Daniel Sanders sweeps Hedley AORC

KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders finished on the top step of the podium overall for Round 8 of the 2016 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championships at Hedley last weekend. Competitors head next to Monkerai, NSW, August 13-14, for rounds 9 & 10 of the 2016 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championships.

Daniel Sanders. Image by John Pearson
Daniel Sanders. Image by John Pearson
Daniel “Chucky” Sanders – KTM 300 EXC

“It was a good weekend. I got to play in the mud and it was great. I’ve been racing there for five years now so I know the track pretty well, and the conditions are good when it’s wet, I enjoy it and I perform well. There was only one really wet section, the rest of the track was perfect. I had a bit of a scare off the start of the race, I went through that first lake and got blocked breather hose and the bike stopped. It going again and came back from 50 seconds behind and pulled through to first after three laps, then lead the rest of the race from there. Coming from South Oz where I injured my ankle and just had to push through and get as many points as I could, it’s good to put everything together an extent that points lead.”

Tye Simmonds – KTM 450 EXC

“It was pretty treacherous this weekend. I’ve raced muddier races, but going across those flats through the water, your bike would be taking on that much water that it would nearly stop. But we pulled through. It hailed four or five times during the race. At first you didn’t pay that much attention to it, but then you’d get to a couple of spots where the ground was just white with hail! It was pretty funny in the tight stuff but then you’d really know that it was hail when you got cracking along a big wide-open straight and just stung like all buggery! Pretty unusual. It felt like a roost but it was ice coming from the sky. It made for an adventure – it rained for an hour and a half to 2 hours of the race. For me it was survival mode all weekend really. Great to be leading E2 and second outright. Lachy and Hollis had bad runs this weekend, but I’ve had my turn already. Today we benefited from the Golden Tyre paddle tyre quite a lot. I started with a knobby and then went to the paddle and it made a huge difference. Coming across the water it really surprised me.”

Tye Simmonds. Image by John Pearson
Tye Simmonds. Image by John Pearson
Beau Ralston – Yamaha WR480F

“It was an up and down weekend for me,” Ralston said. “I’m not exactly sure what happened to the bike on Saturday but with all the mud and water it was tough on the machinery. Thankfully, the team did a great job in getting it running again and I was able to gain some valuable points on Sunday.  It was tough riding out there and I’m glad we don’t have to do this every weekend.”

Beau Ralston
Beau Ralston
Jack Simpson – KTM 250 SX-F

“Awesome, I’m ecstatic. I started off the cross country with an ordinary start, but I did 80% of my passing in the first two corners, and a couple of people crashed in front of me in the very early stages of the race. Then I was in third. I had a couple of crashes but I stayed there until I ended up getting pipped as I was stuck on the tyres, and that’s all she wrote! I love those conditions. The training grounds I’ve got are the same kind of textured dirt to what we were racing in. I was out Tuesday and Thursday in the rain riding my practice track because I knew the conditions were going to be like that. I live about 80k away – it’s the same soil! I’m fifth now, so that’s great – not bad for a novice off-road racer! The KTM 250 SX-F didn’t miss a beat, even through the lakes we had to ride through – aquaplaning through the swamp ground – not one fault. It was as tough as nails.”

Jack Simpson. Image by John Pearson
Jack Simpson. Image by John Pearson

 

Tom McCormack

“I felt great on Saturday and was riding well all day so I was really confident of a good day on Sunday,” McCormack said. “But it didn’t happen and I just couldn’t get a flow going in the mud and really struggled. The other riders picked up a bit of speed and I lost a bit with the way I was riding and it showed in my result. It was a tough weekend for everyone and the CDR Yamaha team did a great job of keeping us going in such harsh conditions so a huge thank you to everyone on the team,” he ends.

Chris Hollis

“It really was a weekend to forget,” Hollis explains. “I’m not the greatest sand rider but then when you add a heap of rain into the mix, I really find it hard but I managed to get through and score a few points. I’m still going ok in the standings but I need a good finish at the final four rounds to really challenge for the outright podium.”

Nic Tomlinson – KTM 300EXC

“Lately I’m not getting enough time on the bike with work, that’s all I can put my result down to here. I had a few little dramas but nothing major. I was just really tense on the bike and wasn’t relaxed enough. Yesterday I kept making silly little mistakes, but I’ve just got to keep working at ironing it out. I didn’t feel too bad today but was a bit off the pace in the first and had a stupid little crash in the last one that put me way back.”

