MITCH FREEMAN has than 16 years’ experience as a key factory-trained technician in the Crescent team with a wide range of brands as well as specialising in Dyno development performance.
Mitch has enjoyed factory training direct from Ohlins in Sweden and travelled to Italy to train with Brembo and Marchesini. He has also completed in house training at Crescent and with Dynojet UK to undertake all aspects of Dyno work and oversees our customer performance enhancement projects at the Verwood facility.
While specialising with Yamaha, Mitch is additionally factory-trained with many different manufacturers including Suzuki, Honda, KTM and Aprilia.
In fact, it was Suzuki where he started – from joining Crescent in 2004 during a school work experience placement scheme, to securing a Saturday role before becoming a full time apprentice the following year – Mitch took advantage of the Suzuki Advanced Apprenticeship Programme whilst being trained in house at Crescent by some of the best retail and race technicians in the motorcycle trade. He was runner up in the Suzuki Apprentice of the Year Award during his first year and went on to win the title for two consecutive years after.
It’s an upwards trajectory that has continued throughout his career with Crescent as he soon reached Master Technician status with Suzuki as well as becoming a finalist in the Technician of the Year Award in 2010.
Mitch’s interest in motorcycles started at an early age with a strong interest in all levels of road racing, from BSB through to WorldSBK and MotoGP. As well as a love for the racing, Mitch developed enthusiasm in the machinery and technology involved. This has helped him in all aspects of his career from building track bikes to servicing factory Ohlins forks to setting up track and race bike suspension.
DARREN OSBORNE joined Crescent Yamaha in November 2019, bringing more than 36 years of motorcycle industry and performance experience with him – having worked with a spanner in his hand since he left school (and basically owning shares in Snap-On!).
He has also spent the past 40 years racing in motocross to British Championship level, Supermoto, trials and now in British Championship Enduro and local events. In 2010 he finished third overall in the British Enduro Championship (Over 40s) before repeating the feat in 2017 in the Over 50s class. It’s been a life-long love affair since he started competing at age 14 with Portsmouth Schoolboy Scramble Club.
When not racing himself, Darren has worked with various race teams in motocross, enduro and road racing with bike preparation and tuning – doing it all, from building machines for the Ducati 848 Challenge to our most recent projects including two new Yamaha R3s for the 2020 British Junior Supersport Championship.
In the last four years he has also qualified three times for the Yamaha Motorcycle Technicians’ Grand Prix UK Final – a challenging event testing practical and theoretical technical knowledge and skills to the limit. He was also runner up in the 2010 Suzuki Technician of the Year.
Along with his wealth of practical and technical experience, Darren is also factory-trained with Ohlins and WP suspension systems.
LES PEARSON – locally also known as “276 Motorsport” – has worked with Crescent for almost 20 years and his breadth of expertise covers all aspects of professional motocross performance as well as top flight road racing engineering.
After kindling his passion at the age of 14 by dismantling and rebuilding a car engine, Les has amassed a huge range of experience in all different aspects of motorcycle sport and racing – from servicing and re-building motocross engines and suspension, to working in the British and World Motocross Championships (looking after every aspect of the bike but with a specialty in suspension tuning). Les also understands the more “normal” side of motorcycling, having run the workshops at York Suzuki Centre for five years!
In road racing, Les worked with Kawasaki UK in 1999 as Chris Walker’s Chief Engineer and engine builder before moving along with Chris to Crescent Suzuki in 2000 as Chief Engineer and suspension technician, and, so narrowly missing out on the BSB title together in one of BSB’s most famous finales. Following a short stint with HRC Honda, Les then moved back to Crescent as Chief Engineer for our BSB and, from 2012, WorldSBK projects – responsible for engines, suspension and technical direction.
Road race machines that Les has been responsible for include (among many others) those for Shane Byrne, Jules Cluzel, Alex Lowes, Sylvain Guintoli, Yukio Kagayama, John Hopkins and Michael van der Mark. He is currently Chief Engineer for WorldSBK rookie American Garrett Gerloff on the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team.
Retaining at all times his interest in motocross, Les has deep knowledge of many types of suspension systems – KYB, Showa, WP, Öhlins, Marzocchi and Sachs. Les has worked with riders of all abilities from local 65cc juniors to British Championship contender Jake Shipton, and has used his road race engine experience to produce winning power plants for many 2-stroke and 4-stroke motocross riders.
Les also recently tuned the R1 engines for a rather special Crescent customer, six-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Lewis was very happy with the results!
Crescent Yamaha, via our exclusive GYTR Pro-Shop, is delighted to be able to offer Les Pearson’s “276 Motorsport” services to racing, track day and off road customers. Yamaha is our specialisation, a natural consequence of our partnership in the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team, but Les’ wide experience means we can offer full engine and suspension tuning for all makes of machine.