AORC 2014 – Round Seven – Milner returns with a bang
It was a welcome return to racing for CDR-Yamaha’s Daniel Milner who bounced back from injury to claim the outright honours in round seven of the 2014 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship in Coonawarra, South Australia.
Two crashes couldn’t stop the young Victorian on his way to victory, beating the outright championship leader, Motorex KTM star Toby Price by 9.44 seconds.
He certainly made hard work of the win, after a hitting a tree in the second loop Milner was forced to kick start his bike with his left foot due to his right foot not being in 100 percent condition yet.
Other than that Milner described his day as “not too bad.”
“I’m stoked with the win” beamed Milner. “Being my first race back, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
But did Milner really believe that he would have come back and win so early?
“You know it’s what I want to do” explained the 2013 AORC champ.
“Thinking about it, it’s something you can’t really do. You can’t just think about coming and winning, or not winning because if you start thinking you’re not going to win then you don’t because it starts playing with your head.
“I don’t like racing to lose, I came here with a positive thought and just went for it!” Milner also took out the E2 class win in the process.
Second place man, Price entered round seven with a five point lead in the overall championship, now holds a nine point lead over Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney heading into tomorrow’s round.
Price admitted to having a ‘up and down’ day after struggling with the second test.
“I just couldn’t really get into a grove” said Price who also leads the E2 championship now, just one point over Josh Green. “It was hard trying to turn corners after Finke.
“We were working on a few things, we managed to get the bike a little bit better.
“At the end of the day it was a close battle between myself, Daniel [Milner], Glenn [Kearney] and ‘Greeny’ (Josh Green).
“In the last test however I had a crash and blew it.”
Kearney rounded out the top three and was the winner of his class in the E3 division with a total time of 1:15:52.546
Active8 Yamaha Yamalube’s Green was fourth overall and third in the E2 class which sees him drop back to third in the outright championship on a count back, while Husaberg’s Geoff Braico rounded out the top five.
While Milner was enjoying the win, his teammate, Chris Hollis was all the way back in sixth place.
Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders continued his amazing start to the 2014 season, picking up his seventh win from seven races in the Transmoto 19 & Under Class, and was seventh outright.
JBR Husaberg’s Jarrod Bewley, Active8 Yamaha Yamalube’s Tom McCormack and his stable mate Beau Ralston rounded out the top ten in the outright class.
McCormack was also the victor in the E1 class.
In the Women’s championship, yet again it was Jess Gardiner seeing the finish line first to make it five round wins in a row.
It was not all smooth sailing for young girl from New South Wales. Gardiner did come off a few times.. Five to be exact.
Gardiner fell three times in the first test and two times in the last test.
She won with a total time of 1:33:56.398 which now gives her a 19-point margin lead over Tayla Jones who finished second.
Emelie Karlsson finished third with Sophie Coldiutt just missing out on the podium place.
Other class winners where Trent Lean (TLR MX1 Australian Off-Road Team) in the Masters.
“The quarry test was fantastic” said Lean. “The test down the back… hard work! I felt I was trail riding all day, it was real hard work” added Lean who now tops the championship charge.
Damien Smith took out the Veterans class with Rowan Pumpa and Kirk Hutton joining him on the podium
In the Junior classes, the J2 class was won by Mitchell Brierley with his brother Joshua in second from Daniel Simpson.
Ben Kearns took the J3 victory. Lyndon Snodgrass took out the J4 class with his main rival, Wil Ruprecht finishing second.
“The track was sweet, but got a bit rough by the end of the day” explained Ruprecht.
“All the boys were always on it, they are going really fast.
“Hopefully tomorrow I can pull a cat out of the bag and get the win” added the New South Welshman. Seth Muller was in the third.
