News 1 Mar 2016

CDR Yamaha's McCormack primed for AORC comeback

Racing return draws near following injury-struck past season.

Image: Mad Dog Images.

Image: Mad Dog Images.

CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack is counting down the days in anticipation for his return to racing after an injury-riddled 2015 that saw him race only twice in 12 months.

But with the opening round of the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) set down for 19-20 March, there is light at the end of the tunnel and the former E1 champion is hard at work in preparation for the season opener.

“2015 is a year I want to forget as far as racing goes,” said McCormack. “It started out with an injury at the last round of the Enduro-X series where I broke my wrist, which put me on the sidelines for nearly two months and then it was race against time to be ready for the AORC.

“I missed the opening four rounds of the AORC but returned for rounds five and six in South Australia only to have a big crash on the Sunday and end up in Hospital with six broken vertebrae, a punctured lung, spleen damage and a whole range of smaller issues in what was a pretty serious accident.

“I had to stay in Hospital in Adelaide for some time after the crash before I was able to fly home to Byron Bay and then start my recovery. My return to racing was a bit hit or miss at the start as I didn’t know how well I would recover or even if I would be able to ride again.

“But Craig Dack called me very early in my recovery and said I had a bike and a job here waiting for me when I was ready to ride so that picked my spirits up a lot and gave me something to shot for.”

McCormack then went through an extensive rehab program that saw him completely change his training and diet to suit his recovery and nearly four months after the fall, McCormack finally got back on the bike and took a few tentatively laps around his local riding area.

“It felt good just to be back on the bike and having a ride,” he added. “It wasn’t until I had a few rides that I felt that I was in a position to make a decision about whether I would return to racing. CDR Yamaha and Yamaha Australia have been extremely supportive during my injuries and I can’t thank them enough for standing behind me throughout the past 12 months.”

With his body now back to 100 percent and pre-season testing and training in full swing, McCormack is counting down the days to the season opener in Queensland and can’t wait to get back into a competitive environment.

“This will be my first full season on a WR450F in the E2 class, so I have set some modest goals to start the year and hopefully continue to build as the year progresses,” he added. “The WR450G is a great bike and I feel really comfortable on it so it’s just a matter of getting some race fitness and intensity back.

“I didn’t realise how much I miss riding or racing and the injury has matured me in a lot of ways so hopefully, I will be a better rider because of it and the hard work the team and myself have put in will be rewarded.”

The opening round of the Australian Off-Road Championship will be at Kilkivan in Queensland on 19-20 March.