The Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team took to rounds 5 and 6 of the Australian Off-Road Championship with renewed vigour and uplifting spirits that encouraged some impressive results.
Justin Carafa made a welcome return to the Motul Pirelli Sherco Team at Renmark joining Andy Wilksch, Derek Grundy and Kate Norman. The hard-nosed Victorian-based rider was thrown into the deep end after minimal preparation but certainly made a valuable contribution to the Team.
Held in extremely dusty, desert-like conditions in Renmark, riders were faced with just three sprint tests Saturday and four Sunday. Andy Wilksch put in a career-best performance on the 450 SEF-R to finish 11th overall and 6th in class but his best was to come. Sunday has Wilksch finish 6th overall and 4th in class.
“Having such a great team behind me has helped push me on to achieve my best-ever results,” Wilksch said. “The idea to step up from the 300 SEF-R to the 450 this weekend was to gain some race time in preparation for Hattah next month. The 450 just worked really well for me. We made some suspension adjustments for Sunday and I used the power map switch and kept it in the soft-map for smooth power and it really worked for me. It’s just an easy bike to adapt to.”
Carafa was somewhat dejected by his results, however he showed flashes of brilliance with a couple of super-quick test times.
“Justin and Andy both put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well,” said Team manager Dave Suter. “Andy worked at it and ended up with great results. And we’ll be building from that. Andy has plenty of talent and loads of potential. He’s just getting started. Justin is tough as nails and is a concreter during the week. He has minimal time to train and ride yet he can mix it up with pro riders so hat’s off to him. He’s great for our team and brings a lot of professionalism to the pit. We’re so pleased to have him back on the team for the remainder of the season.”
Motul Pirelli Sherco Team stalwart Derek Grundy was again a class act for Sherco winning the Master’s Class Saturday and placing second on Sunday. Grundy holds a 57-point lead in the Championship points standings.
Kate Norman was her dependable consistent self in Renmark with 7th and 6th placings over the two days.
“Kate improves every round,” Suter continued. “She has a lot of fun with her racing and is a pleasure to have on our Team.”
The Australian Off-Road Championship has four rounds remaining for 2017 with the next two rounds to be held in Kyogle, northern NSW on July 22-23.