Ten rounds down, two to go! Motorex KTM Off-Road ace Toby Price has tightened his already vice-like grip on this year’s Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship with yet another commanding round win in both the outright and E2 class.
Price’s fifth win from 10 rounds has set him up to clinch his fourth AORC crown in September at Heathcote, Victoria needing only a second place if his nearest championship rival Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna Enduro Team) were to win the final two rounds.
Now ahead by twenty eight points, even Price conceded that he was now on the verge of taking the title.
Price ran away with today’s victories winning by 7.545 seconds over CDR-Yamaha’s Chris Hollis. However Price did hit the ground in the first test in the morning, but that did not stop him what so ever.
“Today went pretty much according to plan” said Price. “I just cruised along and kept the KTM on two wheels.
“The main thing is I’m all fit and healthy, so roll on the final two rounds in Victoria, at the moment it’s really hard work, everyone is on fire, the test times are really close.
“It’s good, it makes it interesting for the day and good for spectators” added Price who will jet his way over to Western Australia for the Tri-Series later this week.
Hollis was once again happy enough finishing in second and regarded the track as a bit more ‘choppier’ than round nine.
With two second place finishes over the weekend it has given Hollis an added bit of confidence heading into next month’s A4DE.
“The four day is a little bit like this, so this has given me a bit of confidence that’s for sure” said Hollis.
Hollis’s team mate Daniel Milner rounded out the top three, finishing with a total time of 45:57.506, 1.524 seconds down on Hollis.
“This weekend didn’t go how I wanted it to” Milner posted on social media. “Got third both days but I have to work on the fitness and hard pack tracks.”
A solid fourth place went to Husqvarna’s Lachlan Stanford which has been his best result thus far. Stanford was much happier with his performance compared to Saturday.
“I had a terrible day yesterday, so I really wanted to come back swinging and put in an impressive result today which I did” said the 23-year old. “I’m really happy with how I did.”
Rounding out the top five saw Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Josh Green which keeps him in third place in the championship overall on 182-points and tied on 194-points with Hollis in the E2 class.
In sixth place and the first E3 rider home was yet again, Kearney who continued to steam away in the E3 title chase.
Kearney beat JBR Husaberg’s Jarrod Bewley who finished 13th overall, while Stefan Granquist (Active8 Yamaluble Yamaha) was third and was 14th outright.
Granquist’s team mate Beau Ralston finished seventh overall and found that he learnt a lot over the weekend. “I was consistent all weekend for once.” said Ralston who also finished with a seventh in round nine.
Ralston finished ahead of another Active8 Yamaluble Yamaha rider, Tom McCormack who also took out the E1 class in the process to hold onto a healthy 34-points margin over Scott Keegan (Husqvarna Enduro Team) who nailed down third in the E1 class and 15th outright. “I made a few too many mistakes today but, I’m happy with the result” said McCormack.
Rounding out the outright top ten was Peter Boyle (Motorex KTM Off-Road Team), who was also second in the E1 class, while Daniel Sanders completed the top ten and took out the Under 19’s.
Jess Gardiner (Ballards Motorex Off-Road Team) looks to be on target now to wrap up her third title in the Women’s when she went on to claim yet another round win that sees her extend her championship lead out to 22 points over 18-year old Tayla Jones.
Gardiner’s total time of 44:31.180 was good enough to wrap up her eighth win for the season.
Rounding out the podium was Emelie Karlsson, with Tamara Gray and Sophie Coldiutt who leaps up to fourth place in the championship rounding out the top five respectfully.
In the Masters Championship it was ‘game set and match’ for TLR MX1 Australia Off-Road Team pilot Trent Lean when he went on to win, beating Geoff Ballard.
Lean has an unassailable lead now of 55-points over Ballard who leap frogs Ian Jenner who finished fourth. Finishing third was Mark Cockerill.
It was all class by Damian Smith in the Vets class as he went on to win again. Smith finished 22.028 seconds ahead of Kirk Hutton with South Australian Rowan Pumpa coming home in third.
In the Junior Four class Will Ruprecht (TLR MX1 Australia Off-Road) made it back to back round wins and with that he tops the championship with 231-points, six clear from Lyndon Snodgrass who finished third.
Ruprecht, who is gunning for his second championship said; “To come out of the weekend with two round wins is exactly what we hoped for.
“To come in to this weekend two points behind Lyndon [Snodgrass] and to leave six points clear is just fantastic.”
