatures meant Friday’s practice went perfectly with juniors in the morning and seniors designated for the afternoon session.

Located four hours south of Perth Manjimup’s Cosy Creek is regarded as one of the most perfectly situated tracks in the country. With its natural terrain allowing for an ideal course that tests man and machine with sections known as rock and roll hill and the washing machine it is a mixture of hardpack and sand that proves challenging indeed.

Missing both Mat Fabry and Kaj Radcliffe out with injury, Jake Turner was left to fly the flag on Saturday for the Wellard/GYTR/Yamaha junior team along with senior female rider Lily Kent.

Big Wheel 85cc mounted Turner (Mandurah City Yamaha) has been improving his speed this season and managed to get reasonable starts in each Moto but was hampered by a couple of small crashes over the course of the day which kept him from a potential podium position.

“I really like Manjimup and my YZ85 was hooking up well out of the start gate but I made a couple of mistakes which saw me crash a couple of times and did not help my chances today,” Turner lamented.

“I have the pace to run up the front and once I can eliminate the silly things I know I will be fighting with the guys who are filling the top spots,” he finished.

Lily Kent (Midvale Yamaha) put the first runs on the board as she collected third outright for the day. Kent is making good progress and is finally putting all the pieces together after a slower than expected start to the season.

“I felt good today and really enjoyed riding the circuit. It got rougher as the day went on but my YZ250F was up to the challenge. We had 29 girls entered making it one of the biggest Woman’s fields in Australia and to get on the podium really means a lot to me.

“We also have Jess Moore who is currently Australia’s number one Female rider competing in W.A. so it gives me a good bench mark to achieve. I still have a little ways to go but with the support I receive from my team and family it gives me the drive I need to improve,” Kent ended.

Sunday saw the MX1, MX2 and Allstars divisions take to the circuit and with a little track prep and watering Cosy Creek was ready for action.

As Lily Kent was riding on Saturday, 2016 Wellard/BRM/Yamaha rider Liam Whisler (Mandurah City Yamaha) returned to the team filling the empty spot under the truck awning. Whisler rode in the MX1 Pro Class and though not able to ride on a regular basis due to work commitments he showed he had not lost any of his skills by taking third overall aboard his YZ450F.

“The team gave me a call the week before to see if I was free for Manjimup and we worked out a guest ride for this event,” Whisler stated.

“I have not been on the bike too much lately but I knew I could do well in the sprint style Moto’s which turned out to be the case. The only issue I had was a small crash in the first Moto and a bit of arm pump throughout the day but all in all to capture a podium position aboard my Yamaha was pretty cool.”

Riding a YZ250F in the All Stars against 450’s was always going to be tough, however with separate scoring Josh Adams (Cully’s Yamaha) was intent on taking home the top prize money and came within just one point of doing just that.

Adams rode the wheels of his 250F machine in each of the four Moto’s and if not for a first turn incident in Moto one he would have achieved his goal. With a horsepower disadvantage out of the gate against the bigger capacity 450cc bikes he needed to be patient and precise as he picked his way through the field.

“Today was tough for sure and even though my YZ250F is pretty fast I could not do much against the 450’s off the start meaning the roll offs on my Scott goggles sure got a work out as I copped plenty of roost. I was about mid pack in the first corner in three motos and had to make passes quickly which was a bit sketchy sometimes.” Adams said.

“I was really unlucky in moto one as entering the first corner the front end washed out and I went down. Upon remounting I put my head down knowing I needed to make passes and luckily the field was not too far in front, but it put me on the back foot all day.”

Michael Mahon (Five Star Yamaha) had a golden day for sure. With a compliment of East coast professional riders to contend with Mahon capitalised on the power of his YZ450F to get him to the front of the pack and fight for positions. Though not able to beat the factory guys he was the first Yamaha mounted rider as well as the top West Australian finishing in sixth place outright for the day.

“I am really happy that I could be the quickest Yamaha and West Aussie rider in the field and that only full time racers were in front of me,” commented Mahon.

“The track was tough today and having such high-speed sections meant concentration was really important as a loss in focus could put you in a bad place around here. My YZ450F was a powerhouse all day and the Bridgestone’s hooked up out of the gate helping to get me in to a good position to battle with the big dogs.”

Team manager Peter Strickland offered, “Both our teams did extremely well over the weekend and everyone achieved great results. I think if Mat and Kaj could have ridden we would have had more good stories to add to the overall result.”

“There were two highlights for me, one was Michael only being beaten by full time factory riders and the other was Josh and how he was able to wind up his little 250F and pick off his fair share of 450’s along the way in the Allstar race.”

“Having a combined MX1, MX2 race is a bit quirky but both guys showed they can mix it with the country’s best and why we support them. Josh was a little unlucky not to claim the overall in the Allstars for the MX2 class but his tip over sealed his fate and Michael had his starts dialled all day long which is great. Hopefully both guys can carry this momentum over to the next championship round in a couple of weeks at AJS,” Strickland signed off.

 

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Kyabram main industry is dairy and fruit products. Kyabram is nestled in the Goulburn Valley, 200km due north of Melbourne, midway between Echuca and Shepparton. Kyabram has an unusually high number of motorcyclists for its population.
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