Dirt Bike Promotions press release:
Port Macquarie dirt bike racer Chris Hollis could be on his way to making history by winning the prestigious Hog’s Breath Cafe Australian 4-Day Enduro (A4DE) two years in a row after a strong Day 1 finish today.
The Husqvarna Racing Team rider claimed 1st Outright by 11.3 seconds in Day 1 (today) of the four-day event at Orange, NSW.
“I had a pretty good day, it started off pretty well,” Hollis said. “I had a couple little crashes, a few falls in two separate tests, but everything else went pretty good and tomorrow’s a new day and I’ll try not to make any more mistakes.
“I was pretty happy with how I rode today, no one likes to fall off of course, but that’s just part of racing. I’ll just try to eliminate those sort of errors for tomorrow.”
Snapping at Hollis’s heels was young gun Toby Price (MSC Kawasaki), who whittled the gap to Hollis down to only 3-seconds after Special Test Six (when Hollis had a crash. The field completed seven special tests today).
This year’s A4DE is the first for 21-year-old Price, from Singleton (NSW), who switched to enduro from motocross and supercross just this season.
Price finished 2nd Outright and in Championship Class 4 (290cc to 450cc 4-stroke) behind Hollis (as the A4DE is an Australian Championship event, all 2009 class winners will receive Aussie titles).
“Yeah I was stoked… the bike was working awesome and the suspension was really good,” Price said.
“It’s just if I can keep it up for the next couple days [if I can] it would be good.”
Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha’s Jarrod Bewley (also in Class 4) really came into his own in the second half of today, clinching 3rd.
“I’m really happy… I tried to just stay smooth and still be aggressive, I’m stoked with a third, it’s really good,” Bewley said.
Honda duo Peter Boyle and Anthony Roberts finished 4th and 5th Outright and in Class 4.
Roberts finished the day ahead of Boyle after the seven tests, however, incurred a 10-second time penalty for failing the morning’s ‘cold start’ test, which dropped him to 5th behind Boyle.
Yamaha racer Kirk Hutton (QLD) was the first non-Class 4 rider to crack today’s top-10 Outright, coming in 6th (about 5-seconds behind Roberts).
Hutton leads Class 3 (250cc 4-stroke) by 19-seconds ahead of Kawasaki’s Josh Green and Motorex KTM’s Ben Kearney.
Husaberg racer Blake Hore (VIC) came 7th Outright, with KTM’s Ben Grabham (from Bathurst), Josh Green and Scott Thomas (from NSW Central West) rounding out the top-10 Outright.
In Class 1 (200cc 2-stroke), Nathan Castle (KTM) leads the charge by 1.2 seconds ahead of Yamaha’s Grant Siebenhausen.
New Zealanders claimed the top two podium spots in Class 2 (220cc to 250cc 2-stroke) today, with Jason Davis 10-seconds ahead of Rory Mead.
In the ‘big-bore’ class, another battle is unfolding between Husqvarna’s Jehi Willis and KTM’s Brad Williscroft, with Willis finishing 10-seconds ahead of ‘Wonka’ after today’s seven special tests.
In Championship Master’s, last year’s winner Geoff Ballard is again leading the field by a huge 2.5 minutes.
Orange local Stuart Bennett, who won the Championship Veteran’s class at the 2008 A4DE, is leading the class again and by a considerable margin (56-seconds).
And in Championship Women’s, Alison Parker, who also won the title last year, is ahead by 18-seconds over fellow Queenslander, Jemma Wilson.
The A4DE consists of three days of grueling trail and six special test phases a day, equaling a total of about 30 hours and more than 1000kms on the machine. Riders must also complete the Jayco Final Motocross Event on Day 4.
In the 2009 A4DE riders of all skill levels – from Clubman to Pro male and female – from every Australian state (including Tasmania) and New Zealand will be vying for class and Outright honours.
There is also a state-versus-state element to the event, with the top riders from each state competing on Junior and Senior Trophy Teams. New South Wales took out the top gong last year for Seniors and Victoria for Juniors.
‘Parc Ferme’ (the staging area for riders and crews) is located at Orange’s Warratah Sport’s Oval.
The Jayco Final Motocross for the event will be held on Sunday (April 19th) at the Australian National Field Day Site – Borenore.
2009 A4DE Day 1 Outright Top-10
1. Chris Hollis
2. Toby Price
3. Jarrod Bewley
4. Peter Boyle
5. AJ Roberts
6. Kirk Hutton
7. Blake Hore
8. Ben Grabham
9. Josh Green
10. Scott Thomas