Second to Ruprecht was Queenslander Seth Muller. Stuart Holt and Neil Collard rounded out the top five.
Ben Kearns was once again too good for the field in the J3 class.
Joshua Brierley won the J2 class ahead of Jarrod Ramsay and William Price.
The next round of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship heads to Heathcote in Victoria on September 6-7.
Round ten Outright results:
Toby Price 213
Glenn Kearney 185
Josh Green 182
Chris Hollis 176
Daniel Milner 173
Lachlan Stanford 132
Daniel Sanders 129
Tom McCormack 126
Jarrod Bewley 118
Geoff Braico 110
KTM Enduro Racing Team rider Toby Price has moved a step closer to a record fourth Australian Off-Road Championship crown after an authoritative performance at the series’ ninth and tenth rounds at Kyogle, the north-eastern NSW.
Riding a KTM 450 EXC, Price was class and outright victor on both days of the event, more than doubling his lead in the overall standings to 28 points with just two rounds remaining.
The Maitlander, who is this year juggling full-time desert and enduro racing schedules, now leads the series on 213 points from Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney with Josh Green another two points back.
Price’s team mate Peter Boyle registered top-ten outright finishes on the nimble KTM 250 EXC-F with 8th and 9th from the two days, and edged four points closer to second placed Scott Keegan in the E1 class battle after finishing second in class behind Tom McCormack on both days.
KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager Brad Williscroft: “A pretty good weekend for us. The venue was awesome, the three tests they had were a really good mix of hills, grass track and tight and technical enduro tests and both guys rode really well. Toby made a few mistakes early in the day and then just rode smooth and consistent and managed to pull off the two wins for the weekend and extend his points lead, which is awesome. He’s moved that one round ahead of second now so I’m really happy with that. Boyley got two top-ten outright finishes and second in class both days so he’s improved here. We did a little bit of suspension stuff with him before this round and he’s moved a lot closer to the win so we’re very happy. This was a really good hit-out before the four-day for the whole team. The mechanics and the whole team did a great job this weekend.”
Toby Price – KTM 450 EXC. “We got a couple of wins here, which is what we go there to do. We had a couple of little dramas with our front-end set up but we got on top of that a little bit and came away with it. The conditions up there were a little bit dry and dusty and the trails were laid out really good so it was a great event. The trails were well marked out and there was a variety of everything. We’ve extended the points lead with two rounds to go, but there’s still 50 points in it, so anything can still happen. If we can stay ahead of those guys at the next round we might be able to seal it up early, but if not, then we’ll keep the head down and keep doing what we do.”
Peter Boyle – KTM 250 EXC-F “It felt good to do well here with the four-day coming up, and it’s good to be closing in on the McCormack, I’ve beaten him in a couple of rounds earlier on but these last two he was way ahead. It was an awesome place to ride there, with a bit of everything; hilly stuff, tight stuff and my bike just turns so well so it’s fun to ride in those conditions.”
Husaberg Enduro Racing Team rider Geoff Braico battled not just the AORC premier class, but also the effects of damaged knee ligaments as the ninth and tenth rounds of the AORC series unfolded at Kyogle.
Braico injured his MCL training last week but soldiered on through the pain, earning 6th and 7th in the premier E2 class over the two days.
Toby Price won overall on both days, ahead of Chris Hollis and Daniel Milner.
Riding a Husaberg FE450 instead of his usual FE350 as he decides which capacity to use for the Australian 4-Day Enduro national championship in August, Braico was rewarded for his considerable persistence and toughness with an impressive 9th and 11th outright.
Jarrod Bewley rode the team’s FE501 to a pair of second placings in the E3 class for big bores, and but could only manage 12th and 13th outright, and is currently ninth in AORC standings.
GEOFF BRAICO – FE450. “It was an alright weekend for me, I was pretty much in salvage mode after tearing the MCL last weekend – It wasn’t a bad tear but it’s hard to put that aside and ride 100%, so I’m just stoked to be in the top ten outright. I want to be there but I was surprised yesterday to get ninth and today to just miss out by a second or two. As far as the class goes all the boys are going super fast – that’s why it’s the premier class I guess, but it was a little bit of a flat weekend for me trying not to damage the knee any further. I rode the 450 here to test whether I wanted to ride it or the 350 in the four-day. I like how the 450 tracks, but I like how the 350 turns… I’d race the 350 over the 450 in cross country, but in the grass track stuff the 450 is the bike. That’s the beauty of riding the ‘bergs I guess, they’ve got two great bikes in E2. Thanks to Drew and all my sponsors for helping me out!”
