Yamaha, Yamalube, GYTRhttps://www.yamaha-racing.com/dakar
Rod grew up on a sheep and cattle station in the Australian outback in Queensland and was riding bikes almost before he could walk. He used his first pay check at 18 to finance his desire to go moto-x racing and did that until his mid-twenties, before friends introduced him to desert racing, more suited to his style and the type of riding he’d done as a youngster. In 2012 he got the chance, via a local sponsor, to enter the Dakar on an Australian prepared 450 Husaberg and was going well until mechanical problems put him out of the race on the fifth day. With his appetite very much wetted he returned to the Dakar in 2013 on a rental Yamaha prepared by French outfit HFP and finished an impressive 14th overall. The turning point arrived in 2018 with Rod lined up in the Yamaha factory team. Unfortunately a technical problem put an end to his race on stage 4. But things eventually went the Aussie’s way in his water-carrier role for De Soultrait and Van Beveren. While the two Frenchies were forced to quit, he was the only official Yamaha rider to finish in 16th spot. His role within the squad remains the same and he’ll be happy to help out his team mates in their quest for victory but dreams of a Top 10 spot.
“I would have wanted to finish higher last year but to finish is always good. I was a support rider and so I had limited issues. Unfortunately Van Beveren had to quit while he was leading and I ended up as the last Yamaha rider in it. I remained in Australia during the year competing on the domestic scene and preparing and training for the Dakar. Living in Australia, heat will not be an issue once in Peru. I remain a water boy in the team so I need to ride well and stay trouble free to be as close as possible of Adrien (Van Beveren) and Xavier (de Soultrait). I need to ride fast to be within 20 or 30 minutes. But the pressure is on them. I’m in the best shape ever and hope to help the team win.”
YAMALUBE YAMAHA OFFICIAL RALLY TEAM
With the win by Xavier de Soultrait and Adrien Van Beveren’ fourth place, Yamaha had plenty to smile about yesterday, but the cloud to that silver lining was the withdrawal of the constructor’s two other official riders detailed to help their leaders in case of any problems, namely Franco Caimi and Rodney Faggotter (due to broke engines).
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