All the attention usually goes to the riders at the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) but with Hedley just nine days away, AORC had a chat with the unsung heroes who spin the tools and keep the rider’s bikes ticking over.
AORC sat down with Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Brandon Frail to begin a series of chats with mechanics in the championship, which will include KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Michael Carusi and Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Lewie Landrigan.
What goes into prepping the bikes for an AORC round?
There is a lot that goes into preparing the bikes for the round. We have a number of different specs that we must adjust for each rider, as they all require their own unique set ups. All the riders are different heights, and all have different riding styles, but we just make minor tweaks to keep them happy. These tweaks range from the changing of wheels and tyres including the mouse tubes, all the way up to the handlebars.
What goes on during an AORC event, take us back to round 1 & 2 which was a sprint format?
Sprints are a much easier format for mechanics. We have more time to check over the bike and basically you have more control on what is going on with the machine and rider. The additional time during the sprint format provides you a better chance to make changes after each test.
Moving onto Hedley, what changes will you make for the Cross-Country format?
We will make a few changes to the bike for the Cross-Country format on the Saturday. The major change being the bikes will be using a 14.5 litre carbon tank. A lot of the alterations we make are about minimising pitting during the cross-country. The conditions at Hedley are quite sandy, so we will adjust the suspension. We will go a little bit harder with the suspension settings.
When the round finishes, what do the next few days have in store?
First off we make it home, but then there is a lot of cleaning of the bikes and whilst cleaning we have a good chance to check over the bikes. After we clean the bikes we basically move on to prepping the bike for the next round, and then to round it out we usually have de-brief as a team. These meetings break down our weekend and we can discuss what went well and where we can improve. We often focus on what is about to come up and discuss our individual roles.
The return to Hedley for rounds 3 & 4 of AORC is only 9 days away, entries are still open click here, as always to stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the brand new AORC website at www.aorc.org.au! or by following the AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Poster courtesy of 6HD