News 21 Dec 2022

Yamaha Junior Racing growth set for upcoming season

Unified team to field 11 riders in 2023 with off-road support.

Image: Foremost Media.

An expansion is on the cards for Yamaha Junior Racing (YJR) in 2023, with 11 riders competing under the unified GYTR YJR banner that spans across MX3, junior motocross and off-road racing.

Representing the outfit in MX3 are Seth Burchell and Kobe Drew, both with an impressive junior resume and are now taking the next step in their careers as full-time senior riders.

In the junior classes, YJR will be represented by Blake Bohannon, Heath Davy, Deegan Fort, Jobe Dunne, Kayd Kingsford, Koby Hantis and Jake Cannon, with the latter three all being older than 14 and eligible to contest MX3 as well as junior events.

Davy and Cannon both tasted national championship success at the Australian Junior Motocross Championship (AJMX) in Rockhampton this year, as Dunne has multiple state titles to his credit and Fort notched silver at the 2022 junior nationals.

For the first time, Yamaha Junior Racing (YJR) will have a presence in Australian off-road competition, the line-up consisting of Harley Hutton and 2022 J2 winner Marcus Nowland.

“We made some changes to YJR for 2023 in an effort to increase our footprint on off-road but also maintain the profile we have in motocross,” explains Yamaha Australia motorsport manager Scott Bishop.

“We now have a pathway for Yamaha riders in motocross, off-road and road where we can take you from junior through to the highest level in Australia if you have what it takes.

“With 11 YJR riders, it’s still a huge racing program and there is significant support behind each rider. Bringing in Marcus and Harley for off-road will be a benefit for the team and with both riders still early in their racing careers, we have the time to develop them and work alongside the ShopYamaha team at AORC events.

“Having riders in MX3 also allows those turning 16 another level of support to continue racing as they find their feet in professional racing. It’s a big step up from juniors to MX2 and support can be hard to find, so we have provided a place to house our emerging riders as they mature into professional racing.

“YJR has been going for over 15 years as a national program and Yamaha will continue to unearth and nurture racing talent. From YJR to ShopYamaha, from YJR to CDR Yamaha or OJC to YRT, Yamaha Australia provides the most comprehensive pathway for any aspiring racer.”

In place of the state-by-state teams, YJR will now become a unified team that seeks out quality riders and families in motocross and off-road racing, and remains the largest junior development program in the country.