The new racing banner marks a significant change for Yamaha’s off road team as after a decade working alongside Active8 Refrigeration, they have elected to stand down their major sponsorship of the team heading into 2021.
ShopYamaha Off Road Racing, Team Manager AJ Roberts, is more than thankful for their contribution not just to Yamaha and his team, but also the off road community in Australia.
“Active8 have been a major player in the success of our team over the past nine years and I want to publicly thank them for their years of support, passion and enthusiasm,” AJ begins. “They have been instrumental in the growth and development of this team and also played a big part in promoting off road racing in Australia. Hopefully, we have been able to give them good value for money during our time and they will always be a close friend to not just myself but also the riders who have passed through over the last decade.
“But, we are equally excited to have ShopYamaha on board as our naming rights partner for the 2021 season. With the expanding online demand for motorcycle parts and accessories, I believe we can be a great ally to ShopYamaha and help promote Yamaha’s on line retail space to a wider audience via our racing endeavours and directly to the end user in off road who are always in need of a wide range of OEM parts, GYTR parts and accessories as well as Yamalube oils.”
And while the name might have changed, the rider line up remains the same as Josh Green and Luke Styke continue their racing journey with the ShopYamaha Off Road Racing Team.
Green will again line up on the 450cc machine and contest the E2 class in the Australian Off Road Championships. Green is now a veteran of off road world but continues to produce results that show he is a championship contender. Despite the Covid interrupted season in 2020, Green again finished in the top three outright as well as second in class.
2021 will mark nine years for Green working alongside Roberts and the pairing is anything but stale. Together they have already put many of the building blocks in place for a successful season with testing and training going extremely well in the off season.
“I get excited at this time every year as we are about to start a new season” Green says enthusiastically. “It doesn’t feel like I have been doing this for nine years with the team and each year I try and ensure myself, my bike and my fitness are better than ever and my goals each year never change. I want to win!
“With not many events in 2020, I missed racing and can’t wait to get back to the AORC and race with some of the best riders in the world. I love the atmosphere and the competitive nature of a national championship and this year promises to be one of the best championships yet.”
Back for his fourth consecutive season with Yamaha and looking to make it a record breaking four E1 championships in a row, Luke Styke returns on his trusty 250F. Much was made of Styke’s change from motocross to off road four years ago, but the man from Nowra, New South Wales, has made every post a winner, collecting round win and championship after championship along the way.
Styke has well and truly established himself in the off road game and despite some challenges faced over the off season, he is revved up and ready to return to racing at 100%.
“2020 was a tough year for a lot of us in many ways, so I’m looking at putting that year behind me and making the most of what lies ahead. Each year more young guys come into off road racing via the E1 class so it getting harder to win each year but I’m ready to do the work and keep the number 1 plate on my bike for at least another year.
“This year we even start the championship off in my local area with rounds one and two in Nowra, so it will be an awesome way to start the championship racing with the support of my family and friends in the area that I have done so much riding growing up.”
With the start of the season fast approaching, The ShopYamaha Off Road Racing Team will finalise testing before contesting some lead up events to ensure things are ready for the opening weekend of the AORC on March 27-28.
“Both Josh and Luke are seasoned professional racers and will be ready to go when the season rolls around. We have a long term relationship with both of them but as a team we continue to push boundaries in our search for success.
“We will soon announce our off road support programs but I’m happy to say Yamaha Australia have been able to maintain our off road presence despite some trying times in 2020. We will have a strong Yamaha contingent at the AORC and will be out to win as many championships as possible in 2021,” AJ ends.
To check out Yamaha’s online shop for parts and accessories, visit: https://shop.yamaha-motor.com.au/
Rd 1-2: March 27 and 28: Nowra, NSW
Rd 3-4: April 17 and 18: Golden Beach, VIC
Rd 5-6: July 17 and 18: Kyogle, NSW
Rd 7-8: August 7 and 8: QMP, QLD
Rd 9-10: September 18-19: Kingston, SA
Rd11-12: October 16-17: Omeo, VIC