The Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) is set for a crucial weekend for the numerous classes as title battles heat up at Renmark, South Australia, and there is plenty of interesting and important stories to look out for.
This weekend will return to a cross-country Off-Road format this Saturday the 24th, and sprint-format on Sunday the 25th. (For more information on these formats, visit the AORC website for a full breakdown)
Renmark is located in South Australia‰Ûªs Riverland area, 254 km northeast of Adelaide. The tracks will be far more free flowing and less technical compared to that of the previous races at Rawson (VIC) and Miva (QLD). A prominent feature of the tracks is the undulating mallees with sandy loam soil and smaller areas of harder soil.
Today the Yamaha AORC and riders; Andy Wilksch (DSR Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team), Kate Norman (DSR Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team), Brad Hardaker, Tully O‰ÛªNeil and Dusten O‰ÛªNeil visited the St. Josephs School Renmark to provide students an up close look at several bikes. The kids even had the opportunity to view video highlights of the previous round.
Local kids were ecstatic to receive a visit from the enduro superstars of the championship. Visiting local schools is all about giving back to local communities, which welcome the AORC with open arms where ever it goes.
With the championship calendar already reaching the halfway mark, it will be vital for certain riders to get points on the board to turn the tables on the class leaders.
In E1 class, Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team‰Ûªs Wil Rupecht still enjoys a three-point lead in front of KTM rider Jack Simpson. Ruprecht had a fall back at Miva (QLD) and suffered an injury. Now back to full fitness, Rupecht will be looking to get back on the winners board.
One man who is certainly going into this weekend with significant confidence is KTM Endro Racing Team rider Daniel Milner. The rider is yet to lose a race in 2017 within AORC and his rival Josh Green of the Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team, will be looking to turn the tables within the E2 class.
Husqvarna Enduro Team‰Ûªs Lachlan Stanford managed to gain the ascendency in the E3 battle against KTM Enduro Team‰Ûªs Lyndon Snodgrass at the last round with double victories in E3. Stanford has built up a six-point lead in front of Snodgrass.
Over in the Transmoto EJ class Michael Driscoll on a Yamaha is still leading the class standings, however Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna) is closing in fast after two wins at Miva (QLD). It could be a tight tussle between these two rising stars at Renmark for the wins.
Hot off the recent win at the famous Tatts Finke Desert Race with Daymon Stokie, Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team will be eager to keep the momentum with Josh Green and Wil Ruprecht in their respective classes for Yamaha AORC.
Another development is that the DSR Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team sees a change in riders with Nic Tomlinson being replaced by Justin Carafa. Carafa has raced for the team in the past, and it will be interesting to see how he will perform on his return.