AmPro Yamaha team set for 2021 GNCC and National Enduro
The following is a press release from AmPro Yamaha…
Travelers Rest, SC (November 2, 2020) – As the 2020 race season comes to an end, AmPro Yamaha is excited to announce that the ink is officially dry on our 2021 rider contracts. There has been a lot of speculation throughout the industry as to what the future holds for our race team and we’re ready to put that speculation to rest. It’s official, Steward Baylor Jr. of Hodges, South Carolina will be joining our program and piloting the all-new 2021 Yamaha Motor Corporation YZ450FX in both the Grand National Cross Country Series and the National Enduro Series. Along with Stew, Layne Michaels will be piloting a 2021 Yamaha YZ450FX in the GNCC Series as well as the Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series. AmPro Yamaha will also be supporting two Pro Lites divisions riders, both utilizing the all new 2021 Yamaha YZ250FX. Michael Witkowski of Indiana will fight for the XC2 Championship in the GNCC Series as well as New Zealand’s Rachel Archer in the WXC Women’s Pro class.
2021 AmPro Yamaha Off-Road Team
Steward Baylor Jr. | Hodges, SC | GNCC, National Enduro Series
Layne Michael | Boonville, NC, GNCC, Sprint Enduro Series
Michael Witkowski | North Liberty, IN | GNCC, Sprint Enduro Series
Rachel Archer | New Zealand | GNCC, Sprint Enduro Series
“This is going to be an awesome year for us,” said seven-time National Champion and AMA Hall of Fame Member Randy Hawkins. “It’s time to get back to our roots and really show the world that Yamaha’s race machines are a step above the competition. We have the riders, the personnel and we have the right equipment to win multiple championships in 2021.”
The team’s primary focus will remain on the Grand National Cross Country Series however, with the addition of Steward Baylor to the program, a fully backed National Enduro Series effort will be managed for the first time in nearly a decade.
“Honestly, I think I was trained to ride a Yamaha from an early age and didn’t even know it,” laughed multi-time national champion Steward Baylor Jr. “I spent almost every summer living in the old Hawkins race shop and training with Jason Raines, so there is definitely a lot of history there. This year has been crazy on so many levels and I’m really thankful that Randy and Yamaha stepped up when others wouldn’t. He helped put a winning program together with very little time. As we head into 2021, I can only speculate what the season holds, but I know we have a great team, a great bike, and we’re dedicated to do whatever it takes to be successful.”
Layne Michaels, Mike Witkowski, and Rachel Archer will all be returning to the AmPro Program for 2021 and piloting bikes in their respective fields. Michaels overcame multiple injuries throughout the 2020 race season, but managed to bounce back finishing second overall in the Sprint Enduro Series.
“I’m really pumped to kick off my second year with the AmPro Yamaha Team,” Michaels said. “Staying healthy during the off-season and building on my progress from this year is my main goal. I want to go out there and get podiums in 2021 and the team has been amazing. I can’t thank Randy and the crew enough for all the support.”
Mike Witkowski continues to impress in the highly competitive GNCC XC2 Pro Class and is ready to fight for a championship.
“I’m very motivated heading into 2021 with a full year under my belt on the new Yamaha YZ250FX,” said Witkowski. “I think I can keep progressing and contest for race wins and Championships. I’m beyond grateful for the AmPro Yamaha Team, too. They’ve made sure that I have all the tools to succeed and it’s nice to just focus on the job, which is winning.”
Rachel Archer’s impressive performance throughout the season has put her on the map as one of the most competitive females in the action sports industry. Her grit and determination are unmatched and we are excited to see this young lady focus on a national championship in 2021.
“I’m super excited about next year and feeling a lot of confidence from these last five races,” said Archer. “I have been really impressed with the new Yamaha YZ250FX, it’s perfect for GNCCs. The AmPro Yamaha team has become more like a family to me over the last two seasons and I’m really excited to continue my journey with them and hopefully win a championship in 2021!”