Ben Grabham – KTM Enduro Racing Team Manager

“It was a fantastic result for the whole team both in class and in the championship. Daniel and Tye went 1-2 both days with Daniel topping both. The format was cross-country yesterday and sprint today. Yesterday saw some of the wildest and trickiest conditions I’ve ever seen in my days of racing, with hail, crazy winds, sun, sleet and pretty much anything you could think of. The KTM EXCs were amazing in conditions that a lot of other bikes suffered in. Chucky came from back to front on Saturday and Tye started well and looked solid all day. Those two boys pretty much gapped everyone else and had a clean run in pretty horrible conditions. Then did it all again today. So we’re looking pretty good now. Chucky’s got a pretty comfortable lead and Tye has moved into second outright and is also leading E2, so I couldn’t be happier. Full credit to everyone in the team this weekend, they were kept on their toes – you couldn’t put a foot wrong or you would have dramas.”

Lyndon Snodgrass – Husqavarna TE300

“That’s my best AORC finish by 10 positions, I’m pretty happy! I actually didn’t know where I was placed yesterday so it felt good when I figured out that I had finished third. I never expected an outright podium this weekend! The track suited me, but I just seemed to be having a lot of fun out there. The TE300 was awesome – we did that cross-country and it lasted through the sloppy mud and rain, and then finished out the sprints today! The confidence is rising in me, and I’m happy to be getting these results.”

Victorian teenager and Husqvarna Factory Support rider Lyndon Snodgrass excelled in extreme wet conditions, powering his Husqvarna TE 300 to his first podium finish at AORC level at Hedley.
Victorian teenager and Husqvarna Factory Support rider Lyndon Snodgrass excelled in extreme wet conditions, powering his Husqvarna TE 300 to his first podium finish at AORC level at Hedley. Image by John Pearson
Lachy Stanford – Husqvarna FE501

“A weekend I want to forget. Yesterday in the cross-country I was clear that I needed to stay dry and let everybody else have the problems. I was off to a good start in the top three and felt comfortable, but then water got into my bike and a few people got past. They were pretty tough conditions – it hailed on us for times – it’s frustrating because I had the pace, it’s just that little mistakes in the cross-country cost me. Today in the third one I clipped a tree and drove my hand into it. RaceSafe think I’ve broken the outside bone. I could only hold on with two fingers the rest of the time, so I ended up eighth overall. I need to hit these last two rounds really hard and try and get back up in the points. Just hope this hand goes well tomorrow. A big thanks to the mechanics, they worked just as hard as we did today, and to Crystal and Amy, standing out in the cold with a pitboard.”

Outright contender Lachy Stanford injured a hand
Outright contender Lachy Stanford injured a hand – Image by John Pearson
Broc Grabham – Husqvarna FE450

“In the cross-country I spun a bit in the mud, like everyone did, and in the fourth corner I dropped it and a few of the boys hit my bike and from then on I had no rear brake, which made it a bit hard in the tight stuff – but it helped me to learn to ride without the rear brake. I just kept charging – every now and again I would shoot off the track but just find my way back on and keep going. Even without a brake I came away with eighth outright, and third in class for some good points and it built my confidence a bit for today. First up today I caught Hollis and McCormack so I knew I must have been going okay. I’ve got some new Danny Apro-tuned suspension and everything feels good, and after the New South Wales round last weekend my confidence has risen a little bit – my training is going good and everything is coming together.”

Fraser Higlett – Husqvarna FE350

“It was pretty crazy, Saturday was muddy as, and we got hailed on and rained on, then today I sort of struggled a bit trying to get the aggression up. I think I was cruising around in 3-hour mode! At least I didn’t fall off though, so I was pretty happy with that. We got down there on Friday night and it was just pouring, then Saturday there was a panic, there was like about 20cm deep of water and just slushy mud, and you just had to hold it pinned through it, it was pretty fun actually for a while, but then your boots started filling with water and your grips started getting slippery and then it turned pretty crazy. Oh well, I got it done, but I’m keen to get back to some warmer and more predictable weather!”

