KTM has dominated the three Pro classes of the Australian Off Road Championship at the year’s season finale at Penshurst, Victoria.
The KTM Enduro Racing Team’s unstoppable ace Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders defied atrocious weather conditions to lead a KTM 1-2 of Australia’s premier off-road racing title, as he won it for the first time in his career.
The excitable Victorian added two more round wins to his season tally, taking it to 10 as he convincingly wrapped up Saturday’s round ahead of Husqvarna’s Lyndon Snodgrass and KTM’s Jack Simpson, with the outright podium an identical one on Sunday.
So complete has been Sanders’ synergy with the KTM 300 EXC that he has only dropped two round wins all season long, after he struck an unseen object and injured his leg at the South Australian stop on the tour at Murray Bridge.
The fact that his teammate Tye Simmonds won one of those two races on his KTM 450 EXC gave an KTM 11 from 12 stranglehold of AORC outright wins for the year.
Simmonds himself was on the march towards a brilliant runner-up place in the championship, in what was only the Bourke, NSW, rider’s second year of AORC racing.He also wrapped the E2 class, with a class third and a win at Penshurst.
The occasion of the finale was made even more joyous for the Orange men thanks to the achievements of another Victorian, E1 class rookie and former motocross pro Jack Simpson.
Simpson put the E1 category beyond doubt with a stunning pair of rides for the weekend, using his KTM 250 SX-F to win the class and take his first AORC outright podium on Saturday, then doing it all again on Sunday.
In the Transmoto Under 19 category, Nic Tomlinson finished with 3,2 results for the weekend to salvage second place in the championship despite missing a round due to an ankle injury. Sherco’s Wil Ruprecht took out the Under-19s title.
“Obviously we came in with a good lead, with the boys running one and two outright and first in both their classes, so we knew what we needed to do, but Chucky went out there when he didn’t have two and won outright in some pretty muddy, tricky conditions. He wrapped up E3 and the championship all in one go and proved without any doubt why he’s the champion. Tye rode quite sensibly to be honest, and he locked away second outright behind Chucky, so the 1-2 was very nice to get. Today, Chucky didn’t even have to line up. He had everything wrapped up and we had a little bit of fun last night, so he was a little bit the worse for wear this morning but he went out there and dominated again. He was a level above everyone this year; he’s been amazing to work with, and it’s been great to watch and grow for the last two years. It was also cool seeing him put the mighty 300 two-stroke on the top step – it’s been a little while since the two strokes have won the AORC. Tye only had to get two points today, but he went out dominated E2, and took the championship. So he’s definitely shown his growth in the last two years in adapting to off-road. Everyone’s worked very hard, obviously Mick Carusi our head mechanic, and all the boys. Our bikes have been faultless all year, those EXC’s are an amazing machine, that’s for sure. It’s also great to see KTM get a clean sweep of all the Pro-classes with Jack Simpson winning on the 250F. We haven’t done much but we’ve helped him where we could. So it’s pretty amazing that after 12 rounds we’ve cleaned up everything like that.”
Daniel “Chucky” Sanders – KTM 300 EXC
“I didn’t dominate this quite the way I had planned to; we were just chasing set up a bit early on. With this ‘17 we hadn’t had a sloppy race with it yet so we were finding things out about set up as we went and trying different things just to see what it would do. It was very slick and I didn’t have as much confidence in myself as I probably should have. I had a couple of early crashes so I tried to just keep it up right and push as hard as I could at the end. My mate Lyndon Snodgrass was going good so I was battling with him – it was just like training at home!Everything was sorted today though and I went back to putting 16 seconds on the boys every test so, the confidence was good. This year’s been great, it would have been good to get the clean sweep, but that injury screwed me up. We sort of proved that we are the fastest everywhere though, so now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. We’ve got the 6-days coming up so it will be cool to go over there and chase it up with the big boys and see how we go. I’ve worked real hard to chase my dreams, so I’m not stopping now. When I say I want to do something I’ll put everything into it and be prepared to sacrifice a lot of things to get where I want to be.”
Tye Simmonds – KTM 450 EXC
“Not too bad here, we were poking along okay. We were lucky enough to have a few points up the sleeve to make it easier to wrap up the second outright. I didn’t ride the best but we got the championship wrapped up so for me it’s happy days! Yesterday I had nothing for the boys early on, I straight up got smoked. But we got it together a little bit and were able to protect that lead from Hollis. Today was a bit better. I won the class for E2, and was a little bit closer to the boys up front. I’m happy with this season. I started slow and was terrible, but we salvaged points and we got through it, that was the main thing. Obviously the last few rounds were more my style of tracks, but we worked hard on this so it’s good to see the rewards. It’s awesome to see KTM go 1-2 as well, Chucky has worked his arse off too, so he definitely deserves it. I just want to thank the whole KTM team for their effort and help, and my personal sponsors and all the fans who follow what we do.”
Jack Simpson – KTM 250 SX-F
“I’ve been going after that number one plate all year, and now finally the weight’s off the shoulders and I can relax. That will never ever get taken off me; it’s in the history books. I came into this round with a little of a buffer in the E1 class, and I had no expectation for the outright position. I was just aiming to win E1. But I finished first in my class and third outright the first day, and had a bit of good luck as well, because Riley Graham and Scott Keegan both lost their chains and DNFed or were way out of the picture. Glenn Kearney had a couple of big crashes and was down in 14th or 15th, so all I had to do was just stick to what I was doing, and come in on Saturday with the number one in the E1 class, and third outright which was my first ever outright podium. Today was basically a carbon copy. Still had no idea about the outright situation, but by winning the class and finishing on the podium outright I made up 35 points on Stanford and Ralston and was two points short of finishing fourth – so that was a good thing. My plan this year was to come in, learn the ropes of the sport and have no expectations. Just target the rounds and the championship will take care of itself.”
