Bellino holds a narrow lead over Yamaha’s Milner heading into the final day of the 2016 A4DE Championship
After losing his lead on Day Two to French Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Mathias Bellino, CDR Yamaha’s Daniel Milner battled it out today, both riders neck and neck all day keeping spectators on their feet for day three of the 2016 Yamaha Australian Four Days Endruo.
With anticipation in the air as bikes left Parc Ferme today, the question on everyone lips was could Milner reclaim his day one lead over Bellino with six tests to get the job done? Fortunately for Bellino, although Milner was close to his times on every test, it was not enough with Bellino remaining in the lead at the conclusion of day three.
First test this morning (Yamaha) is where Milner’s charge began, claiming the outright test win in a time of 2:10.610. Proving that he too was not going to rest until he gave all his fight was CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis was just behind Milner with a time of 2:11.126. Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Lachlan Stanford was the third man to post the quickest time of 2:11.360, with Bellino (2:11.420) in fourth.
Milner also secured the fastest time at the second test of the day (6:24.794) in the KTM test in front of Hollis (6:26.721) and his battling rival Bellino (6:28.274).
Following in a winning streak, Milner (7:42.101) dominated in the Force Accessories test, gaining a valuable ten seconds on Bellino’s outright lead from the previous day. Unfortunately for Bellino (7:52.054), two crashes in the Force Accessories test saw him not even in the top three quickest times, allowing KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders (7:48.181) to take second, with once again hard charging Hollis (7:49.521) in third.
With three tests in quick succession, Bellino stole the fourth test (Beta) win with the quickest time of 4:39.028. Milner was only a fraction off the Husqvarna time, sitting just 0.814 seconds behind. Hollis’s consistent results on Day Three, and once again flying a third quickest time (4:40.830), allowed him to maintain third outright.
The dust was a determining factor in performance on the Husqvarna test today, and striking from third position was Yamaha mounted Chris Hollis, securing himself an outright test win with the quickest time of 4:56.912. Hollis’s time came under fire from Active8 Yamaha Yamalube’s Josh Green, however Green narrowly missed out on the number one spot with a time of 4:57.022. Bellio (4:57.494) also only a fraction off the pace through the dusty, dry and treacherous conditions.
Bellino’s time from the fifth test allowed him to snatch back some valuable seconds from Milner, clutching to the number one position with one test to go. Milner’s Husqvarna test set him back finishing sixth, after two crashes, pushing hard to make up lost time.
Before long it was on to the last test where competitors were once again directed to the well-known KTM test. However, it wasn’t a KTM on top of the times sheets, with team mates Milner (6:27.715) and Hollis (6:28.563), securing themselves a respective finish of one and two. Sanders, showing his speed once again with another top three finish took a 6:29.719 lap time.
Milner closed down the gap to just six seconds and the final day is on a knife edge as Milner and international rider, Mathias Bellino, go head to head in the final motocross test in a winner take all style shootout. Neither rider can afford to make a mistake as the rider stays composed and performs under pressure will be crowned the A4DE winner as well as E2 (450cc) class champion.
Just behind the lead duo is Milner’s CDR Yamaha team mate, Chris Hollis. Hollis competed well on day three and is some 20 seconds out of the outright lead and retains third in the E2 class. If either of the top two make a mistake, Hollis will be there to pounce.
The final day will be a special one for Hollis who has just announced that the 2016 A4DE will be his final event in professional racing and he is bringing down the curtain on a long and distinguished career.
“It will be a day of mixed emotions for me as racing has played such a huge part of my life and there are so many aspects that I will miss. The friends made along the way, seeing places you wouldn’t normally go and being able to see the world with the freedom of riding a motorcycle are all things that mean the most to me. But I feel the time is right to step down from racing at this level and explore other options in my life, so I’m excited to see what the future brings. I would like to thank so many people who have been a part of my racing over the last 20 years. The teams and sponsors I have raced for, my family and friends for their continued support and the hundreds of people that made racing fun.”
Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha) is proving to be a strong contender, with less than a month to prepare after a long layoff with injury and mounted on a 250cc machine, Green holds down fourth outright and has a comfortable lead in the E1 division. Barring a catastrophe he will add another A4DE class championship to his name on Day Four.
Each class is respectively fighting it out for titles across the four days and have seen multiple battles to steal the class lead. On Day Three however it was Green, Milner and Sanders who led the Day Three E1, E2 and E3 competition to come out victorious.
Tayla Jones is in a strong position in the women’s division with a six minute lead going into the final day. She heads a gaggle of Yamaha riders with Jemma Wilson, Jess Gardiner and Emelie Karlsson in positions two through five.
Vet racer, Dylan Rees has a one minute advantage over his nearest rival going into the final day. Rees has led the Vets class from day one and is determined to finish the job in style. Kirk Hutton currently runs in third place in the Vets.
It was again New South Wales who lead the State Trophy Team charge signing off on day three of the Yamaha A4DE with the Senior, Junior and Women’s Team leads.
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