Fraser Higlett came away with another U19 podium.
Fraser Higlett came away with another U19 podium. Image by John Pearson
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team Manager Glenn Kearney – Husqvarna FE250

“It was a tough one here, four seasons in one day. There was a lot of standing water before we started, and then we got a heap of rain. We took on a bit of water with the bikes, which everyone was having trouble with because it was a bit more like a jet ski race than anything else. But it’s a testament to the Husqvarna I guess that they got water and sand in them and they still kept on running for three hours, so that’s pretty impressive. I ended up going backwards a bit as it became a battle for survival. Lachy started really strong, but took on some water and had a stoppage, but fought his way back to ninth. Disappointing, but there was promised in Lachy’s riding, and the fact that we both finished was good when a lot of other brands went out. Today the conditions were better but we still had the same jet ski paddock part of the race. I rode better but Jack Simpson still beat me, he was riding really good this weekend. I ended up second in E1 and I’ve moved to second in the class, but lost points to Simpson. Lachy was riding decent but he collected a tree in the third test and it looks like he’s broken his hand. He soldiered on and finished, but he has dropped back to third in the outright positions. The Husky support guys went unbelievably well. Lyndon was third outright both days; really at home in the sloshy sandy stuff. I got to see him a little bit today and he had that 300 singing, it was really good to watch! Broc Grabham had two solid days. I’ve known for ages that he has had it in him because of the state rounds we race. It seems like maybe he has figured out how to push some of the pressure aside at some of these big ones and ride like he can. Fraser was on the podium yesterday but a little bit off today and Mitcham probably have a weekend he’d rather forget. It was a real big weekend this weekend for the mechanics, Christian, Kevvy and Dave worked harder than us this weekend, they were flat out with all the sand and water. It’s right on Bass Strait so it’s almost salt water that’s coming up through the ground. The bikes get destroyed. Christian was sulking on his way home (laughs) because he’s got a couple of weeks ahead of them fixing it all up! But they did a great job.”

Outright Championship Standings
  1. Daniel Sanders 182
  2. Tye Simmonds 154
  3. Lachlan Stanford 143
  4. Chris Hollis 133
  5. Jack Simpson 109
  6. Beau Ralston 109
  7. Glenn Kearney 103
  8. Broc Grabham 83
  9. Scott Keegan 83
  10. Josh Green 82
  11. Tom McCormack 77
  12. Riley Graham 70
  13. Chris Davey 65
  14. Lyndon Snodgrass 44
  15. Wil Ruprecht 38

 

AORC E1

Despite Daniel Sanders claiming the overall win with the fastest time of 32:02.953, it was Jack Simpson (33:21.080) who made use of the track to take his machine across the finish line first for the E1 class.

While only just off the pace it was Husqvarna Enduro Racing Teams Glenn Kearney (33:43.344) who finished today in second place, and capturing third position for Round 8 in the E1 class was Riley Graham finishing his final sprint clocking a time of 34:06.797.

E1 Championship Standings
  1. Jack Simpson 185
  2. Glenn Kearney 164
  3. Riley Graham 151
  4. Scott Keegan 143
  5. Stefan Granquist 109
  6. Baylee Davies 104
  7. Bard Hardaker 83
  8. Peter Boyle 78
  9. Sean Holmes 78
  10. Tom Jones 58
AORC E2

With Josh Green being ruled out due to injury it was open slather for the E2 class today as KTM Enduro Racing Teams Tye Simmonds was hungry to prove his dominance on a tight and muddy track.

Although second overall, Simmonds snatched up first place for his class with a time of 32:53.359, putting valuable points on the board with only four rounds remaining until Champions are crowned.

Broc Grabham (33:38.252) and CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis (34:19.666) rounded out the final two positions on the E2 podium.

E2 Championship Standings
  1. Tye Simmonds 181
  2. Chris Hollis 170
  3. Broc Grabham 135
  4. Tom McCormack 134
  5. Josh Green 133
  6. Chris Davey 102
  7. Justin Carafa 83
  8. Kane Hall 78
  9. Mitch Harper 77
  10. Alex Bolton 44
AORC E3

From the first test it was KTM Enduro Racing Teams Daniel Sanders out in front as he led the 150 competitors around the 8 minute loop, almost 12 seconds in front of second placed Tye Simmonds (E2).

And with only four tests to show his strength on his KTM machine he wrapped up Round 8 victorious overall and for the E3 Class.

Lyndon Snodgrass (33:17.569) once again put on a great performance to be credited with second for the round and Active8 Yamaha’s Beau Ralston (33:29.553) lined up on the podium in third.

E3 Championship Standings
  1. Daniel Sanders 192
  2. Lachlan Stanford 176
  3. Lyndon Snodgrass 146
  4. Beau Ralston 142
  5. Tom Mason 102
AORC Transmoto EJ

Andrew Wilksch (34:27.218) snatched first place from his fellow Transmoto EJ competitors in a stunning victory while Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Teams Wil Ruprecht (34:57.815) finished second.