Toby Price 141
Glenn Kearney 132
Josh Green 132
Chris Hollis 116
Daniel Milner 108
Glenn Kearney 172
Stefan Granqvist 144
Jarrod Bewley 133
Craig Hepburn 45
Adam Giles 36
Toby Price 141
Josh Green 140
Chris Hollis 132
Lachlan Stanford 117
Daniel Milner 115
Tom McCormack 166
Scott Keegan 147
Peter Boyle 136
Tom Kite 124
Nic Tomlinson 98
Transmoto 19 & Under Championship:
Daniel Sanders 175
Broc Grabham 146
Tom Mason 141
Kane Hall 110
Alex Papamanolis 79
Trent Lean 154
Mike Shearer 130
Geoff Ballard 127
Ian Jenner 117
Craig Treasure 73
Damian Smith 172
Kirk Hutton 155
Rowan Pumpa 142
Anthony Greene 86
Michael Widdison 53
Junior Four Championship:
Lyndon Snodgrass 161
Wil Ruprecht 156
Seth Muller 146
Stuart Holt 113
Dallan Villani 108
Junior Three Championship:
Ben Kearns 175
Deon Javni 129
Tom Bushell 116
Luke Strauch 114
Dean De Fazio 44
Junior Two Championship:
Joshua Brierley 159
Mitchell Brierley 157
Jack Matthews 111
William Price 100
Corey Hammond 97
AORC 2014 – Round Eight – Milner on fire at Coonawarra
Yamaha Australian Off-Road reigning Champion Daniel Milner has completed a perfect weekend across the South Australian border at Coonawarra to reignite his title defence.
The CDR-Yamaha pilot once again proved that his still healing foot would not slow him down by taking out yesterday’s round with an emphatic victory in the outright and the E2 class.
The double round victory lifts Milner to five round wins for the year, two more than championship rival and points leader, Toby Price who once again had to settle for second position in both the outright and E2 class.
Milner, who had to chase from the back on both days said “This weekend has gone pretty well!”
“I would rather play catch up, than people playing catch up on myself, so it all went to plan really, I had a bit of pain in my foot, but you get that when you return from injury.” added the Victorian rider.
Milner’s points’ haul has shot him up the pecking order in the outright championship from sixth to fifth and lies just thirty points behind Price, while in the E2 title fight, Milner is just twenty three points behind the Motorex KTM rider.
Manager of the CDR team, Craig Dack sung Milner’s praises by saying; “To have seven weeks off the bike with quite a serious ankle injury and to come straight away and go ‘1-1’, what can you say to the performance of the guys character, he’s one of the all-time greats!”
Second place Price was happy enough with his day’s work, the twenty-six-year-old finished 9.220 seconds behind Milner and described it as a “fantastic fight with Daniel all day.”
Unlike in round seven where Price had a few tumbles, he managed to keep the bike up right but came into a few close encounters with a handful of trees.
“To finish second yesterday and today is ok really, it’s good points towards the championship which is the main thing.” said Price.
“I just had a few close calls with a few trees and went ‘bush’ a few to many times, when everyone is going flat out and this fast you can’t afford to be doing that sort of stuff.”
Prices’ best time came in the second heat when he nailed down a 7 minutes 7.783 seconds.
Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney continued his solid year by finishing third overall and claiming the win in the E3 class, which marks his seventh win of the season.
Throughout the whole day Kearney and Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) had their own private hit out which came down to the last test of the day and saw Kearney winning in the end by 1.176 seconds.
“I’m really happy! I’ve had a really good weekend.” expressed Kearney.
“I really enjoyed the rough track today out the back, but it took me most of the day to come to grips with the tight pine track.
“’Greeny’ and I battled all day backwards and forwards and it came down to the last test when there was just half a second between us.
“It’s been a great weekend, good points again, and came out of the weekend unscathed, big thanks to the Husqvarna team who worked well all weekend to.”
Green was fourth overall and picked up another third place in the E2 class that sees him three points adrift to Price in the E2 championship.
Just like many other riders, Green found the track tough going and very wild! “The track was good, but hard” said Green who now turns his attention to next weekend’s Tri-Series in Western Australia.
Green has admitted however he was off the pace to the front running guys so it’s something he will have to work on but still very happy overall with his weekend.
CDR-Yamaha rider, Chris Hollis, rounded out the top five in the outright championship and finished fourth in the E2 division.
Hollis pin-pointed his weakness at the moment as just being too slow to kick things off with. “I got faster as I went on, but obviously it’s not good enough to be where I should be.” explained Hollis.
“I’m happy with how I rode, but I just need to work on a few things” added the 2011 champion who now sits with 147-points to his name in the outright championship.