JARROD BEWLEY – FE501. “I felt good on the Saturday, and felt like I was keeping the momentum up. I thought I was going alright until I saw the times, but the outright results just weren’t there for us this weekend. Probably I wasn’t being aggressive enough in the end. The other guys were going well though and it was pretty tight overall, from the top guys right back there wasn’t a great deal of time there. I’ll try riding try some motocross before the 4-day to get the intensity up so I can be more aggressive in the sprint laps. We’re only talking about small fractions in the corners and straights, but that can make a big difference.”
A top-level enduro rider like Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team racer Lachlan Stanford has probably won lots of different prizes during his career, but today might be the first time he’s won a free dinner.
That was the incentive on offer the first day he beat the boss, Team Manager Glenn Kearney, in a round of the Australian Off-Road Championships, and today, round ten of the series at Kyogle in Northern NSW, was the day.
Stanford damaged his clutch hose in an off-track excursion yesterday and could only manage 17th overall and 7th in the premier class yesterday, but he rebounded today, firing his Husqvarna FE 450 into fourth in class and outright, right behind high-profile riders like KTM’s Toby Price, Chris Hollis and Daniel Milner.
Kearney ensured that he will take overall second place into the final two rounds of the AORC in September after a (for him) disappointing 4th and 6th outright across the weekend.
He maintained his E3 stranglehold another two class wins, while Damo Smith did likewise in the Vets class, and Scott Keegan was third on both days of E1 action.
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney – FE501 “Had to buy the kid dinner tonight. That’s the deal if he beats me, and Lachy rode real well here. Especially today, I think two or three of those tests he was on the same second as the leaders. For me the biggest positive was two wins in the class, but overall it was fairly disappointing. I struggled yesterday but managed to come away with fourth over Greeny. I thought we’d turn it around today but we were actually worse. It took me until this afternoon to figure out I wasn’t riding the 500 the way I should have been and two of the tests were killing me. Once I got more aggressive and got over the front of the bike it started working like it should. My own fault really, but second Outright is still a nice place to be.”
Lachlan Stanford FE 450 “In the first test I overshot a turn and a stick went through my clutch line and I had to ride out of the section with no clutch. I lost a minute and a half there, so that was a bit of a pain. I made up for it today, did some really good test times and got fourth outright behind Pricey, Milner and Hollis, so I was happy with that. Some of my test times were really close to them, so it’s a good sign that I’m moving forward and that’s what I’m after this weekend. In fact to be in the ballpark with those guys is what I’ve been aiming at all year. I also beat Glenn for the first time today which is awesome!”
Scott Keegan – FE 250 “It wasn’t too bad, but I must have been riding a bit too safe. I wasn’t making any mistakes but I wasn’t as fast as I would have liked either. Today I pushed a little bit more, but had a couple of crashes in a couple of tests, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with third, because I was pretty good on the tight bush one and I like the enduro format.”
Damo Smith – FE 350 “It was a good round for me. I got the win both days and kept on top of Kirk in the championship, only by 5 seconds yesterday because it took me a bit to get going I think. Today was a bit more, 30 seconds I think. But a good property, nice track, and all run really well.”
CDR Yamaha Report
DR Yamaha Off Road’s duo of Chris Hollis and Daniel Milner racked up the podium time with both riders finishing in the top three at rounds nine and ten of the Australian Off Road Championship held under clear blue skies in Kyogle, NSW.
The weekend marked a return to form for Hollis. After struggling to post the results he expected of himself at the last two events, Hollis bounced back strongly at the Kyogle round and put his Yamaha WR450F on the podium on both days.
Hollis finished second on Saturday and then racked up another second on Sunday in one of his best performances of the year and a real confidence booster heading into the final rounds and also the A4DE in the coming months.
Hollis holds down fourth in the Outright standings and 3rd in the premier E2 division.
“The last couple of rounds have been a little sandy based and that’s not my best surface so I was really looking forward to the Kyogle weekend,’ Hollis explains. “I felt good right from the start and it was nice to post a good result on Saturday and I was much more relaxed heading into Sunday.
