News 25 Jan 2017

Business as usual for Active8 Yamaha after CDR off-road exit

Baja 1000 winner joins versatile squad on desert racing duties.

Source: Supplied.

The Active8 Yamalube Yamaha team will continue their same approach for season 2017, despite the exit of the CDR Yamaha Off-Road division from the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) and Australian Four-Day Enduro (A4DE) events.

With Craig Dack’s CDR Yamaha team turning its focus solely back to their motocross and supercross efforts, Active8 Yamalube Yamaha team manager, AJ Roberts, admits the level of pressure has increased, but confirms it won’t change things for his team.

“There is a lot of focus on us now in the sense that we’re the only Yamaha-backed team that can get the results,” Roberts told “Because of the focus point now, there is more pressure for sure.

“If CDR had a bad weekend and we went okay, then Yamaha still had something to be happy about and it went both ways, but now if we have a bad weekend, the other team isn’t there to support that.”

Sporting an updated three-rider line-up featuring Beau Ralston, Josh Green and newcomer Wil Ruprecht in the E3, E2 and E1 classes respectively, it’s business as usual for Roberts and his riders: “We’re still doing what we do, we’ve always had three riders and it will be the same this year. This year Josh and Beau will be doing both desert and enduro.”


With Green and Ralston taking on both disciplines and Ruprecht focusing solely on enduro for 2017, Roberts will enlist the services of Alice Springs native Daymon Stokie, who was part of the 2016 Baja 1000-winning Ox Motorsports Honda team.

“We’ve also got Daymon Stokie racing desert for us, he’s a local Alice Springs boy,” he explained. “He was part of the Baja-winning team last year, so he was the first Aussie to be on the winning team. We really felt like we needed someone like Daymon on the team, we needed someone who’s focusing purely on desert as it’s a pretty important aspect of our racing.”

Committed to contesting both disciplines of the sport, Roberts admits it is a challenge to pull off their program with completely different bike settings involved for Green and Ralston throughout the year.

“The biggest difference is Finke, you’re building a bike that’s really not meant to turn,” he said. “You’re building a bike that goes against the grain of its original manufactured design. So in that sense, bike set-up can be a little bit tricky and it takes a little bit of effort to work out the direction you need to go.

“You need to find riders that can adapt, you can’t have riders that are pigeonholed into an exact style and set-up. There are not many that can be at the pointy-end day in, day out within those two fields, but Josh is a very versatile rider and so is Beau.”

The Active8 Yamalube Yamaha team will kick off their 2017 campaign at rounds one and two of the 2017 AORC series on 8-9 April in Monkerai, NSW.