Sixth place went to Kearney’s teammate, twenty-three-year-old Lachlan Stanford who again won the E1 class. Stanford lead home JBR Husaberg’s Jarrod Bewley who was second in the E3 class.
Husaberg Enduro Racing Team’s Geoff Braico was ninth overall with Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders rounding out the top ten.
Sanders was also victorious in the Transmoto 19 & Under class making it a staggering eight of eight wins on the trot which basically gives Sanders one hand on the championship.
Tayla Jones put a stop to Jess Gardiner’s winning streak in the Women’s championship when she won with a total tome 1:06:29.485, 27.128 seconds faster than Gardiner.
“Today was a lot better compared to yesterday.” said Jones.
“I liked these tracks better as it was more flowing and sandy which suits my riding style more.”
Gardiner later said after the race “I struggled a bit out there today, It was a really fast track out there we had today and that is where Tayla shines.
“She kept me honest out there that’s for sure, I’m still happy to come home with a second and continue to lead the championship, I just can’t wait for the next round!
Gardiner still holds on to a 16 point lead in the title fight heading into Kyogle next month.
Emelie Karlsson and Sophie Coldiutt where once again third and fourth respectfully with Bronwyn Aplin rounding out the top five.
It was another clear win from Trent Lean in the Masters class, beating Ian Jenner and local lad Adrian Fitzgerald.
The Veterans class was an exact replica of round seven with Damien Smith winning from Rowan Pumpa and Kirk Hutton.
Young gun Will Ruprecht (TLR MX1 Australian Off-Road Team) was firing on all cylinders! Ruprecht stormed to the outright victory in the Junior class and won the J4 class, beating round seven race winner Lyndon Snodgrass, Seth Muller took the final step.
Ben Kearns took out the J3, and William Price got the upper hand on Joshua Brierley and his brother Mitch in the J2.
The first Victorian rider home in the J2 class was Daniel Simpson in fourth place ahead of Queenslander Lachlan Allan.
The series will now head 1,922km from Coonawarra to Kyogle in New South Wales on July 19-20.
Toby Price 163
Glenn Kearney 152
Josh Green 150
Chris Hollis 147
Daniel Milner 133
Lachlan Stanford 110
Daniel Sanders 108
Tom McCormack 98
Geoff Braico 88
Stefan Granqvist 87
Glenn Kearney 197
Stefan Granqvist 164
Jarrod Bewley 155
Adam Giles 36
Joel James 34
Toby Price 163
Josh Green 160
Chris Hollis 150
Daniel Milner 140
Beau Ralston 137
Tom McCormack 191
Scott Keegan 167
Peter Boyle 158
Tom Kite 138
Nic Tomlinson 116
Transmoto 19 & Under Championship:
Daniel Sanders 200
Broc Grabham 168
Tom Mason 161
Trent Lean 179
Ian Jenner 139
Mike Shearer 130
Geoff Ballard 127
Craig Treasure 89
Damian Smith 197
Kirk Hutton 175
Rowan Pumpa 164
Jess Gardiner 194
Tayla Jones 178
Emelie Karlsson 156
Jemma Wilson 116
Sophie Coldiutt 96
Junior Four Championship:
Lyndon Snodgrass 183
Wil Ruprecht 181
Seth Muller 166
Stuart Holt 131
Dallan Villani 123
Junior Three Championship:
Ben Kearns 200
Deon Javni 151
Luke Strauch 134
Tom Bushell 134
Dean De Fazio 44
Junior Two Championship:
Joshua Brierley 181
Mitchell Brierley 177
William Price 125
Corey Hammond 112
Jack Matthews 111
Images by Wussell Colvin
CDR Yamaha Report
CDR Yamaha Off Road’s Daniel Milner made a triumphant return to racing after breaking his ankle six weeks ago by dominating proceedings at rounds seven and eight of the Australian Off Road Championships (AORC) held at Coonawarra, SA, over the weekend.
Milner broke his ankle in a training incident and was forced to miss the previous two rounds but with a focused recovery program, he was able to get his medical clearance and get back on the bike in the week leading up to the Coonawarra event.
