Price rebounds with commanding AORC sprint performance
After missing the overall podium in the cross country round on Saturday, Toby Price responded in the perfect fashion for Round 4 of the 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC).
The defending AORC champion and Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing rider took out all five heats on offer for Sunday’s sprint round with a total time of 59:27.689; in the process claiming the E3 class and extending his overall series lead.
Saturday’s Round 3 winner Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha) was again at the business end of the leader board with a time of 59:49.525 to secure his fourth E1 class victory on the trot and second overall, while Price’s Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing teammate Tye Simmonds (1:00:19.097) turned around the disappointment of crashing out on the final lap on the previous day to take out the E2 Class/third overall double.
Yesterday’s runner-up Daniel Sanders (Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing) and Stefan Granqvist (Yamaha Privateer) rounded out the top five.
As expected, CDR Yamaha rider Chris Hollis didn’t take part in Sunday’s sprint round as a result of an elbow injury suffered in yesterday’s cross country round.
In the Transmoto 19 and Under Class, Bolton’s KTM rider Tom Mason made it two from two for the weekend to extend his lead in the overall standings.
Mason was joined on the podium by Lyndon Snodgrass and Andrew Wilksch.
Tayla Jones (Yamaha Racing) again took out the Women’s class; this time winning four of the five heats on offer. Jess Gardiner (ShercoAus Ballards Motorex Off-Road) managed to pip her nemesis in the last heat to claim second for the class, while Jemma Wilson (Yamaha Racing) improved on her result from Saturday to claim third.
In the remaining classes, Kirk Hutton (Veterans), David Fleming (Masters) and Mitchell Brierley (J2) secured their second class wins for the weekend, while Fraser Higlett (J4) and Mason Semmens (J3) went one better than their second placings in the cross country round.
Toby Price (1st Overall/E3 Class Winner) – “Yesterday was tough. Starting the cross country off at the first turn on my face wasn’t the best idea, but unfortunately that happens. You have to take the good days with the bad days.
“Trying to come through the pack I got filled in with heaps of dust and I crashed another three times out on the track which was not the best and definitely burnt a lot of energy for today (Sunday).
“My sprint format work is pretty good at the moment, but I’m definitely still catching up a bit after Dakar, and every now and then I can feel the body shutting down a little bit, but I know my speed is there.
“We’re only at Round 4, so there is a long way to go. As long as we stay smooth and consistent and try not to drop further back from a fourth place, we should be somewhere near the front by the end of the season.”
Josh Green (2nd Overall/E1 Class Winner) – ““It was pretty close to the perfect weekend. Toby just got me at the end, but it was quite difficult on the 250 in the deep sand, but the bike was good and I rode well so it was successful and I was able to move up a few places in the championship.
“It’s always tough getting the intensity back up and doing a sprint, but the track was real flogged out from yesterday so that was probably the hardest thing – trying to go fast on a track that was pretty badly chopped up.
“The first round (in Kilkivan) was really fast so the 250 was on the back foot, but then this round it was a bit more suited to the 250. Hopefully the next round is the same and I can keep building from there.”
Tye Simmonds (3rd Overall/E2 Class Winner) – ““I was pretty gutted and disappointed yesterday. I got a terrible start and got through third pretty quick, and I was there for about a lap and a half before I through the anchor out and struggled for a little while.
“With about four laps to go we started picking the pace up and got to fifth; I got on the back of Toby and unfortunately with half a lap to go the bike pulled up and I ended with a DNF.
“It was good to get out today and get some decent points and just turn around yesterday. To finish third outright today being the second round and everything, I’m pretty stoked with that.
“The sprints were good today and I gelled pretty well with the track. The bike was set up really well so it’s a credit to the team for that; I’m just a little bummed because we would have been sitting pretty well in the championship had we finished yesterday, but that’s racing.”
Tom Mason (Transmoto 19 and Under Class Winner) – “Yesterday I started off well and slowly got better as the race went on.
“I felt really good at the end; getting more experience in the sand would be better, but today the track was unbelievably rough and pretty sketchy in some spots. I was able to pull through though, and stay upright and get a good result.
“Corner Inlet is one of my favourite tracks, and there is a few people here this weekend and the spotlight was on, so I’m stoked to be able to get a win in my home state.”
The 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship will now head to Karoonda, South Australia for Rounds 5 and 6 on May 23-24.
ROUND 4 OUTRIGHT TOP 10
1st: Toby Price (Motorex KTM Off Road Racing, E3 Class)
2nd: Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha, E1 Class)
3rd: Tye Simmonds (Motorex KTM Off Road Racing, E2 Class)
4th: Daniel Sanders (Motorex KTM Off Road Racing, E3 Class)
5th: Stefan Granqvist (Yamaha Privateer, E3 Class)
6th: Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna Off-Road Team, E3 Class)
7th: Riley Graham (KTM, E1 Class)
8th: Peter Boyle (Penrite Honda, E2 Class)
9th: Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Off-Road Team, E2 Class)
10th: Scott Keegan (Husqvarna Privateer, E2 Class)
Green takes out grinding AORC round three
Active8 Yamaha’s Josh Green has claimed his first outright win for the year in a gruelling Round 3 of the 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship.
