Australia’s top junior Yamaha pilots did themselves proud by claiming four national junior championships from the seven classes the manufacturer is able to contest after the week long Australian Junior Motocross Championships wrapped up at the Newry Circuit in Victoria over the weekend.
Jesse Dobson, Joel Milesevic, Courtney Duncan and Shaun Redhead lead an impressive list of Yamaha results to claim the win and the national crown in their respective classes. On top of that, several other Yamaha riders crowded the podium in a strong showing for the Yamaha brand.
Taking on the team captain role, Shaun Redhead in his final year as a junior was in devastating form in the 15 years 150cc two stroke division. Redhead came out all guns blazing in the opening motos and blew his competitors off the park with winning margins around the 30 second mark to take control of the championship. He then rode smart to round out the week with 1-1-2-2- 4 results to give the new Yamaha YZ144 a perfect debut. Behind him was fellow Yamaha mounted New South Welshman, Errol Willis in a strong second place.
“I was pretty determined to win a championship in my final year of racing juniors. Yamaha and the guys at YRD gave me a great bike and the new 144 is awesome to race, so I was so keen to get down to Newry and show everyone what the bike was capable of. I also can’t thank my team enough as well as Pro Griffin Yamaha, Ray Howard and Darren Thompson for all their help over the past few months,” said the victorious Redhead.
Home state boy Joel Milesevic kept the ball rolling taking out the 12 to 13 years 85cc class with 1-1-2 result in the three points paying finals. In an awesome display of controlled aggression, the young Victorian charger cut his way through the field to take the win in the class just ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Scott Mann for a blue 1-2 finish.
“I have worked really hard for this and I’m so proud of winning this championship. My family puts in 100% into my racing and it was good to see them so happy about the result. There are also a heap of other people to thank, especially the Victorian Yamaha Junior Development Team and Rosco Holden for their support,” offered the elated rider.
It was a fitting finish for the year for Jesse Dobson who recovered from a string of injuries early in the season to claim the big trophy in the 9 to 11 years 85cc. Dobson posted 1-5-1 results in the finals to take the chocolates ahead of Wilson Todd, also on a Yamaha. Dobson punched the air as he bought his YZ85cc home in the final race and was excited over his win.
“After the second race where I finished in fifth, I thought it was all over. My Dad told me to just go out and win the final race and see what happens and that’s what I did. I want to thank my Dad and also Shell/ RXT /Pro Yamaha Racing for their help this year.”
Last but certainly not least is the championship belonging to the world fastest junior girl, Courtney Duncan who smashed the opposition in the Girls 85-150cc class. Duncan, from New Zealand, was far too good for the rest of the field and blitzed to five wins from five starts on board her YZ85. She blended in perfectly with the fellow Yamaha riders in the junior development teams and is looking forward to many more trips across the Tasmania.
“ I had an awesome time here and it was cool to hang out with the Aussie riders. They were all so nice to me. I also want to thank Yamaha Australia and Yamaha New Zealand for making this happen and also Evolution Yamaha for the use of my bike- it was unreal,” said the likable Duncan.
Over 700 bikes and 600 riders contested the event over seven days in what is a tough assignment for the riders, teams and families. Yamaha’s junior development program continues to lead the way in fostering young junior motocross talent in Australia and the company supports more riders than any other manufacturer.
“On behalf of Yamaha, I would like to congratulate Shaun, Joel, Courtney and Jesse on their success at these championships,” said Yamaha’s Motorsport Manager, Ray Howard. “The infrastructure Yamaha has in place for young riders is proving very successful and Yamaha is back again as a dominate player in the junior categories mixing talented riders with great machinery,” he finishes.