KTM wrap up AORC E2 & E3 Titles
— KTM Report
The Motorex KTM Off Road Racing Team is celebrating after taking two class championship wins and a podium finish in a third class as the Australian Off Road Championship season concluded at Dungog.
Geoff Braico became the team’s first AORC champ when he used his powerful KTM500EXC to wrap up the E3 championship on Saturday, before Chris Hollis used his KTM450EXC to place the E2 championship out of reach on Sunday.
On top of this Hollis claimed second outright in the AORC standings, while Ben Burrell powered his KTM250EXC-F to third in the very competitive class.
Motorex KTM ORT Manager Brad Williscroft: “We’ve won two of the three major championships here and come away with a podium in the E1 championship, so I’m very happy with how the boys went, they rode really well and it was great to see them get those two titles.
“It’s been an up and down season for us with Chris and Toby dominating the first four rounds, then we lost Toby with injury, then we were still in with a good chance until Chris had a couple of back issues mid season, then we pushed really hard and are still able to come away with two championships. I’m real happy with Geoff Braico who got the call up to replace Toby Price earlier on. He’s been a real professional, done everything he’s been asked and been a great addition. Benny too deserves recognition – he’s had his ups and downs but has kept plugging away and had a good finish in a really competitive class.”
Chris Hollis (E2: 1, 1 – O/R:2, 2) “I had a good one – I’m pretty happy with it. Things went pretty smoothly both days, Daniel was pretty good here, but I was on par or close to it most of the time so I was happy with my performance. It was a really good event here, a little dusty but that’s out of the organiser’s control, but heaps of hills here and a nice place to end the series. My AORC season started off pretty well, until unfortunately I had a back issue which threw everything out of whack and Dan grabbed the opportunity with both hands. We have the ISDE next up and it should be a lot of fun, we’ve got a real good team which, fingers crossed can be on the podium for sure.”
Geoff Braico (E3: 2, 2 – O/R:7, 9) – “I had 33 points going in and just had to get through with clean laps. I had a good battle with Jarrod for much of the weekend, just in the last couple he pulled out a solid gap. But I felt I rode a pretty decent in this event, I think pretty much all my times were in the top ten. It was hot and dry like we thought so it was pretty tough but the bike was great, my suspension guy Charlie Costanzo did a great job for me. We came away with two second places and the championship which was exactly what we wanted and I’m pretty pumped about it. Next year I’d really like to stay in the KTM / Husaberg family if possible because I like the bikes and the team, it’s been a good relationship all year round.”
Ben Burrell (E1: 3, 5 – O/R:9, 12) – “Everything went pretty well for me and I’ve come home with third in the E1 which I’m stoked about. Saturday went really well for me but today I had a few crashes and struggled with the track dry in th spots where it was dusty and really slippery but I managed to hold onto third which is not too bad. When you don’t win you always wish you could have done better, but I’m really happy for the team, the boys and everyone.”
— Husaberg Report
Husaberg’s Jarrod Bewley has finished an impressive 2013 season with a brilliant double header win in the final event of the Australian Off Road Championship at Dungog.
Bewley powered his FE501 Husaberg to victory in the E3 class on both days of the event, in the process elevating himself one place to fifth in the outright classification.
The result caps a stellar year for Bewley, who in addition to four E3 round wins and a couple of podium finishes in E2, has also taken his Husaberg FE501 to fourth overall and class victory at the Finke Desert Race, as well as second overall and class victory at Hattah Desert Race.
The team’s FE350 rider Scott Keegan maintained the top-ten outright position he snared at the last round at Wedderburn, to finish ninth overall and fifth in E2 despite a frightening high-speed getoff in the dust on Sunday morning.
Scott Keegan (E2: 4, 5 – O/R:8, 14) – “I was a bit up and down this weekend. Saturday I had a few decent tests and was battling with Geoff but then I crashed and lost some time. Then today in the first test it was really dusty and powdery in some of the new parts, I was on a real fast section of track up a fire road and in the dust I didn’t see some old existing acceleration bumps that were there. And they were bad. I hit them in fourth gear going pretty hard, got kicked side-to-side a few times and then just thrown off the bike. I hit my chest on the bar pad on the way out and landed on my stomach then went sliding along down the road but fortunately didn’t hit anything. It scared me. After that I just didn’t have the confidence to go above and beyond, hence the day 2 results weren’t as strong.
“I still finished up with 9th outright and 5th in E2 so I want to say a massive thanks to Jeff Leisk, and to Rebecca, Roland and Grant who helped a lot at the start of the year to set everything up and it really helped with the jump in the results.”
Jarrod Bewley (E3: 1, 1 – O/R:6, 6) – “I started off a bit slow, but by the end of Day 1 I’d ironed out a couple of setup issues and was coming on strong. Today I just tried to keep it rolling and I came home really strong. The bike was faultless all weekend in pretty dusty, tricky conditions.
I had a goal to get top- five outright this season and I accomplished those goals and did a lot more than I expected. I’d like to recognise the support of my family and all my sponsors who helped out this year. A lot goes on behind the scenes and to finish 5th overall and get a few wins in E3 and a podium in E2, I couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve probably got to make some decisions as to what I want to do now, whether it be desert racing or AORC. It’s getting a bit difficult to do both but in the next couple of weeks I’ll figure it out and work on some plans for next year.”
Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship final standings Outright after 12 rounds:
1. Daniel Milner 268, 2. Chris Hollis 235, 3. Glenn Kearney 198, 4. Stefan Merriman 193, 5. Jarrod Bewley 175, 6. Josh Green 174, 7. Lachlan Stanford 144, 8. Geoff Braico 137,9. Scott Keegan 128, 10. Tom McCormack 126
Full round reports to come.