Mitchell Van Vliet roosting home to the 2013 Finke win
Mitchell Van Vliet

Yamaha YFZ450 ATV guns charging in 2013

14 Jun 2013

Riders on YFZ450 Yamaha’s are leading the Monster MX Nationals Pro Quad Class and have just claimed the win of the Tatts Finke Desert race for the second year in a row.

Sixteen-year-old Chris Bosnakis is ahead by eight-points after the opening round of the Australian ATV MX Championship, which was held as part of the Monster MX Nationals at the Murray Bridge (South Australian) round. 

Running fourth in the championship is fellow YFZ450 pilot, 21-year-old Mitchell Van Vliet from Narre Warren North, Victoria. 

Van Vliet, of the WPS Yamaha ATV Racing Team, is having his best season yet in 2013, after claiming his first Finke Outright win from only his third attempt of the iconic race. 

“It was the second year that Yamaha has placed first and third at Finke,” Van Vliet said.  

“Last year, Ryan Lancaster won and I was third. To take the win myself this year was the goal - I went there to win and I did exactly that. 

“I was really happy with my run back to Alice Springs. Once that light went green, I got the hole shot and went for it. I lead to the finish. 

“My time for this stage was the second fastest for a quad in the history of the race. I did it in 2 hours and 42 minutes. 

“The speed we can travel in this race is incredible. My average speed this year was about 100 kilometers per hour and my top speed was 135 to 140 kilometers per hour. 

“Hopefully I can carry this momentum into the final two rounds of the ATV MX nationals. 

“I’d love to finish on the podium this year... I’m confident that I can.” 

Mitchell’s seventeen-year-old brother, Harrison, finished third in Finke. The brothers make up the WPS Yamaha ATV Racing Team, which is owned by Kevin Williams - promotor of the Monster MX Nationals. 

Williams will be campaigning a YFZ450 in the Vet’s Class at the final round of the championship, being held as part of the last MX Nationals round at Coolum in September. 

Mitchell said he was proud to ride the YFZ450, which he feels is the best racing ATV on the market.

“Yamaha is the only Japanese manufacturer that puts a lot of effort into improving their quad,” he said. 

“All of the other manufactures put quads to the side and bring out the same model every year.

“But Yamaha strives to improve its model, not that it needs any improving.

“The YFZ450 comes race ready out of the box - you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get them on the track.  

“Another advantage is that all of the parts are easy to get a hold of.”

 Mitchell Van Vliet has been racing since he was three-years-old.

“I grew up racing two wheelers,” he said. “Then I started racing quads as well and it came really easy. 

“I got to a level where I was contending with the best quad riders in the country, so I decided to go with it and get my name out there. 

“Winning Finke was my best result so far, but close to that I would say was my win of the  Australian MX Junior ATV Championship.

“I won this on my Yamaha Blaster 200 when I was fifteen. It was a huge deal for me to win that title.” 

Another young racer who has already been at it for several years is Chris Bosnakis. 

The Perth (WA) native started competing on a PW50 when he was four-years-old. 

“I’ve won seven national championships and nine state championship titles,” Bosnakis said. 

“I also went over to America and won a national round there as well. 

“This season, I became the first rookie rider to ever win the Pro Quad Class in a MX National round. 

“I won both moto’s at Murray Bridge by more than five-seconds.

“Hopefully I will become the first rookie rider in history to take out the national Pro Quad MX title. 

“Fingers crossed for the next round at Coolum in September. 

“I’d like to thank all of my sponsors: Yamaha Motor Australia, PEP Suspension, Gold Speed Tyres and Rims, Road and Race Motorcycles, Fly, Sidi Boots, Stanford Cabinets, FMF Racing, JB Racing, ATV Pro aND Dragon Goggles.”

The next national competition for Yamaha’s Pro Quad riders will be the second round of the Australian ATV MX Nationals being held at Coolum in September. 

The next race for Mitchell Van Vliet and his team will be round five of the Shell Advance Gippsland MX Championship on the 29th and 30th of June at Korumburra. 

The WPS Yamaha ATV Racing Team is supported by the following companies: Yamaha Motor Australia, QuadSquad, Hardiman ATV, Lonestar Racing, Fox Shoxs, Aqua Force, Vortex Ignitions, B & B Aluminum, Vanika Industries, Thor, Spy, Jett Boots and Prestige Personal Training. 

Media: Leigh Hutton - 0400 465 101

Randall Kilner
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