Nic Tomlinson – KTM 300 EXC
“I was third and second for the weekend and second overall for the year, so that’s pretty good. I started off pretty unhappy with how I was riding, but I slowly picked it up. I had one good run yesterday, and then today got off to a really good start, but lost time in a tight section. Other than that it was pretty smooth. With the championship I’m not really happy, but at the same time I didn’t think I was still going to get second overall after missing two rounds with my ankle. It’s not where I wanted to be, but it’s better than nothing. Now we’re leaving for the six-day in two weeks and then we’ve got the four-day when we come back, so there’s plenty left to do yet.”
AORC Outright Final Points (provisional)
KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders – 282
KTM Enduro Racing Teams Tye Simmonds – 226
CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis – 190
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Lachlan Stanford – 177
Active8 Yamaha Yamalubes Beau Ralston – 176
Jack Simpson – 175
Broc Grabham – 147
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Glenn Kearney – 140
Riley Graham – 113
CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack – 112
Championship E3 overall points standings
KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Sanders – 292
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Lachlan Stanford – 248
Lyndon Snodgrass – 228
Active8 Yamaha Yamalubes Beau Ralston – 226
Tom Mason – 102
Brayden Zillman – 56
Lachlan Harrison – 45
Mitch Bowen – 34
Jeremy Sims – 34
Hayden Conroy – 30
Championship E2 Overall points standings
KTM Enduro Racing Teams Tye Simmonds – 276
CDR Yamaha’s Chris Hollis – 246
Broc Grabham – 221
CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack – 194
Active8 Yamaha Yamalube’s Josh Greene – 133
Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Racing Team’s Justin Carafa – 113
Chris Davey – 102
Peter Boyle – 79
Kane Hall – 78
Mitcham Harper – 77
Championship E1 overall points standings
Jack Simpson – 278
Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team’s Glenn Kearney – 249
Riley Graham – 225
Scott Keegan – 209
Baylee Davies – 171
Brad Hardaker – 136
Stefan Granquist – 109
Sean Holmes – 109
Peter Boyle – 78
Tom Kite – 73
Transmoto 19 and Under overall points standings
Motul Pirelli Sherco Factory Racing Team’s Wil Ruprecht – 253
Nic Tomlinson – 222
Fraser Higlett – 222
Ben Kearns – 192
Andrew Wilksch – 160
Dalton Johnson – 140
Jai Wedlock – 136
Jesse Lawton – 126
Stuart Holt – 125
Jake McGlashan – 114
Championship Women’s overall points standings
Jemma Wilson – 292
Jessica Gardiner – 251
Emelie Karlsson – 234
Sophie Coldicutt – 214
Kate Norman – 150
Irene Vasilas – 145
Tegan Hall – 91
Karina Bailey – 60
Brittany Rubie – 60
Tamara Gray – 34
Championship Master’s overall points standings
Peter Schaper – 220
Derek Grundy – 191
Andrew Cais – 178
Michael Widdison – 132
Mal Dalton – 114
Jason Salopayers – 97
Danny Gunning – 92
Rod Kearns – 91
Clint Broomhall – 85
Robert Bailey – 84
Championship Veterans overall points standings
Bjorn Osbourne – 189
Anthony Greene – 165
Kurt Broomhall – 128
Craig Wease – 119
Trevor Duncan – 108
Damien Smith – 100
Glenn Stiles – 92
Con Privitera – 78
Scott Szabo – 70
Scott Campbell – 70
Junior’s secure Championship titles at AORC
This year has been nothing short of exceptional for the Junior competitors in the 2016 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, and Rounds 11 & 12 were no different as we witnessed the crowning of three new champions.
There has been hundreds of Juniors line up on the start lines this year travelling with AORC and competing in what has been some unfathomable weather conditions, but the talent and perseverance of these competitors is undeniable.
Championship J2 class
Proving just how fast an 85cc machine can go this year Ashden Gramlick has rode impeccably to clinch down on the Championship J2 title, and today that’s exactly what the young man did with 279 points to his name.
Mathew Pye, despite a hard charging year he was unable to deter Gramlick’s consistency however Pye finished second in the championship 58 points down. Sam Noonan who also showed great strength throughout the season finished third in the J2 class championship on 213 points.
There have been names thrown around left, right and centre in the J3 class, with a different face winning every week and it has shown in the results. This weekend was crucial for these competitors but it was Corey Hammond who got the better of the conditions and rode to steel the J3 Championship win from second placed Mitchell Brierley by only two points on 244.
Jye Bennett who was often winning the rounds unfortunately just couldn’t put it all together this weekend against the tight and technical Penshurst terrain. Bennett finished the year off strong in third place in the championship for his class.
Championship J4 class
These up and coming riders have already shown their depth of talent to fans and spectators and this weekend they treated them once again to a great spectacle of racing. Zak Mitten finishing on the podium for both days had what it took to claim championship victory, while Will Price wrapped up the season in second.
Brother to Zak, Tom Mitten wasn’t far behind the pair in championship point narrowly missing out on second place by five points, finishing the season on a total of 225 Championship points.
The future of our sport has shown exactly what they can do with a little terrain, a throttle and some determination wrapping up the final two rounds of the 2016 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship in the ideal location of Penshurst in Victoria.
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