Third place was Jonte Reynders who finished with a concluding time of 35:05.467.

EJ Championship Standings
  1. Wil Ruprecht 183
  2. Nic Tomlinson 180
  3. Fraser Higlett 155
  4. Andrew Wilksh 136
  5. Ben Kearns 109
Veterans

Also competing on the same track as the E1, E2, E3 and EJ classes were the Veterans which saw Damien Smith once again prove his pace on track carrying speed from yesterday to finish first with a concluding time of 36:17.518.

Second place was Glenn Stiles (39:13.666) and third place for the Vets class was Craig Wease (39:55.456) finishing the weekend on a high note for Round 8.

For Women’s and Master’s it was a change of scenery from yesterday’s Cross Country race as they rode alongside the AORC Junior classes for their four Sprints today.

Veterans Championship Standings
  1. Bjorn Osborne 139
  2. Craig Wease 119
  3. Anthony Greene 105
  4. Kurt Broomhall 74
  5. Trevor Duncan 60
Women’s

It was Jemma Wilson who proved her speed on the Yamaha machine, taking the number one position for the Women’s class in only 43:19.740 minutes.

Emelie Karlson (43:32.683) made serious pace as she rumbled through the mud and straight into second position just in front of Jessica Gardiner who improved from Saturday to secure a third place finish with a final time of 45:03.166 over the four sprints.

Jemma Wilson (finished 3-1 for the Women’s class)

“It feels really good to finish on top, Saturday was really crazy, the conditions were very unusual with hail on the start line. I am stoked with a third in the Cross Country and hats off to Tegan and Sophie. The Sprints were a lot cruisier. The pressure of Sprints is just non-existent compared to what it is in Cross Country. It’s just so hard to keep going and going like that. It was a good, clean, smooth day with no real mistakes and I did what I had to do and I am really happy with the results,” Wilson finished.

Women’s Championship Standings
  1. Jemma Wilson 192
  2. Jessica Gardner 169
  3. Emelie Karlson 156
  4. Sophie Coldicutt 136
  5. Kate Norman 110
Masters

Derek Grundy was first in the Master’s class with a 46:08.836 finishing time over the four sprints.

Second place was held by Wayne Vandenberg (48:12.632) and third place on the podium was snatched by Peter Schaper (48:40.800)

Masters Championship Standings
  1. Peter Schaper 148
  2. Michael Widdison 132
  3. Andrea Cais 113
  4. Jason Salopayevs 97
  5. Derek Grundy 97

 

Sunday Round Eight Overall results for E1, E2, E3, Transmoto EJ and Veterans
  1. Daniel Sanders 32:02.953 (E3)
  2. Tye Simmonds 32:53.359 (E2)
  3. Lyndon Snodgrass 33:17.569 (E3)
  4. Jack Simpson 33:21.080 (E1)
  5. Beau Ralston 33:29.553 (E3)
  6. Broc Grabham 33:38.252 (E2)
  7. Glenn Kearney 33:43.344 (E1)
  8. Lachlan Stanford 33:50.008 (E3)
  9. Riley Graham 34:06.797 (E1)
  10. Scott Keegan 34:09.999 (E1)
Sunday Overall results for Women’s
  1. Jemma Wilson 43:19.740
  2. Emelie Karlsson 43:32.683
  3. Jessica Gardiner 45:03.166
  4. Sophie Coldicutt 45:22.109
  5. Tegan Hall 46:04.765
  6. Kate Norman 1:00:06.325
  7. Irene Vasilas 1:03:06.843
  8. Angela Angela 1:09:25.743
  9. Stacey Thompson 1:16:24.951
Sunday Overall Results for Masters
  1. Derek Grundy 46:08.836
  2. Wayne Vandenberg 48:12.632
  3. Peter Schaper 48:40.800
  4. Ken Burt 49:41.973
  5. Dean Shaw 50:49.170
  6. Andrew Cais 51:07.034
  7. David Salt 51:25.710
  8. Joe Ondrus 51:26.253
  9. Anthony Patterson 52:50.950
  10. Patrick Dillon 52:50.957
Saturday Round Seven Overall results for E1, E2, E3, Transmoto EJ and Veterans
  1. Daniel Sanders (E3) 2:45:54.863
  2. Tye Simmonds (E2) 2:48:15.472
  3. Lyndon Snodgrass (E3) 2:51:54.437
  4. Jack Simpson (E1) 2:52:15.340
  5. Riley Graham (E1) 2:55:26.892
  6. Tom McCormack (E3) 2:56:15.982
  7. Callan May (E1) 2:57:19.152
  8. Broc Grabham (E2) 2:57:42.613
  9. Lachlan Stanford (E3) 2:59:55.138
  10. Glenn Kearney (E1) 3:00:33.690
Saturday Overall results for Women’s:Tegan Hall 2:02:49.095
  1. Sophie Coldicutt 2:03:27.270
  2. Jemma Wilson 2:04:42.664
  3. Jessica Gardiner 2:07:25.946
  4. Emelie Karlsson 2:12:17.056
  5. Madison Bird 2:05:00.006
  6. Kate Norman 2:18:02.719
  7. Niki Bedford 1:56:07.374
  8. Irene Vasilas 2:20:06.016
Saturday Overall Results for Masters
  1. Derek Grundy 2:11:24.434
  2. Peter Schaper 2:19:37.133
  3. Wayne Vandenberg 2:19:51.767
  4. Ken Burt 2:20:28.075
  5. Andrew Cais 2:20:49.885
  6. Dean Shaw 2:23:27.643
  7. Stephen mason 2:26:26.930
  8. David Salt 2:30:20.518
  9. Anthony Patterson 2:01:51.612
  10. Joe Ondrus 2:02:03.293
Price, Brierley and Tomich take AORC Junior wins