Hoping to just get through the event unscathed, Milner did far more than that and cleaned up both rounds to record impressive wins and announce his return on the off road scene.
Despite missing the previous rounds, Milner now sits fourth outright and fourth again in the E1 class.
“I didn’t have high expectations coming into the weekend as I hadn’t been on the bike long so to come away with the win on both days was pretty cool,” Milner explains.
“I really missed racing and riding over the past six weeks and I put a lot of time and energy into my rehab to get back on the bike as fast as I could so I’m glad that work has paid off.”
“The CDR Yamaha team had the bike perfectly set up and I enjoyed racing. My ankle is a bit sore now so I will continue the rehab on it and hopefully it should be back to 100% at the next round,” he ends.
Chris Hollis also logged a good weekend with consistent results over both days. Hollis took sixth outright on Saturday and fifth on Sunday on his WR450F.
After eight rounds, Hollis holds down fifth Outright and third in the E1 class.
“The weekend wasn’t great for me. I struggle in the sandy terrain and it’s not my strong point so I focused getting good points and getting out of there healthy. The last rounds are on dirt that I like so I will look to attack those rounds and finish of the championship strongly,” Hollis said.
KTM Enduro Racing Team rider Toby Price has extended his lead at the head of the Australian Off-Road Championship after the series’ South Australian stop at the weekend.
Despite having never seen the venue before, Price finished second on both days, using his KTM 450 EXC to fight two dogged battles with defending champion Daniel Milner, the result coming down to the final lap on both occasions.
Price will now take an 11-point lead into the last four rounds of the series ahead of Glenn Kearney, with Josh Green a further two points back, and Milner 30 points behind Price in fourth overall.
In E1 competition, Peter Boyle registered two more solid, second place finishes towards the small-bore championship on his KTM 250 EXC-F, but admits he didn’t quite click with the event as he had hoped, and now looks forward to the Hattah desert race in two weeks time.
KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager Brad Williscroft: “Two seconds today for Pricey and the same for Boyley. Toby rode awesome all weekend but Milner was riding good too. Yesterday he had a little fall on the last lap and today he clipped a tree with his shoulder right at the end which was just enough to put him off and Milner got the win. In the end we didn’t really have to go 110% to beat him because he’s further back in the points, we only needed to beat Kearney and Green and we did that both days and moved a little ahead in the championship. Pete couldn’t get his head around the track and he struggled with setup a little bit so he was disappointed with how he went, but he still managed second in E1 so it wasn’t too bad. But it was an awesome event on a really tough track – sandy, really rough and quite technical. We had rain both nights, so the tracks were perfect.
Toby Price – KTM 450 EXC. “We clipped a tree in that last lap today – I’ve got to keep remembering to go around those trees! But it’s okay, we got through the weekend without doing anything too silly so it’s all good. It’s important to make sure we stay consistent now and do what we can. The pace has picked up a lot and I went there without any setup data because I missed the race there last year, so I spent some of Saturday chasing settings. It was a good race for the win and it’s good for enduro racing to have a close contest like that between Yamaha and KTM. Daniel and I get on well so it’s all good fun. Now I’ve got to focus on the tri-series round this weekend.”
Peter Boyle – KTM 250 EXC-F “It wasn’t my weekend this time around. I couldn’t get the hang of the track to go quick and I just made too many mistakes. I kept running off the track. The weather and conditions were perfect but I just couldn’t put it all together. It wasn’t a good weekend for me. I got a couple of seconds which was okay, but I’ve got to start beating Tom to have a chance at the championship.”
It was another ‘Captain’s Knock’ from Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager and E3 class rider Glenn Kearney this weekend, as the FE 501 rider elevated himself to second position in the standings of the Australian Off-Road Championships which resumed at Penola in the Coonawarra region of South Australia.
Kearney accumulated two more wins in the big-bore class, but just as importantly took two Outright third places behind defending champion Daniel Milner and championship leader Toby Price.
Vets class rider Damo Smith continued his rampaging run aboard the Husqvarna FE 350, moving two class wins closer to defending his championship.
Scott Keegan toiled in the E1 class but nonetheless came away with two thirds on the nimble Husqvarna FE 250, while Lachlan Stanford rebounded from a poor (by his standards) first day to be seventh outright today on his FE 450.
