The 2023 Yamaha Australian Off Road Championships (AORC) are set to go, with one rounds one and two locked-in at Mendooran, NSW on March 25-26, with Yamaha Racing out in full force. After a hugely successful year in 2022 and amassing a handful of championships, Yamaha teams and riders will be out to make 2023 even better and are primed to go after an off-season that will see the bLU cRU’s AORC profile bigger than its ever been before.
ShopYamaha Off Road
The ShopYamaha Off Road Racing team is back and headlined by two of the best off-road riders in the business with Kyron Bacon and Josh Green at the controls. Bacon stunned the off-road world in 2022 has he went from possible round contender to outright championship dominator. The 20-year-old Tasmanian took all before him in 2022 as he won the AORC and the A4DE in both class and Outright in a record-breaking year. Bacon is back for 2023 and on board his trusty 250F and raring to go.
Alongside Bacon is the old man of Australian off Road, Josh Green. Now in his 12th year with Yamaha, Green continues to shine with 2022 one of his most successful seasons despite being on the shady side of 30. Green loves racing and continues to work hard at his craft to stay ahead of the pack. Mounted on the all-new YZ450F, Green is excited by the new bike and can’t wait to put it to the test at Mendooran.
“The off season has gone really smoothly for us and we are ready to go for the opening weekend of racing,” states team manager, AJ Roberts. “We have made a few tweaks to Kyron’s bike to cater for his development as a rider while Josh is loving the YZ450F and it’s proving to be as good in the bush as it is on the motocross and supercross tracks.
“The guys are fit, the team is organised and Yamaha continues to support off road in Australia, so an exciting year lays ahead for us,” Roberts ends.
Yamaha JGR Ballards Off Road
Multi-time world off road champion, Jess Gardiner will again lead her team into battle in the 2023 Australian Off Road Championship. Gardiner remains the Queen of off-road racing in Australia with a list of national championships longer than your arm and has assembled her riders and sponsors again for 2023.
Gardiner will contest the Women’s division and aim for her seventh national crown, while Jeremy Carpentier will move to the E2 class on the WR450F. Danielle Macdonald will fly the flag in the junior girls division as well as contest selected motocross events throughout the year.
“Last year we came into line with Yamaha and that has been rewarding for both of us as the team is now involved in many coaching and riding activities with Yamaha Motor Australia. It’s a great partnership to have and one that we cherish,” says Gardiner.
“Our season has already been busy, not just building and preparing the new bikes for the team, but also our coaching and camping events have been successful and we have already had several so far in 2023. We have more planned for the year and hope to continue to promote what a great sport we have and encourage plenty of new riders to give it a try.”
Yamaha bLU cRU Support
New for 2023 with Yamaha is the addition of the bLU cRU support program in off road. The team has been established to assist off road riders in making the transition from junior riders to the pro level and now Yamaha has something in place to continue to elevate riders.
The riders for 2023 are Jett Yarnold (Super Moto New England) and Wil Dennett (Lismore Motorcycles) in the EJ (Under 19) class as well as Cooper Sheidow (WSB Distributors) in the E1 division. The new arrangement offers additional support for up-and-coming riders and allows them to take the next step in their careers.
GYTR Yamaha Junior Racing
2023 will mark the introduction of Yamaha Junior Racing into off road. YJR started nationally in 2005 in motocross but will now branch out to include off road and provide development roles for riders. Queenslander Harley Hutton will fly the flag in the J2 class on his YZ85 while Marcus Nowland will do like wise in the J3 category on his YZ125.
Both the bLU cRU Support and the Yamaha Junior Racing teams will work closely with AJ Roberts and his ShopYamaha team for advice and technical support at national events and believe this will fast track rider development.
The opening round will be a fast, furious and somewhat sandy affair as over 200 riders converge on Mendooran, near Dubbo for the season starter.