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AUSTRALIA. The 2018 racing season got off to a very successful start for the Yamaha Junior Racing teams of Tasmania and Queensland with both teams tasting victory at respective state events over the weekend.
The Queensland team of Levi Rogers and Jake Cannon contested the opening round of the long-running Sunstate State Motocross series at the sandy and always challenging Hervey Bay circuit. For Rogers, it was his first ride back after major shoulder surgery while it was the team debut for Cannon so there was plenty of atmosphere in the pits on Saturday morning.
Despite only getting a clearance to ride just two weeks ago and then only squeezing in a couple of quick rides prior to Hervey Bay, Rogers made a very successful return to racing, winning the 13-14 years 250cc class as well as the 13-14 years 125cc division, taking victory in five of the six motos contested.
It was a well-constructed day for Rogers who acknowledges he is far from top speed and peak fitness but just paced himself through the day in hot and humid conditions on a demanding track.
“It’s nice just to be back riding again as the last three months haven’t been much fun,” Rogers explains. “After the junior nationals last year, I had to get my shoulder operated on and I have been off the bike since early October so today wasn’t even about winning, I just wanted to get through the day, have some skin left on my hands and get some racing under my belt.”
“So, it was good to get some wins and now we can move onto the next round and hopefully get a little more preparation in,” he ends.
It was a day of a couple of firsts for new team member, Jake Cannon. The 10-year-old did his first major race with the team as well as his first major race on the 85cc. For Cannon, it was a very productive day taking third in the 9-11 years 85cc class and every race saw him well within striking distance of the leaders. He finished the day with 4-3-3 results.
On his 65, Cannon claimed second overall with 2-5-1 results.
“It was a pretty cool day and the track as really good,” Cannon said. “My bikes were unreal and then during the day, Dean Ferris turned up and hung out with us for a while so that was really good too.
“It was my first race and I was pretty nervous but it was good to get on the podium on both bike so I’m happy!”
It also proved to be a successful weekend in the senior divisions with CDR Yamaha’s Dean Ferris taking the win in the MX1 class, while Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Richie Evans took victory in the MX2 division.
The next race for the Queensland team takes place on March 2/3 at the Coolum circuit for round two of the series.
It was also a great day for the Tasmanian team who tackled the opening round of the Coastal Championships at the Penguin circuit.
Angus Pearce took control of the 9-11 years divisions, winning every moto on board his 85c and 65cc in a clean sweep for the young thrill seeker.
Not to be outdone, 15-year-old Lochie Smith matched those results, claiming all before him in the 13-15years 125 and 250cc classes.
“It was a great start to the year for the boys winning their classes for the day and taking all 12 moto wins,” said team manager, Brody Jennings. “It was a great team effort and I’m really impressed with the effort the boys put in today and hopefully it is a sign of things to come this season.”