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney – FE501 “A pretty solid round for me. I ended up third outright and first in E3. Halfway through the day yesterday there was only a second or two between myself, Milner and Toby. I ended up having a decent crash and fell off the pace a bit, but ended up third for the day, and in E3, then the same result again today. The team went really again, I’ve got to give a big thanks again to Christian and Pat – the bikes were all perfect all weekend. They did a great job. And the testing we did with Apro really paid off in the sand there. Damo was killing it all weekend. Lachy and Scotty both struggled a little bit here and there, but they both figured it out and got some good pace going so they did well in the end in what was a really well run event.”
Lachlan Stanford FE 450 “My speed wasn’t there. Saturday I started off the first test with a fall, and had a steady day overall finishing eleventh outright – my worst result of the year by a few places! I started off a bit slow again this morning and finally started to get my speed back, getting a couple of fifths and sixths outright, but still only ended up seventh outright because I was a bit slow this morning. I talked to Glenn about it last night and he gave me a few bits of advice about my line selection and to stay positive and that sort of thing, which helped.”
Scott Keegan – FE 250 “Thirds both days. I’m not happy with the way I was riding on Saturday. I just took a while to gel and couldn’t really find my confidence and was second-guessing myself and my decisions a lot. We had two tests on Saturday and I was losing a fair bit of time on one. I was pretty good on the other one but it wasn’t enough to pull me back close to them. We only did the rough one once today so I couldn’t get too much time back on them. Yesterday I was a little bit devastated because of my mistakes but today I felt like I rode okay and I still ended up with the same result, so that’s a bit disappointing. I just wasn’t fast enough here.”
Damo Smith – FE 350 “A good weekend for me, we got the win both days and stayed in the top twenty overall which I was quite happy about. The whole event was great – the course was a pleasure to ride really. Perfect conditions, no dust and just nice loamy sand. The 350 was the perfect bike for that style and that sandy condition.”
Husaberg Enduro Racing Team riders Geoff Braico and Jarrod Bewley made a good fist of trying conditions as rounds seven and eight of the AORC championship unfolded in South Australia – but like all top-level racers… they wanted more.
Geoff Braico moved from 12th to 10th in overall classification after kicking off the weekend in stunning fashion, with fifth outright on his Husaberg FE350 on Saturday despite a couple of unscheduled dismounts.
His ninth overall today – a mere five seconds in arrears of the rider in 6th outright – aptly illustrates the intensity and competitiveness of AORC racing in 2014.
Husaberg FE501-mounted E3 representative Jarrod Bewley would be quick to agree. He struggled to find the perfect setup for Penola’s unique combination of whoops, sand and pine forest racing, and only managing eighth Outright, would have to be satisfied with another pair of seconds in the big-bore class behind tearaway leader Glenn Kearney.
GEOFF BRAICO – FE350. “This weekend was pretty nice, the bike was awesome and everything was good. I got fifth overall and ninth overall today – it’s all super-close, and unfortunately, I binned it in one of the laps today so that was a bit of a downer. I managed to post some pretty good times here – it was a pretty good weekend for me actually. I’m trying to be less hot and cold with it, trying to be more consistent. I’d like to finish inside the top ten every single race. Yesterday I finished fifth overall and that was fourth in E2 – the guys who were ahead of me were all full-time riders so it was nice to be close to those boys. The tracks were perfect and she was a pretty solid weekend so I’m happy about it. I really want to thank all my sponsors and Drew, my mechanic.”
JARROD BEWLEY – FE501. “Saturday started off pretty slow and I just struggled with my setup for the track a little bit. It took me the whole day to feel comfortable on it. I tried a little bit of a different setup but it wasn’t great. I finished eighth outright and second in class, the same as today, but today I felt a lot stronger. I found a better setup and stuck with it all day. I felt a little bit more comfortable, but eighth is definitely not where I want to be – I’d rather be further up front. Close racing is always hard racing and you’ve got to be on your game, you can’t be going there with questions in your mind about your setup. That’s where I struggled this weekend, and it showed. Now I’m looking forward to Hattah and the next AORC round where I can try to get back up there.”
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