Yamaha AORC is Go

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Shop Yamaha Off Road Racings Will Dennett and Kyron Bacon

The opening round of the Australian Off-Road championship kicks off this weekend at Roma, Queensland, and is highly likely to be run in some hot and steamy conditions.

It’s the first time a national round has been held at the property, just 30 minutes north of Roma, but they have hosted local and state-based competitions in previous years. Rider numbers are again looking
strong with nearly 300 riders expected to converge on the Queensland country town and finding accommodation has been a challenge for some time now.

Yamaha Racing will again show up in force with a range of riders and teams in attendance and competing across a wide range of classes and Yamaha also holds the naming right for the championship, a relationship that has continued for over 20 years.

ShopYamaha Off Road Racing: Kyron Bacon (250cc) / Will Dennett (450cc)
Yamaha Ballard’s JGR Off-Road: Jess Gardiner and Danielle McDonald (Women) / Jeremy Carpentier (450cc) bLU cRU Support: Cooper Sheidow (250cc) / Jett Yarnold (Under 19) GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing: Harley Hutton (85cc) / Marcus Nowland (Junior 250cc)

The Quiet Achiever

The AORC has been the platform for many Australian riders to establish themselves as elite and go on to have successful racing careers both here in Australia and internationally. The likes of Stefan Merriman, Matt Phillips, Chris Hollis, Toby Price, Daniel Milner, Daniel Sanders, Josh Green and Wil Ruprecht are all products of the AORC over the years and one rider looking at adding his name to that list is 18-year-old Will Dennett from Lismore in NSW.
Dennett has been a long-time competitor in the AORC through his junior years but the past two seasons have seen the tall, politely spoken kid from Lismore become a force to be reckoned with and now with the full support of the ShopYamaha Team, Dennett is hoping to make the next step in his career in 2024.

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Will Dennett

Tell us a bit about yourself, Will.

I live near Lismore in NSW and like most young guys in my area, love riding bikes and found I enjoyed off-road. I did and still do some motocross but off-road and enduro riding is what I like best and have been racing the AORC for the past few years as a junior and then into Under 19’s. I did ok in 2022 in Under 19’s, and then last year I was able to win it, which was cool and a great
reward for my family as things had been pretty tough. We had the floods go through my Dad’s business twice in the last 12 months and we lost a lot of stuff, but we managed to keep things going and to win last year’s championship was pretty special and huge for my family as they had
made plenty of sacrifices to keep me racing.

How does it feel to be on the premier ShopYamaha Off-Road team and representing Yamaha in the E2 class?

I have raced Yamaha’s for some time and AJ Roberts from the ShopYamaha team has always tried to help where he could. I have raced everything from a YZ250F to a YZ250 2-stroke and then when I got on the new 450 last year, I felt good on the bike, and I could ride it faster for longer. I loved riding it. Yamaha gave me some assistance last year via the bLU cRU support team they started, and I was in the support truck with Cooper (Sheidow) and Jett (Yarnold) and we had a great time. My results improved and I became more competitive with the guys in the senior classes and with
Josh Green retiring and a spot available in the E2 class, AJ called late last season and asked if I would be interested.

Of course I was and now I’m on the team and it’s awesome. My bike is amazing, the team is so supportive and Yamaha have included me in their WR450F launch a couple of weeks ago where I got to ride with the media, Yamaha staff and some Yamaha dealers, so that was cool.

What are your expectations this year?

I would love to win the E2 class and be in the top three outright but I also know there are some talented riders in the AORC and I will need to continue to get better as the year progresses. Last year I was around the top five outright at most of the rounds apart from the Kyogle round where I was just behind Kyron, so I know I can do it, I just have to make that
happen at every round this year. This year’s championship promises to be a great one as the rider depth is as good as it has been in some time and up to six riders are more than capable of winning a round on any given weekend.