It was an overall successful weekend for young Josh Brierley at Round 8 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship this weekend, walking away with another overall win to his name.

Getting back to a Sprint layout for the juniors today after a grueling Cross Country yesterday, AORC competitors were faced with giant ruts and pools of water across their four sprints throughout the day.

Champ J4

The muddy, rutted conditions didn’t stop Will Price however as he sped to a radical finish for the Champ J4 class almost two minutes ahead of second placed Tom Mitten with a time of 42:41.883.

Although the Mitten brothers both gave their all today it seems they couldn’t quite reach the pace of the J4 front runner Price, Tom finishing with a time of 44:02.231 while Zak (45:14.234) finished the day in third position.

J4 Championship Standings
  1. Zak Mitten 164
  2. Will Price 158
  3. Tom Mitten 147
  4. Zane Temperley 118
  5. Luke Allan 94
Champ J3

Josh Brierley (41:23.670) secured his place on top today to make this weekend a clean sweep for the young New South Wales rider.

Carrying his pace from yesterday Brierley overcome the tough condition out there today to walk away with another first place trophy and all important championship points to go towards the end of the year.

It was brother Mitch Brierley (42:59.987) who finished just behind in second, however not without a fight, while Corey Hammond secured third with a concluding time of 44:10.002.

J3 Championship Standings
  1. Mitchell Brierley 182
  2. Corey Hammond 162
  3. Jye Bennett 160
  4. Tate Plummer 108
  5. Tully O’Neill 107
Champ J2

Tyran Tomich won on home turf today as the young Victorian set a time of 43:54.270 to steal first place from his gunning competitors.

It was Sam Noonan (46:19.479) who managed the ruts and wet to secure his place in second while Greg Pye took third in the J2 class today with a total wrap up time of 46:22.735, just off the pace of second placed Noonan.

Josh Brierley shared in his relief of getting back on the bike after missing the first four rounds due to a wrist injury, placing himself in front for both days.

J2 Championship Standings
  1. Ashden Gramlick 179
  2. Sam Noonan 137
  3. Matthew Pye 121
  4. Brad Murray 108
  5. Kadin Ballard 94
Josh Brierley

“I am feeling pretty good. The weekend went great and it was really good to get back on the top step of the podium after a long break,” he said. “It turned out to be an awesome weekend, we came away with the win both days which is really good. I missed out on the first four rounds because I broke my wrist so to get more round wins and time on the bike is great, and I am having fun,” Brierley concluded.

For the Junior AORC classes it is straight in to preparations for Rounds 9 & 10 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championships at Monkerai, NSW in only a few short weeks, August 13-14.

Overall results for J4, J3 and J2
  1. Josh Brierley 41:23.670 (J3)
  2. Will Price 42:41.883 (J4)
  3. Mitch Brierley 42:59.987 (J3)
  4. Tyran Tomich 43:54.270 (J2)
  5. Tom Mitten 44:02.231 (J4)
  6. Corey Hammond 44:10.002 (J3)
  7. Jye Bennett 44:36.763 (J3)
  8. Zak Mitten 45:14.234 (J4)
  9. Zane Temperley 45:23.297 (J4)
  10. Harrison Tetley 45:40.957 (J4)