News 31 Oct 2022

WBR Yamaha evaluating options for remaining AUSX rounds

Arm surgery for Roberts following crushing Adelaide SX2 injury.

Image: Foremost Media.

WBR Yamaha is carefully evaluating its options for the remaining rounds in the 2022 Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) after SX2 team riders Jy Roberts and Connor Tierney have both been struck by injuries.

Tierney fell during qualifying at Marvel Stadium and dislocated his hip, which wasn’t put back in place until he reached the hospital and requires roughly five or six weeks of rest.

This past weekend in South Australia saw Roberts crash out of contention during the main event, resulting in surgery to place two plates and 15 screws in a broken arm. With those WBR team regulars unable to compete, it leaves the outfit in search of riders ahead of the final two rounds.

“We’ve spoken to different riders and, I suppose the hard thing is, there are plenty of Aussie kids who want to put their hand up and have the opportunity, which is cool – we are all for that,” WBR Yamaha’s Travis Whitten told MotoOnline.

“However, the last thing we want now is to get someone who is under-prepared and go out there and ride at their 100 percent and hurt someone else. That’s in the back of our mind at this point regarding where to go.

“It’s not like there is huge depth in supercross [domestically] as it is. We have approached international riders to possibly come out and do the two weeks, we are sort of in talks there, but we really don’t know what we are doing at this stage, working through it at the minute.”

It has been a challenging year injury-wise for the team, with breakout MX2 rookie Ryder Kingsford forced out of the Penrite ProMX Championship prematurely with a ruptured ACL and MCL.

Despite winning the final moto of the domestic MX2 season, WBR’s Levi Rogers also managed injury throughout the year and opted to miss AUSX altogether this season.

“We are going through the process of talking to people, because for us there are two rounds left and Yamaha would probably understand if all of a sudden we said that we would pack it in and focus on next year, but that is not what we are about,” Whitten added.

“We want to get out there and I like the idea of giving people the opportunity that they might not have got, so that is in the back of our mind. At the same time, I don’t want that opportunity to see someone else who is not ready out there and hurt themselves.

“There are a couple of US riders we have spoken to, but the budget we could put together for it would just cover their costs and they would have to try and make some prize money and the contingency, so it just depends if that is worth it for them.”

With the four-round 2022 AUSX championship at its halfway point, the series resumes in just under a month with round three at Newcastle on 26 November.