Tasmania’s Baylee Davies is forcing his way into the serious end of competition at the elite level in Australia. The multi-time Tasmanian Champion has reached the half-way point in the 2016 Australian Off-Road Championship and is edging closer to the front.
Davies strung together a consistent effort at rounds 5 and 6 in South Australia over the ANZAC long weekend and has wound out the first half of the Championship with a promising performance.
“The sprint format has been tough for me to get my head around until now,” explained Davies. “I’ve been a bit off the pace at the start of each round and the competition is too good to give away that kind of advantage. This past weekend I focused hard on being consistent and riding smooth and it’s paid off. It feels good to make some progress.”
Davies is racing a Sherco 250SEF-R in the E1 class for 250cc four-stokes. He sits in 8th place at the mid-point of the season.
“Baylee is just starting to hit his straps,” explained Stephen Tuff from Sherco Australia. “He’s a good rider and has some pace, it’s just been the little things that were missing and keeping him from pushing the front runners. The pace at National level is full-on and there’s nowhere to hide. Now that Baylee can pull the trigger from the opening lap and keep hammering to the final corner he’s in with a shot of making the podium.”
The combination of Sherco motorcycles and Tasmanian riders is proving to be successful the world-over. Matthew Phillips currently leads the Enduro World Championship after storming to two solid victories in the first four rounds in 2016.
“Matt Phillips is a gun,” Tuff continued. “He had many people doubt his competitiveness when he made the switch to race with Sherco in 2016 but he has proven he knows what he’s doing. Matt has shown the capabilities of what a great rider and a great bike can do. The remainder of the season will be very exciting for us Matt Phillips fans.”
Joining Davies on the Motul Pirelli Sherco Academy Team is young Victorian racer, Jai Wedlock. Although yet to shine in 2016, Wedlock remains an anchor for the team with his staunch presence on and off the bike.
Wedlock is on the fringe of the top bunch of riders in the Under-19 Class. A fast rider with a mature focus is rare in an 18 year old and with some extra training and dedicated and targeted practice over the next couple of months there is no limit for the young rider.
“Jai is working hard at keeping the Team moving,” enthused Tuff. “His speed and race craft is right up there and with more bike time and increased intensity to his training I know we’ll see him rattle the top guns. He rides the 300SEF-R extremely well. We’ve seen what Matt Phillips can do on the same model bike. The rest is up to Jai.”
Wedlock currently sits in 8th position in the Under-19 Class.
The Australian Off-Road Championship now enters a mid-season break and will recommence on July 23 in Victoria.