Toby Price doubles AORC season opener in Kilkivan

KTM Off-Road Racing rider Toby Price has made it two from two at the 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship at Kilkivan in Queensland on Sunday.

The defending AORC champion, who took out Round 1 on Saturday, turned a fantastic start to the season into the perfect one with another dominant performance in trying Round 2 conditions.

Dust was again a factor; with the round shortened from the planned five heats to four after conditions were ruled too dangerous to continue with the final heat.

As a result, Price took out three of the four AORC heats available with a time of 28:38.865, ahead of CDR Yamaha’s and E2 class winner Chris Hollis 28:56.423 and Active8 Yamaha’s Beau Ralston (29:01.752).

Ralston’s teammate Josh Green (29:05.197) and Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing rider Tye Simmonds (29:39.272) rounded out the top five.

Green (E1) joined Price (E3), Tayla Jones (Womens), Kurt Hutton (Veterans), Trent Lean (Masters), Fraser Higlett (J4 Junior) and Jessie Bishop (J3 Junior) as clean-sweep winners of their respective classes on the weekend.

In a repeat of Saturday’s opening round, Jones took out the Women’s class aboard her Yamaha Racing entry, ahead of 2014 ISDE-winning teammates Jess Gardiner (ShercoAus Ballards Motorex Off-Road) and Jemma Wilson (Yamaha Racing).

In the Transmoto 19 and Under class, Tom Mason (Bolton’s KTM) went one better than his Round 1 result, topping Wil Ruprecht (MX1 Suzuki) and Round 1 victor Peter-Daniel Allen. Corey Hammond took out the J2 class.

The 2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship will now head to Hedley, Victoria for Rounds 3 and 4 on April 18-19.

Toby Price – Outright 1, 1, E3 Class 1, 1  – “That’s the start you definitely always hope for – to come out on top in both rounds is a great start to the season. KTM’s working hard and we’ve always got the support behind us, so it’s good to repay them with a couple of wins. The first day was a bit of a rough day; we didn’t quite start off too well in the first test. One rider had a couple of little mishaps in front of me, and I got caught up in his dust and couldn’t see a thing at all. It meant the rest of the crew that started behind could make a lot of ground on us, but we came out on top on the Saturday, and today we felt good, stayed up the whole time, and put down some good lap times. It’s good to be on that 500 again, it’s an awesome bike, and it suited the conditions on the weekend very well.”

Lachy Stanford – Outright: 3, 6, E2: Class 2, 4 (FE350): “A lot of questions were answered this weekend for me. After the enduro-cross I was doubting myself a little bit, so getting a third outright and a second in E2 yesterday was really a confidence boost. I proved to myself that I was up there, I almost won a test and was winning outright for a little bit there. So I really needed that, that was awesome! Round two today I made a little mistake, I overshot a corner and was on the wrong side of the fence, so I had to do a big U-turn and with the field being so tight this year, one mistake and you go backwards. But it was a solid result, and I got through cleanly with no crashes at all, so I’m pretty happy with where I finished. I think I’ve got more in the bag, and I’m looking forward to round three and four.”

Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders – Outright 6, 7, E3 Class 2, 2  – “We haven’t gotten too bad a start to the year. Sort of where I expected to be I suppose. I finished sixth and seventh outright, so I got some good points and escaped a few crashes injury free so I can’t complain. I got on the new bike and the motor they’ve built me was just magnificent, so I was having heaps of fun on it. We’ll just do some fine tuning with the suspension before the next round at Corner Inlet and it will be perfect. Winning that lap outright yesterday was amazing! At first I couldn’t believe it and I waited for a few minutes for a few more riders to come through but a bit of luck went my way. So that’s one goal ticked off! The next one is to work on breaking into the top three outright for a round.

Tye Simmonds – Outright 7, 5, E2 Class 4, 3 “I’m happy to get that first one out the road, it was frustrating to have two crashes on the first day, when I was just trying to push too hard. Ben and Toby were just drumming it into me to relax a bit more, back it down, don’t make so many mistakes and don’t lose so much time – not ride it like a motocross track where you just push and pin it. Toby was pumping it into me all weekend, but it took a couple of days for it get into my system I guess. I loved being back on the 450, the 350 was really good for enduro-cross, but it’s good to have that bit of extra power and be back on the big girl again.”

Ben Grabham, KTM Team Manager – “We had a good first two rounds of the AORC. It was obviously very hot, dusty and a track you didn’t want to take too many risks on, but we came away with some really good results. Obviously Toby had pretty much the dream weekend, winning E3 on both days, and the outright. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, he had a decent crash on day one, but after that he got his act together and rode really strong. Apples (Sanders) had a good weekend, he got second to Toby in the E3 on both days, and a sixth and a seventh outright, but to be honest I think it was a great weekend for him. I wouldn’t say it was the ideal two-stroke track but he still went real well on it. I think Tye enjoyed his first one, he got fourth in E2 on the first day, and then he got on the podium for E2 today. The bikes have all gone really well, the mechanics have done a great job, and we’re pretty happy with how it all kicked off.”

Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney Outright: 8, 8, E3: 3, 3: “I’m really happy, firstly with Lachy who stepped up to the plate like we really hoped he would. He did an awesome job; his first ever AORC outright podium, so it was a really good start to the year for him. Exactly what we hoped for. We talked about it and last year’s goals were for him to be top 10 consistently, but this year we’ve cut that in half, and I think he is definitely going to be a top five guy all the time. Hopefully he can get some podiums and some wins a little further down the track.For me, I’m happy. Two podiums in E3 is a good start considering five weeks ago I was still hobbling around, so to be competitive is a real positive. I kind of thought I’d still be a little bit more off the pace, but after today I was only 0.7 of a second behind Chucky for second in E3, and maybe six seconds or so out of fifth outright. So while I’m back in the results, it’s only by a little bit that’s lacking. I think with another four weeks to get my head around this clutch system, I can be right back on the pace.”

Toby Price
KTM’s Toby Price was at his scintillating best winning the opening rounds of the 2015 AORC at Kilkivan
Lachy Stanford
Husqvarna racer Lachy Stanford broke through for his first AORC outright podium at Kilkivan
Daniel Sanders
Daniel Sanders nailed his first outright victory in a sprint on Saturday morning on the 300 EXC,
Tye Simmonds
Tye Simmonds capped off his first AORC weekend ever with an E2 podium today
2015 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship results Kilkivan, QLD
Round 1 AORC Outright results

1. Toby Price (E3)

2. Beau Ralston (E2)

3. Lachlan Stanford (E2)

4. Josh Green (E2)

5. Chris Hollis (E2)

6. Daniel Sanders (E3)

7. Tye Simmonds (E2)

8. Glenn Kearney (E3)

9. Stefan Granquist (E3)

10. Scott Keegan (E2)

Round 2 AORC Outright results:

1. Toby Price (E3)

2. Chris Hollis (E2)

3. Beau Ralston (E2)

4. Josh Green (E1)

5. Tye Simmonds (E2)

6. Lachlan Stanford (E2)

7. Daniel Sanders (E3)

8. Glenn Kearney (E3)

9. Stefan Granquist (E3)

10. Scott Keegan (E2)