The name Craig Dack is synonymous with winning, the just-turned 54-year-old Australian having done more than his fair share of this over the years.
It is his name and his team, the formidable Craig Dack Racing Yamaha team, that has stood behind so many other motocross and supercross winners over the years too, with CDR Yamaha's Dean Ferris having dominated the premier MX1 class in the Australian motocross championships for the past three years.
The four-time Mr Motocross Champion in Australia and a six-time Australian representative at the Motocross of Nations, from 1986 to 1991, Dack was also New Zealand 250cc motocross champion in 1986, winning that title ahead of fellow Australian Vaughan Style and Taranaki's David Furze. He still harbours fond memories of his years as a top racer, as well as cherishing his close relationship with the Kiwi bike scene, one that is perhaps stronger now than ever before. "I have had a lot of affiliation with New Zealand riders over the years and they've won championships for CDR," Dack agreed. "That close relationship continues. Josh Coppins (Motueka-based manager of the JCR Yamaha Racing Team in New Zealand) and myself do a few collaborations together where we share riders and we've got similar sponsors.
Yamaha Australia and Yamaha New Zealand are the same company and so we share a lot of stuff together. We are very close with New Zealand and always have been." Created when Craig Dack – affectionately referred to as "the Dack Attack" – retired from fulltime racing in 1992, he set up the CDR Yamaha team and that quickly set the benchmark for professional motocross teams in Australia and, with Dack's astute guidance, will probably continue to enhance that standard in the future. CDR Yamaha has become the longest-running and most successful team in Australian motocross and supercross, collecting nearly 50 national championships in that time and it has played a huge part in the careers of some of the most decorated names in the sport. Riders such as Craig Anderson, Chad Reed, Jay Marmont and Troy Carroll, along with Kiwi riders Darryl King, Daryl Hurley and Josh Coppins and, of course, Gold Coast rider Ferris, are just a handful of the riders who have passed through the CDR Yamaha team and who have enjoyed significant success. With Ferris heading to the United States for 2019, it created a hot spot in the team that needed to be filled and Dack believes he has just the man for that job, although he won't be revealing who that individual is just yet. Watch this space! "We are looking to achieve some more good successes in 2019.
With Dean Ferris wanting to go to the US and with (the second MX1 rider) Dylan Long we ... well, unfortunately these days, the pressure to get good results is more than ever, so we had to look around and we've restructured our team. "We can't announce anything yet, but we will be in just as strong a position, or perhaps even stronger in 2019, because Dean has been carrying most of the weight over the past couple of years and we needed a good solid back-up guy who could get a few podiums for us. "On paper I think we will certainly be heading into both the Australian motocross and supercross championships with a view to win."
Words and photo by Andy McGechan