Here we are, a mere collection of days – almost sheer hours – away from Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore (AORC). If you’re keeping up with the AORC Off-Roaders you’ll already know about Motocross (MX) golden boy Todd Waters (Berry Sweet, Husqvarna) joining the fold and the fire lit underneath Michael Driscoll (bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team), but what does this all mean for a competitor whose arguably seen it all?
Josh Green (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube) is inarguably well-versed in all things AORC and as a regular, consistent and competitive feature in the E2 class, we only thought it right to see what he made of these new developments.
The poster boy for that Yamaha Blue, Green reflects what’s best about this sport – grit, ease and the desire to keep pushing. Alongside his results year in, year out, Green also helps encourage the growth of the sport from the ground up, thanks to his very own Offroad Advantage coaching sessions. Coming up through the AORC ranks as a young boy to man, the Yamaha Active8 Yamalube racer has seen it all and welcomes the arrival of fresh meat.
“I think it’s really cool having Todd Waters racing because it adds a different insight to the race world,” explains Green.
“I’ve been to some MX events over the past few weeks and people have been talking about it. I think it’s cool that everyone knows he’s the best in MX at the moment and to come into AORC and be a top guy just shows how fast us Off-Road racers really are.
“It definitely makes my job harder because it’s another guy to go toe to toe with, but we can never forget that we have two of the worlds best with Chucky and Milner, so I’ve been on the back foot over the past two years because they both continue to deliver racing on a world class level.”
With a fresh injury that put him in murky waters before Toowoomba, Green could have folded like a stack of cards but true to his nature and reflecting why he continues to represent this sport, he persevered. Not only that, regardless of the new faces and new challenges, he still clocked times that placed him on the E2 podium for both Rounds 1 & 2.
“Toowoomba was tough. I couldn’t attack the tracks like I wanted to. Saturday started off strong and I had good speed but as the day went on and the tracks got rougher, I struggled.
“Sunday was equally tough because the tracks were already chopped up, but I got through and had a good weekend, so in the end I was and still am, happy with my results.”
A local to Stroud, New South Wales which is only a stone’s throw from our next kick off in Dungog, Green has the luxury of a familiar ground advantage, but how does an athlete prepare for a two-day Enduro whilst also ensuring a successful recovery?
“Riding the five to six hour days isn’t an issue for me. The main issue has been getting back into riding after being off the bike for three to four weeks before the first round.
“I’ve been spending the last week just bashing around on the bike to get myself back to normal. Where I am right now is where I would have hoped to have been for Toowoomba.
“I went into Round 1 not knowing if I would make it through the race weekend, but I did and now that I know I can make it through, it’s only going to get better for me before the weekend hits. This week leading up will only do me a world of good.”
And what does Green expect from this weekend ahead? In a typical card’s held close to his chest fashion he explains that, “I expect to have a good weekend racing. I feel like I’m very close to ‘normal’. As far as we go for racing, I’m as good as I’m going to get.”
“We’ve been getting rain over here so I think the conditions should be good. I really like Dungog and the two-day Enduro set up, it’s a really cool event every year.
“I’m just excited to go racing, really.”
With a stacked up E2 class that includes some of the world’s best, the stakes are high for everyone involved. One wrong turn or one minor slip up could cost Green, Driscoll, Waters or Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) dearly as they and the likes of Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha Ballards MXstore Off-Road Team), Beau Ralston (Hunter Valley Motorsports, Kawasaki) and Stefan Granquist (Yamaha) nip at each other’s heels.
If you haven’t already, word up on what to expect from the tests, trails and location by reading our Inside Line On Dungog with Trent Lean, Dungog Motorcycle Club’s President. The Full Entry List to be released tomorrow, but if you need more? Your bible to the event, What You Need To Know will be out this Friday!
Everything kicks off in Dungog on Saturday, March 14th with updates released throughout the day at aorc.org.au, Team App and all across our socials. Let’s go racing!
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC website at www.aorc.org.au , Facebook or @aorc on Instagram. Don’t forget to download the Official AORC app via Team App. It’s as easy as download Team App and search ‘AORC’!
Images courtesy of Troy Pears.
Words by Caitlin Hynes.