News 8 Dec 2009

Off-Road: Roberts to spearhead seven rider DERT Honda team

Backed by Honda Australia, the Desert Edge Racing Team has launched an expanded 2010 off-road racing program to feature a massive seven-rider line up, spearheaded by multiple Australian Champion, AJ Roberts.

With the key focus on two of Australia’s premier desert races, the Finke and Hattah races, the Desert Edge Racing Team (DERT) has assembled a formidable squad of off-road riders to form a well balanced mix of international experience and local desert knowledge.

At the helm of the program, DERT Team Manager and Dealer Principal of Desert Edge Motorcycles, Michael Vroom has the benefit of 15 years’ desert racing experience, including victory in the 2001 Finke event, to expertly guide his riders.

“The Desert Edge Race Team is proud to have stepped up our 2010 program with additional support of Honda Australia,” said Vroom. “DERT has a lot of experience with desert racing and we’re looking forward to combining the best of our local knowledge with the riding skills of AJ Roberts and Jacob Smith. It’s by far our strongest rider line-up yet, and we have our sights firmly set on dominating the 2010 results for DERT and Honda.”

Having contested the World Enduro Championship and represented Australia seven times at the ISDE, Honda’s three-time Australian Off-Road Champion AJ Roberts is eager to add a Finke victory to his long list of achievements and will inject his vast national and international experience into the DERT program.

Also joining DERT with support from Honda Australia, Jacob Smith is touted as the next big talent emerging in national off-road racing after taking victory in the 2009 Australian Safari to become the event’s youngest ever winner.

Specialist desert racers, the Alice Springs based outfit also has a proven track record and a wealth of experience within its local riding contingent that includes Michael Walsh, Peter Costello, Caleb Auricht, Jack Dooley-McDonnell and 2006 Finke race winner, Ryan Branford.

All seven DERT riders will compete aboard 2010-model Honda CRF450R machines.

With a full 2010 competition calendar still to be confirmed, DERT has already begun the extensive preparation for its major events, the Finke Desert Race (11-14 June) and the Hattah Desert Race (3-4 July).