Yamaha Motor Australia press release:
All three Yamalube Yamaha Active8 Team riders enjoyed podium success at the gruelling and always challenging Hattah Desert Race, ran near Mildura in Victoria, over the weekend.
Josh Green, Luke Styke and Michael Driscoll all put their bodies and bikes through four hours of motorcycle torture to claim two class wins and a third as well as snare second outright in a very successful days’ racing for the team.
Josh Green lead the way and steered his Yamaha 450 home to second place outright and take the 251 -450cc class win. Green took four hours and sixteen minutes to complete eight laps of the sandy, rough and whooped-out Hattah course that deteriorated by the minute as nearly 800 riders took on the event.
Green had a trouble-free run throughout the day and was exhausted but elated at the end of racing.
“This is always the hardest event of the year as it is so physically challenging,” Green begins. “It’s basically just a four-hour motocross race on a sand track with the only break you get is to refuel and then its wide open again for another lap.
“The track is always changing to. The sandy surface combined with so many riders means a small bump at the start of the first lap is a huge one by lap two and then by the end of the day is a sand dune.
“My team did an awesome job today and we were in the running all day. My hands are wrecked and I’m worn out now but glad to make it on the podium and get a good result for myself and the team,” Green ends.
Luke Styke made his Hattah debut and entered the 250cc class to test the waters for his first time. Styke has been a revelation since taking on off road racing at the beginning of the year but Hattah was a challenge he had yet to face.
But, he stood up to the challenge and took home the class win in the 250cc four stroke class, nearly three full minutes ahead of his nearest rival. Despite being 200cc down on the riders above him, he finished in fourteenth outright in a very impressive day on an uncompromising course.
“It’s been a while since we have raced but after speaking with a lot of the off-road guys, I knew Hattah was tough so I put in plenty of hours on the bike to be fit enough to handle it and I’m so glad I did.
“Four hours racing a bike at high intensity is hard on your body and my legs, arms, hands and back all feel pretty weak at the moment but without that lead up work, there was no way I would have been able to finish as well as I did.
“My bike was bullet proof again today and the team must take huge credit for that. To prepare a bike for a race as tough as this isn’t easy and to keep it running as strong as it was after four hours of abuse is a credit to them.
“We all deserved a well-earned day off tomorrow,” Styke signs off.
With Wil Ruprecht recovering from his shoulder injury, Michael Driscoll, flew the flag for the Yamalube Yamaha Active8 team and raced alongside Styke on the 250cc class. Driscoll, had competed this race last year in the U19 division so he knew what he was in for.
He also continued his good season with a third-place finish in the 250cc four stroke class, making it a 1-3 for the team. He finished 18th outright in a good showing for the talented off-road racer.
Like his team mates, Driscoll also had an incident free run and kept his Yamaha 250 purring along nicely the entire event to take a well-deserved podium finish and again make progress in his racing.
“It’s my second time racing this event and I have learned more about what it takes to do well here and the preparation required,” said the 18-year-old. “Each year I want to continue to improve and after this weekend there are a few things I will do a bit differently so my results can get better each time I come here.
“Thank you to everyone on the team as it is such a tough race for them, especially with three riders, but they did a great job and all three of us finishing and on the podium in our class shows just how good a job they have done,” Driscoll ends.
The Yamalube Yamaha Active8 Team now switch back to the Australian Off Road Championships where rounds five and six of the series will play out at Dungog in New South Wales on July 28-29. Wil Ruprecht is expected back and the team will be at full strength with the Dungog round a home town event for both Green and Ruprecht.