Stefan Merriman to compete for Yamaha in 2009 Australian season


After coming off an incredible double round E3 class wins in the World Enduro Championships (WEC) recently in Italy, Stefan Merriman has announced that he will be returning home with his family to Australia to ride for the ‘BALLARDS WELLARD YAMAHA’ team in 2009.

Merriman is unsure at this stage if he will be contesting WR250F or WR450Fs (or possibly both) and plans at this stage to do his off season testing in January 09 once he returns from his World and Italian Enduro Championship season with Aprilia.

Stefan explained he was excited to not only be coming back home to Australia, but back on a Yamaha as well. “I’m pretty familiar with how strong the WRFs are performing at present and of course I’ve known and worked with Geoff before both in Japan while testing and back in OZ where he also set up my WR that I won the 4 Day on, back in 2005. So everything is looking good and should be right on track. I’ve also been talking to a few of the guys who came over to the 6 Day and it certainly seems like things are now taking off in the Australian Enduro scene and are stronger than ever in the 4 Day and AORC champs, both in the presentation and the running of the events, and even the standard of the riders in general.

Team owner Geoff Ballard also stated that he was over the moon with the signing of such an Enduro legend to the newly named ‘BALLARDS WELLARD YAMAHA’ team for 2009. “I have known Stefan for quite a while now and have always been so impressed with his riding and professionalism. He is without doubt the best and most talented enduro rider ever from this part of the world! It’s of course great as well for Yamaha plus our team, but also it will be a big boost for the rising profile of the enduro scene over here. This is going to be absolutely huge for all the riders from the junior level to the other top Pro’s, to try and learn from Stefans obvious speed and experience. Were not too sure what size WRF he will ride yet, but one thing IS for sure. With credentials like winning World Enduro Championships or outright 4 Day and 6 Day titles on both 250 and 450WRFs I’m confident he’ll both enjoy and obviously go extremely well on whatever he picks!”

Other team riders who Geoff has confirmed for 2009 are Jarrod Bewley, Josh Ballard, and junior Ben Burrell. Geoff plans to also be riding again, and is along with Yamaha excited that the team will again support an up and coming rider from Western Australia (to be announced later) through Italian born and now WA resident Mr Mauro Balzarini and his WELLARD company.