2012 Yamaha AORC opening rounds ready to rumble
Despite the best attempts of the weather gods to wash the Series opener clean off the calendar, the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) will kick off a full 2012 Series with a rescheduled opening weekend in Dungog on 10 – 11 March.
Opening round hosts Dungog Motor Cycle Club have made the most of the soggy situation, setting new tracks and tests to circumnavigate the swollen creeks and saturated terrain left behind by a barrage of summer rain and thunderstorms.
Club President Trent Lean is looking beyond the wet weather to what promises to be a great weekend of Enduro racing.
“Everything is progressing well here, we’ve had to make a few track changes, but the tests are all done, the juniors area is looking great and the forest is looking superb,” Lean said.
“The weather doesn’t want to give us a break, but the sun has come out today and we’re hoping it stays that way. One way or another, we will make it a great event.”
Rainy weather aside, the 2012 Series promises to be a fiery affair with an epic mix of accomplished champions and talented young riders set to bring the challenge over twelve tough rounds in New South Wales Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
Reigning Champ Chris Hollis (Motorex KTM Off-Road) will be back on the track to defend his crown, along with five-times World Enduro Champion Stefan Merriman (Ballard’s Yamaha Off-Road), 2010 AORC Champ and Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) star Toby Price (Motorex KTM Off-Road) and two-time AORC Womens Champion Jemma Wilson (Yamaha).
Other top riders set to appear on the Series bill include three times Aussie Off-Road Champion Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna Racing), 2009 A4DE winner Jarrod Bewley (active8 Yamaha Yamalube), 2010 AORC and dual A4DE Womens Champion Jess Gardiner, and multiple Aussie Off-Road and Enduro winner AJ Roberts (active8 Yamaha Yamalube).
Also putting their hand up in 2012 are a host of young talents, including 2011 International Six Day Enduro star performer Matt Phillips (Ballard’s Yamaha Off-Road), 2011 Under 19 E1 British Sprint Enduro Champion Ben Burrell (Motorex KTM Off-Road) and triple Victorian Off-Road Champion Daniel Milner (Ballard’s Yamaha Off-Road).
The trio will be joined by other talented young performers including Josh Green (active8 Yamaha Yamalube), Luka Bussa (Husqvarna Racing), Mitch Bowen (Husaberg), Lachlan Stanford (Suzuki MX1 Australia Off-Road), Scott Keegan (Motorex Force Husaberg Off-Road) and Senior class debutante Nick Lean (Suzuki MX Australia Off-Road).