Michael Driscoll lifts Enduro Junior Title while Jemma Wilson crowned Women’s Champion
Yamaha riders rounded out an impressive 2017 AORC campaign after the final two rounds of racing were held at Omeo, Victoria, on the weekend with the final tally being three class championships, three second places and two thirds across four championship classes.
Wil Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha), Michael Driscoll and Jemma Wilson are national champions in the E1, EJ and Women’s divisions respectively, but there was also plenty of podium action from other Yamaha supported riders in the final standings.
Riley Graham claimed second place in the E2 class on board his YZ450FX in a huge improvement for the South Australian rider over the previous season. Graham was a model of consistency throughout the year and continually found himself on the podium at most rounds in the E2 division as well as plenty of top five outright results.
He finished just ahead of Josh Green (Active8 Yamaha) who took third after a disappointing round 11 on the weekend that saw the talented New South Welshmen not score any points. He rebounded well for the final round on Sunday but the points loss saw him drop from second to third in the E2 points for the year.
It was a Yamaha 1-2 in the E1 class (250cc) with Wil Ruprecht leading home fellow Yamaha mounted Scott Keegan (Snap Fitness Yamaha). Keegan was in the championship chase until round nine when he had an issue and was unable to score any points but it was still a successful season for him and a good lead up to the A4DE in the coming months.
Wil Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha)
“My goal at the start of the year was to win this championship and to get it done today feels awesome. The team and I have worked really hard this year and I can’t thank everyone at the Active8 Yamaha team for their support and belief in me. It wasn’t easy as we had to overcome some hurdles but that’s part of managing a championship and I learned a lot this year and developed as a rider. Thank you to the clubs and promoters of each round for their part in running this championship as well as everyone at Yamaha and our team sponsors for the support. I look forward to enjoying the final round tomorrow and ride with no pressure and just take in the day.”
The girls also had a 1-2 finish with Jemma Wilson taking the class win ahead of Emelie Karlsson. Karlsson stormed home at the final two rounds taking a win and a second-place finish to snatch second in class, just one point ahead of the third placed rider, Sophie Coldicutt.
“There were times this year when I thought I had bit of more than I could chew between racing and Uni. I have really had to manage my time as well as I could and there have been times during the year when I have really found it tough. On the Friday nights before the rounds, I have been in my motel studying when I used to be drawing or going over special tests but I’m really proud to have won it again as it wasn’t easy to achieve. There have also been a lot of people who have helped and supported me this year, so thank you to everyone that has been a part of my success and also Yamaha for their support of me and also off road racing. Now that this is ticked off the list, it’s time to look towards the ISDE in France where our Women’s team can continue our good run of success at that event.”
And it was a 1-3 finish for the young punks in the EJ (u19) division with Michael Driscoll taking the win and Nic Tomlinson in for third place. Tomlinson won the final round of the series in a good performance that will boost his confidence leading into the coming events.
“This is my first year of racing off road and I’m amazed at how things have turned out. As a junior, I did a lot of motocross and the odd off road event but I have had an awesome time doing off road full time this year and winning is a result of a lot of hard work myself, my family and my sponsors have put in. Thank you to Yamaha for their support of not just me but also the AORC and Transmoto, our class sponsor. I also want to thank Fraser for some great racing this year and I look forward to many more battles with him in the future.”
Yamaha State Motorsport Manager, Ray Howard
“It has been another good year for Yamaha supported riders and teams. As a company, we are passionate about racing and enjoying seeing our riders and teams achieve success at the highest level, as they have done again this year. Congratulations to not only Wil, Michael and Jemma our class championships but also those on the podium as well as the riders who elected to ride a Yamaha in season 2017. Our ‘bLU cRU’ assist truck has proven to be a popular addition to the AORC and was well supported and appreciated by the riders. Thank you to all the clubs and volunteers who have played a part in running this years’ championship and we hope that the riders all enjoyed the events that everyone worked so hard to put on.”
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