This weekend will see a desert cross-country, a first in the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) and to add to that Victorian Sherco rider Danielle Foot will be looking to end the weekend with her own first. Foot will go into the weekend in fourth position and by weekends end, the Sherco pilot will hope to be in the top 3 of the Womens championship for the first time.
Foot has showed steady progress this season and capped off her improvement with her best performance to date at the last round, a third-place finish.
AORC caught up with Foot to discuss her season to date and her goals for the rest of the season.
This season you got off to a slowish start, but you’ve made great improvements. What would you credit your improvements to at this stage?
Definitely experience. I came into this year having no idea what I was doing in Enduro, after doing motocross for 12 years now. We didn’t actually intend on doing the Aussies, being the first year but, Sherco threw me into it.
What made you go from Motocross into Enduro?
It was more the recognition of women in Enduro, compared to Motocross. Women seem to receive a greater level of recognition in Enduro. We were also ready for a change, after having done Hattah for a few years now.
What were your ambitions coming into the season?
Coming into this season we didn’t have any expectations except an aim to improve over the year and see how we ended up in the results at the end. But so far the points have changed and worked in my favour, so now we’re trying to contain these points and aim for a podium. I’m definitely aiming to contend with the girls at the front this weekend seeing as its more of a desert style Enduro and that’s definitely my kind of forte.
What things did you have to change to get the podium result back in Dungog?
I think it started on Saturday where I didn’t have a good day. I didn’t actually finish due to a mechanical issue but on Sunday it gave me motivation to push through those tests. We also had a bike change which was great as I felt more comfortable on the new bike, which made it much easier for me to go faster as I was comfortable.
Do you look forward to these kind of desert races and what are the challenges you have to prepare for in a 3-hour cross country?
I definitely look forward to these races. I’ve done Hattah for many years and Finke for two years and I love Hattah it’s one of my favourite races of the year, and this weekend is very similar. So I definitely look forward to it, especially because I have a bit more experience compared to the other Enduro rounds. The training and eating plan going into this is a bit different to say sprints or something like that.
A major challenge is definitely arm pump and fatigue. Obviously, you don’t want to go straight into it flat out first lap because that won’t last the distance, so you’ve really got to pace yourself in these three-hour races. I think that thanks to Hattah I’ve got a strategy for these races down pat now.
What skills from your Motocross background have really helped in Enduro, and what in the remaining year do you want to learn out of Enduro?
Motocross has taught me aggression and I’ve been able to effectively transfer this aggression and intensity into Enduro and my sprints. This year I have also learnt how to pace myself and how all the other formats of Enduro work. Last round was a bit different as I went around the track, so I’m definitely still learning the different formats as the year goes on.
For more information about Yamaha AORC Round 7 visit the AORC website.
2018 AORC Supplementary Regulations can be found by here.