Jess Gardiner Claims Fifth A4DE
In hot, dry and extremely dusty conditions, Gardiner proved to be a force to be reckoned with as she took control of the event on the opening day, taking a nine-second lead over here nearest rival, Jemma Wilson. Gardiner extended her lead on Day 2 before losing some time on Day 3, but the result was never really in doubt and all that was required on the final day was some common sense racing to secure the 2018 A4DE crown. But Gardiner did more than that and stamped her authority on the event taking the final day win and with ease and winning the Women’s division by 43 seconds. 2018 marks the fifth time Gardiner has won the prestigious event.
“What a tough and successful week,” said an exhausted Gardiner. “It was a warm week weather-wise, the trail times were tight and dust made riding difficult. So to come out on top makes it that much more satisfying. Thank you to Yamaha and my team, who did a great job of keeping me going all week and the organisers involved in such a successful event.”
Claiming second place and finishing her A4DE career on a positive note was Queenslander and fellow Yamaha racer, Jemma Wilson. Wilson shadowed Gardiner all week and the friendly rivalry between the pair elevate them beyond the rest of the Women’s field. Wilson’s A4DE success is impressive. Eleven starts for eleven finishes with 10 on the podium and all on a Yamaha. She steps away from the A4DE as a role model for Women’s sport over the past decade, although her love of riding is far from over.
“Thank you to everyone who has help, supported, encouraged and believed in me over the past 11 years,” offers an emotional Wilson. “It has been amazing fun and the speed of Women’s racing has picked up so much over the last decade. I still have a lot I want to do in dirt bikes, but my time racing events like this are over but its something I look back on and I’m really proud of what I have been able to do.”
Third place and rounding out the all-Yamaha podium was Emelie Karlsson. She finished the four days three minutes behind Gardiner, but proves to be as consistent as ever in a very tough event. On top of the Women’s success, the 2018 Yamaha Australian 4-Day Enduro was another strong showing for Yamaha riders and teams. With Luke Styke and Gardiner claiming class wins, Josh Green and Jemma Wilson finishing second in the E2 and Women’s as well as Wil Ruprecht and Emelie Karlsson taking third in their classes, there was a lot of blue on the podium.
“It has been a good event for Yamaha with our supported riders again doing well,” states former champ and off-road team manager, AJ Roberts. “The Yamaha machines were again ultra-reliable and all riders just carried out routine maintenance throughout the event, which is a great test of durability, especially in the conditions raced at Cessnock.
“Congratulations to all our riders and as a company we will work hard to improve these results for 2019,” he ends.