“Dakar is synonymous of challenge. I'm ready for it”
Rod grew up on a sheep and cattle station in the Australian outback in Queensland and was riding bikes almost before he could walk. He used his first pay check at 18 to finance his desire to go moto-x racing and did that until his mid-twenties, before friends introduced him to desert racing, more suited to his style and the type of riding he'd done as a youngster. Although a solid performer in the desert ‘sprint' type races, his forte turned out to be road book rallies which saw him get on the podium at his very first Australian Safari, a result he backed up with two subsequent wins. In 2012 he got the chance, via a local sponsor, to enter the Dakar on an Australian prepared 450 Husaberg and was going well until mechanical problems put him out of the race on the fifth day. With his appetite very much wetted he returned to the Dakar in 2013 on a rental Yamaha prepared by French outfit HFP and finished an impressive 14th overall. The turning point arrived in 2017 with Rod lined up in the Yamaha factory team for the Dakar 2017. Unfortunately a technical problem put an end to his race on stage 4. In 2018 he is back with more experience and more confidence.
“I'm really happy to return on the Dakar as a Yamaha factory rider. Last year we had an unfortunate technical DNF, so I'm back, determined to do well. This is my second year and I take the start with more confidence and determination, strong of one more year of experience with the factory machine and the team. As last year, I will be the water boy, supporting the rider who is more in front. In Australia I am a Yamaha dealer and I have a workshop, so I can count on my mechanical knowledge. Speed is also one of my skills, because this is how we race in Australia. Being a member of the Yamalube Factory Team is a lifetime opportunity. For this Dakar 40th edition I expect a lot of sand. For me Dakar is synonymous of challenge and I'm ready for it”.