-- Yamaha men rev up for A4DE
Daniel Milner and his YZ250F, ready to race the 2012 WR450F A4DE
Tomorrow will see the gate drop for the prologue of this year’s Yamaha WR450F Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) and Yamaha’s enduro guns will be hunting for front of pack finishes.
The prologue, which will consist of a one lap dash against the clock around one of the six special tests being used for the event, will determine the starting order of the race which is being held from Wednesday to Saturday near Warragul, Victoria.
Out for Championship E1 and Outright honors aboard his YZ250F will be local boy Daniel Milner (from Lang Lang).
The 20-year-old has had a great season so far, claiming his first Aussie title in the 2012 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) and finishing second Outright.
“It will be a tough event if it rains,” Milner said. “It’s pretty wet now - it’s stopped raining today but it has been the last few days down here.
“The sun’s out now, but they're calling for rain Wednesday and Thursday... then it’s expected to fine up, so hopefully we don’t get too much more - it’s already very slick and the soil is slippery clay.
“There’s also a lot of logs and tree roots in the enduro tests which are tricky when wet.
“The special tests are looking pretty good. We’ve walked them all now; there’s two grass tracks, three enduro tests and a fire trail test with lots of logs across it.
“My YZ250F is ready to rock and roll... it’s a great bike and the perfect bike to be on in the tight enduro tests.
“Competition is going to be tough. Toby [Price] is always the man to beat, and Italian rider Alex Salvini is here again, too.
“I wouldn’t mind beating both of them, but we’ll see how it goes.
“There will also be good competition in my class, with the other Yamaha guys; Jarrod Bewley - who’s moved to the class for the four-day - and Tom McCormack.
“They’re riding really well and I’m looking forward to racing with them.”
Oberon (NSW) racer, Jarrod Bewley, is back on a small-bore bike for the A4DE and excited to contest the E1 Class.
Bewley, 24, won the event Outright in Orange (NSW) in 2009 and is looking forward to hitting the “prime tracks” in Warragul and the surrounding areas this week.
Byron Bay’s Tom McCormack is fresh from state victory, after claiming his maiden Yamaha Queensland Enduro Championship. The 19-year-old will be one to watch aboard the YZ250F.
In Championship E2, Milner’s Ballard’s Yamaha Park and Fly Off-Road teammate, Matt Phillips, will be hunting for victory aboard the all-new WR450F.
Phillips, 18, from Wynyard (Tasmania) is another rider who achieved his first national crown in the 2012 AORC.
The 18-year-old finished last year’s A4DE - held near Mackay (Queensland) - in third Outright and first in Championship E3.
Also in the Championship E2 Class will be former E1 rider and member of the Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing team, Josh Green.
Green said he was “ready for something different” after claiming second in the E1 Class in the 2012 AORC and a commendable fifth Outright.
The 22-year-old from Soldier’s Point (NSW) will be riding the all-new WR450F.
“It’s an awesome bike - I love it,” Green said. “It’s a great mix of terrain and tests down here and I think the WR will be a great bike for it.
“I’m stoked I decided to mix it up and tackle the E2 class in my third A4DE.”
Also in E2 will be team manager of the Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing team, AJ Roberts.
Roberts, from Bribie Island (QLD) will be contesting the class aboard a YZ250 2-Stroke.
Championship E3 will see five-time world champion, Stefan Merriman (from Nelson Bay, NSW) contest for the title aboard the big-bore WR450F.
Merriman, 39, from Nelson Bay (NSW) claimed the E1 title in the 2011 A4DE.
Championship Veteran’s has received an exciting new competitor with five-time national enduro champ, Kirk Hutton, ready to race aboard the WR450F.
“I was on a YZ250F last year and I had a good result, coming third in class and 10th Outright,” Hutton said. “But I really like the 450F and I’m especially looking forward to the extra horse power in the fast, hilly grass track test down here.
"It's a bit of a change in my career, but one I'm looking forward to as I'm now 39 years of age and really looking at enjoying my racing as well as being competitive and trying for a national title."
And in Championship Women’s, last year’s winner, Jessica Gardiner, will be
leading the charge aboard her WR250F. There is a record number of women’s
competitors this year, with a total of 14.
The A4DE is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious enduro motorcycle events and contributes an estimated $5 million annually to the economy of the host area.
Trail sections and special tests are set to be some of the most memorable in A4DE history, and will utilise parts of the most popular trail from the previous four-days that were held at the town; in 2004 and 2008.
Parc Ferme - or the staging area for the race - will again be held at the
fantastic venue of the Buln Buln football oval, located just outside of town on
Old Sale Road.
2011 A4DE RESULTS
|- LATE BRAKING NEWS
- REVIEWS -