Green, who completed the cross country circuit in a time of 3:22:14.718, held off strong challenges from Motorex KTM Off Road Racing’s Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders (3:24:43.219) and Active8 Yamaha teammate Beau Ralston (3:25:40.915).
All three had their moments, with Sanders leading in the early laps, before Green grabbed control of the race at the beginning of lap four to lead from there on in. Ralston then engaged in a seesawing battle with Sanders, with each jostling throughout the day for a proper crack at the lead.
Defending AORC champion Toby Price finished in fourth position overall, while Husqvarna Off-Road Team rider Lachlan Stanford rounded out the top five.
CDR Yamaha star Chris Hollis had a day to forget after succumbing to an elbow injury in a tangle on the first lap.
Hollis was sent to hospital for scans, and is considered unlikely to take his place on the line for tomorrow’s sprint round.
In the other classes, Victorian Tom Mason had a fantastic day with a win in the Transmoto 19 and Under class. The Bolton’s KTM rider finished the day in 11th overall, one spot ahead of fellow young gun Lyndon Snodgrass on his Kawasaki. Wil Ruprecht finished in third.
In the Women’s class, Yamaha Racing’s Tayla Jones continued on her dominant start to the series with a convincing win over nearest rival Jess Gardiner on her ShercoAus Ballards Motorex Off-Road entry. Yamaha’s Emelie Karlsson rounded out the girls’ podium in third.
David Fleming was the standout rider in the Masters’ class, while Kirk Hutton was again in a class of his own in the Veterans.
In the juniors, it was another good day for the Brierley family with twins Josh and Mitchell taking out the J3 and J2 classes respectively, while Ben Kearns reversed the result on his Kilkivan conqueror in Fraser Higlett with a victory in the J4 class.
Josh Green (Overall/E1 Class Winner) – “I just sort of settled into a pace early and stayed there all race. I felt pretty good, although I started cramping up on the last lap and the track is getting really dusty, but we got here and that is the main thing.
“I’ll definitely be trying to get on the top step again tomorrow so we’ll just see how we go.
“I won here two years ago, then second last year and then another win this year on the 250; I can’t put that into words. I’m really stoked and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Daniel Sanders (2nd Overall/E3 Class Winner) – “Definitely stoked with the result. My fitness was right there and I definitely had the speed, so it was just a case of staying upright and not making mistakes.
“I was trying to push through the pack at the start just to get some clean air, but there was nothing in the first bit. Luckily the bike survived, so it’s a good result to get the points and we’re fairly happy.
“It was a big ride today; I did 3 hours and 25 minutes on the bike today so it was definitely a good test on the body for all the boys.
“I believe I can do well in the sprints. If I can past these guys in the cross country and hold them off, I know the speed is there. I just need to hold them off, be consistent, stick to good lines and not get stuck in the big sandy ruts that are out there.”
Beau Ralston (3rd Overall/E2 Class Winner) – “Yeah I started to get there, that was a tough one (race). I had a few crashes at the start; I bent my bars and then rode two and a half hours with bent bars, so it was tough.
“After today I’m definitely looking forward to the sprints!”
Tayla Jones (Women’s Class Winner) – “I had a good day of racing at Corner Inlet. The track was sick and I got a good start in my group, so I ended up passing all the clubmen in front of me to get the overall and class win so I was stoked.
“I aimed to get to the front at the start and overtake as many riders as I could so I could pull a gap. I managed to do that on the first lap and I kept it going to cruise through for the win.
“I like the tracks out here; the sand is cool so hopefully I can have another good day tomorrow.”
Ben Kearns (J4 Class Winner) – “It went really well. I was struggling at the start of the race with my arm pump, but the race finished well so I was happy.
“It’s good to finally get on top of Fraser (Higlett). I had a rough Enduro X series behind him the whole time so it is good to finally beat him this year.
“I was getting a bit sick at the end of the race, and as soon as I finished I just had to lay down as it’s pretty tough out there.
“I hope so (to do well in Round 4 tomorrow), the track will be rough and I will try do a few things to the suspension tonight and just see how I go.”
Round 3 Overall Top 10
1. Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha, E1 Class)
2. Daniel Sanders (Motorex KTM Off Road Racing, E3 Class)
3. Beau Ralston (Active8 Yamaha, E2 Class)
4. Toby Price (Motorex KTM Off Road Racing, E3 Class)
5. Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Off-Road Team, E2 Class)
6. Glenn Kearney (Husqvarna Off-Road Team, E3 Class)
7. Broc Grabham (Motul Pirelli Sherco Enduro Team, E2 Class)
8. Stefan Granqvist (Yamaha Privateer, E3 Class)
9. Tom Kite (Honda Privateer, E1 Class)
10. Ivan Long (KTM Racing, E3 Class)