Young rider wins place with Yamaha

Nga¯roma ace Rachael Archer signs up to ride in the US later this year

Waipa Post - - Pirongia Craft Day - BY ANDY McGECHAN

The high-pro­file AmPro Yamaha Race Team in the US now has an­other Kiwi to wave their flag.

Nga¯roma cross­coun­try ace Rachael Archer has signed on to ride a Yamaha YZ250FX in the US later this year and for the en­tire 2019 sea­son of rac­ing the women’s grade in the Grand Na­tional Cross­coun­try Cham­pi­onships (GNCC).

It fol­lows on from the suc­cess­ful ca­reer en­joyed by Manawatu¯ ’s Paul Whi­b­ley, who also raced for the AmPro Yamaha Race Team, run by Amer­i­can leg­end Randy Hawkins. It was Whi­b­ley’s rec­om­men­da­tion that led to Archer be­ing of­fered the con­tract, ef­fec­tive from Oc­to­ber 1.

“I am very ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity I have been of­fered,” said Archer, 16, a year 12 pupil at St Peter’s School in Cam­bridge.

She will be based in Trav­el­ers Rest, South Carolina, with the GNCC com­pe­ti­tion venues mostly along the east coast of the US.

“I raced a cou­ple of GNCC events over there last year, then rid­ing a 125cc bike, fin­ish­ing sev­enth in the women’s grade at round one. I was run­ning sec­ond at round two, but lost time re­fu­elling my small fuel tank and ended up fin­ish­ing the race fourth.

“I think I set­tled in pretty quickly and got up to speed pretty quickly too. I’ll be on a 250cc bike now and I’m go­ing faster now than I was then too, so the re­sults might be even bet­ter.

Rachael wanted to men­tion her past spon­sors be­fore she moves on to the next stage of her ca­reer.

“I owe a huge thanks to Pa­trick Stafford (Husq­varna NZ) and Shaun Prescott (the Husq­varna Off-Road Race Team) for their sup­port in the past. With­out the sup­port from them I prob­a­bly wouldn’t be at the level of rid­ing I am at now.

“I have been of­fered a po­si­tion to race for the AmPro Yamaha team in Amer­ica and it is an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity that is very hard come by. Per­son­ally, this op­por­tu­nity is su­per ex­cit­ing and means I can con­tinue to grow and pur­sue my dream of be­ing a pro racer.”

Her men­tor, Whi­b­ley, was a two-time out­right win­ner of the GNCC se­ries in the US in 2009 and 2012 and he was a record six­time win­ner of the par­al­lel Of­fRoad Mo­tor­cy­cle and ATV (OMA) se­ries. He was New Zealand cross-coun­try cham­pion for Yamaha in 2015.

“I am pretty ex­cited to see Randy (Hawkins) come on board with some sup­port for Rachael,” said Whi­b­ley.

“I’m thrilled to see her have her foot in the door in the US, but it’s ic­ing on the cake that she’s now with Yamaha too.

“She needs to go over for a cou­ple of events this year, just to learn a few more of the US tracks, but also to learn how the new team op­er­ates. She will be ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive over there..

“She is one of the youngest com­peti­tors in the class, but she has the work ethic and drive and I know she can be a cham­pion.”

Archer is sup­ported by Yamaha Mo­tor New Zealand, Paul Whi­b­ley Rac­ing (PWR) Yamaha, Black­wood Yamaha, Mo­toSR sus­pen­sion, Fox New Zealand, Bike­sportNZ.com, Work­shop Graph­ics, Dr Trim and Tekmo car­bon fi­bre.

Rachael Archer (Yamaha YZ250FX) pre­par­ing to take on the best in the United States. Photo / Andy McGechan, Bike­sportNZ.com

Photo / Sup­plied

Paul Whi­b­ley gives thumbs up to Rachael Archer gain­ing con­tract to race for the AmPro Yamaha Race Team in Amer­ica.

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