“The WR was great in these conditions and I was within 10 seconds of the lead on both days so it was pretty tight. It’s good to leave here with a good result and look forward to the coming events,” he ends.
For any other rider, two third place finishes at a national championship round would be a great result, but not Daniel Milner. Milner finished third on both days, right in the shadow of team mate Hollis, but wasn’t impressed with his weekend and acknowledges there is work to be done.
Despite missing two rounds sue to his ankle injury, Milner currently sits in fifth Outright after 10 rounds, fourth in the E2 class.
“I won the last round after coming off my ankle injury, but that weekend kept me from riding and training the following week which was a setback. I felt I lacked some fitness over the weekend and also I need to brush up on riding hard pack dirt as you need to be a little smoother on the brakes and throttle.
“With the A4DE, I6DE and the final rounds of the AORC approaching, I need to work hard on those two things so I’m 100%,” he said.
The final two rounds of the 2014 AORC will be run at Heathcote in Victoria on the weekend of September 6 and 7. The CDR Yamaha dup will be looking for a big finish to the year in their home state event.
AORC Round Nine Report
Motorex KTM-Off Road star Toby Price has continued his charge towards the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship crown with another near-flawless round win in both the outright and E2 championship, landing him his fourth race win of the year to extended his lead in the championship after Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney finished outside the top three for just the third time this season.
However, Price is is refusing to take ownership of the AORC’s top honour.
Price won by a staggering 5.163 seconds beating CDR-Yamaha’s Chris Hollis who made a welcome return to the top three.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Price, who is more than on track now to claim his fourth championship come September.
In the morning, the 26-year old had a few issues with getting the front end sorted out.
“The bike this morning felt really lose and hard to turn” explained Price.
“Apart from that, the day has gone pretty smoothly, I did have a little slip off, But to come away with the win is what we wanted.
For Hollis was happy to finally be back on the podium, his two second place finishes came at the opening two rounds this year in March in Bulahdelah, NSW.
Hollis described the surface as like ‘potty mix’ which suited the WR450 really well.
“I had a really good day” said Hollis.
“I felt as if I could race all day and really push it, it definitely is a nice feeling to get back up on the podium that’s for sure!
“Hopefully I can do the same tomorrow or go one better.”
It was a slow start to the day for Hollis’s CDR Yamaha teammate, Daniel Milner who took a bit of time to get in to his rhythm and suffered a bit of arm pump as well.
The 2013 champion admitted that it took him a bit too long to get going which resulted him losing ground from Price and Hollis.
Milner said the conditions were certainly not in his favour today.
“It’s not my favourite conditions, but I am enjoying the track layout.
“I guess we will just keep thinking positive thoughts, and look towards tomorrow and see what happens” he added.
Kearney was fourth and once again the winner of E3 class but was disappointed with fourth.
“I was just a little bit off today” explained Kearney who hails from Picton in New South Wales.
“It’s good points from today, but not as good as it should have been.
“Toby [Price] got some good points on me by winning which is disappointing, if today is a bad round, hopefully tomorrow will be a better one.”
Rounding out the top five was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Josh Green who was fourth in the E2 class.
Green was 33.533 seconds off Price but finished 5.324 seconds ahead of his teammate Tom McCormack who managed to run within the top five during most of the day.
“My little YZ250F ran great all day and got the class win, the tracks down here are unreal and I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow” said McCormack.
Rounding out the top ten saw fellow Active8 Yamalube Yamaha pilot Beau Ralston in seventh from Motorex KTM Off-Road Team’s Peter Boyle who snuck in to the top ten for the fourth time this year.
Boyle also finished second in the E1 class. Husaberg’s Geoff Braico was ninth while Broc Grabham rounded out the top ten and took the win in the Under 19’s class, stopping Daniel Sander’s strong run of wins.
Sanders finished in eleventh outright and second in his class ahead of another KTM rider, Tom Mason.
Ballard’s Motorex Off-Road’s Jess Gardiner stepped up her march towards her third AORC title when she enjoyed a 3.034 seconds win over Tayla Jones with Swedish lass, Emelie Karlsson picking up third place ahead of Tamara Grey and 21-year old Sophie Coldiutt who is mounted on a Honda CRF250 for this weekend.
Trent Lean took out the Masters with Geoff Ballard finishing second behind the championship leader.
While in the Vets class it was Damian Smith crossing the line first with a total time of 35:59.961 ahead of Kirk Hutton and Rowan Pumpa.
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