AORC

AORC Team Talk – Rounds 3 and 4 Corner Inlet, Vic

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

ACTIVE8 YAMAHA

The Active8 Yamaha team went through the full gamut of emotions at an eventful weekends‰Ûª racing at Corner Inlet, Victoria, as they competed in rounds three and four of the Australian Off-Road Championship.

Saturday featured the Cross Country format with Australia‰Ûªs top off road riders taking on three hour of racing on a challenging course while Sunday saw the sprint format used in a weekend that tested all riders and teams.

Josh Green threw out the challenge on Saturday when he took the Outright and class win on the day on his Yamaha WR250F. After three hours and twenty- two minutes of hard work, Green crossed the line first and clawed back valuable points in the championship chase. Despite the tough day Green finished the day strongly and was confident to back up the result on the following day.

Sunday‰Ûªs sprint format again saw Green dominate proceedings in the E1 category, yet still finish a very respectable second outright, just 22 seconds behind round winner, Toby Price. His solid points haul over the weekend now sees him climb to second overall in the championship standings after four rounds and also hold a comfortable margin in the E1 class.

‰ÛÏAs a whole, the weekend went pretty well,‰Û
Beau Ralston impressed on day one with a 3rd outright result and class win - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
The weekend also started out promising for team mate, Beau Ralston, who claimed third outright on Saturday and the class win in the premier E2 division. Ralston was in good form and his Saturday result had him well placed to take control of the championship race as he had gained several points on the series leader.

Unfortunately, that wasn‰Ûªt to be as Ralston dislocated his shoulder on the fourth lap of the sprint series and battled pain to cross the finish line in 13th for the round. It was a tough and gritty display from Ralston who despite the injury and discomfort, has managed to keep himself inside the top five in points and still in with a shot at championship glory.

Ralston now sits third in points for the Outright championship and again inside the top three for the E2 class honours.

‰ÛÏIt was a rollercoaster of a weekend. I gained four points on Toby on Saturday and felt with a good ride on Sunday I would be right there, but I fell on Sunday and felt my shoulder pop out and from then on it was just a matter of trying to make it to the finish.

‰ÛÏI was able to get it back in but had no real strength in it and just couldn‰Ûªt ride at my normal pace.

‰ÛÏI will need to get it checked out and sorted out before the next round to keep my championship alive,‰Û
Toby Price bounced back from a first turn crash on Saturday to win every sprint lap outright on Sunday - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
KTM OFF-ROAD RACING

Champion efforts by all three of the KTM Enduro Racing Team riders in gruelling sand and dusty conditions have yielded impressive results as the Australian Off Road Championships continued with rounds three and four at Hedley in Victoria.

Maitland ace Toby Price maintained his lead in the championship despite falling in the first corner of Saturday's three hour cross-country event, where he was forced to claw his way forward through the pack in thick dust.

Despite falling several more times as he surged forward in the tricky conditions, he impressively salvaged fourth place for the round.

Normal service was resumed on Sunday however, when the defending AORC champion and his KTM 500 EXC dominated proceedings; winning all five sprint rounds to leave Victoria still at the head of the championship table.

‰ÛÏIt wasn't the best weekend but we still came out pretty good." Price commented. "Saturday was a pretty tough day, I had a fairly decent get off in the first turn, and had to come back from second last position all the way back to forth so was a bit of a charge and in the dusty conditions I had another three crashes over the three hours - just getting caught up in dust and I couldn't quite see.

"But we recovered well and Sunday we redeemed ourselves a little bit by winning the five sprint laps which is always a good sign coming off a three-hour cross-country. There were a few sore bodies but we got through and got the outright so all in all, a good weekend.‰Û
Tye Simmonds day came to a early finish on Saturday but the former top MX rider came out swinging on Sunday to claim a class win. - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Sanders was fourth on Sunday behind Price, Josh Green and teammate Tye Simmonds, who rebounded from a Saturday DNF to win the E2 class and finish third outright on Sunday.

‰ÛÏWe were pretty bummed after Saturday, but it's not really anyone's fault, the track was just really dusty and it was really, really fine dirt, so there were a lot of people who had the same drama." Simmonds explained. "We probably could have pitted but the race was actually longer than it was supposed to be, had it only been eight laps like it should have been, I would have finished. I was pretty gutted.

"Sunday morning I felt like a 50-year-old man - I definitely struggled when I first got on but once I was on the bike and got the first 2 minutes out where you were hurting pretty bad, the body warmed up and you forgot all about it.

"It was good to get the full weekend in, and we had a good enough result today to turn it all around and finished third outright. I'm pretty stoked on that.‰Û
Glenn Kearney was another rider who had a tough Saturday only to come out firing on Sunday - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
HUSQVARNA OFF-ROAD RACING

Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team riders Lachy Stanford and Glenn Kearney made the best of wavering fortunes as the Hedley AORC double-header tested competitors with the toughest conditions of the Australian Off-Road Championships so far.

Saturday‰Ûªs grueling three-hour cross-country round began with Husqvarna team boss Glenn Kearney moving into the lead off the back of a blinding start from his powerful Husqvarna FE 501, however before the halfway mark of the race the quick-connect on Kearney‰Ûªs fuel line had been bumped and unclipped itself, leaving the defending E3 champion stopped by the side of the track.

The Picton ace quickly diagnosed the problem and was still able to salvage sixth outright and third in class for the day, before posting an identical finish in Sunday's sprint format round.

‰ÛÏIt was an improvement for me over the first round and I went two places better both days than the previous round."kearney said. "The track was bone dry on Saturday so the start was crucial. I got a cracker and got into the lead so I was sitting pretty early, but unfortunately we had a problem with the fuel line quick-connect getting bumped and it unclipped on the second lap.

"It took me a while to figure it out and we lost time, so to end the day sixth outright and third in class despite that was a reasonable result I guess.

"Lachy rode really well. He had a horrible start but just worked his way through into fifth by the end and second in E2. He did very well. Saturday's dust was pretty bad, but they got a lot of rain overnight and it made the track a lot better for Sunday, but everyone was pretty sore and sorry for themselves.

"Saturday's cross-country was quite long and Sunday‰Ûªs sprints were about 12 minutes in length too. It was quite a big hit out for everyone this weekend.‰Û
Lachlan Stanford continues to move up the ranks in the Aussie Off-Road scene with great results on both days in Victoria - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
After claiming his first ever AORC outright podium last time out aboard his Husqvarna FE 350, few would have given Lachy Stanford a shot at a pointy-end finish when he emerged from around the first corner pile-up in 15th place, but the Byron Bay charger did exactly that, methodically working his way forward through the dust and the competitors to finish in an impressive fifth place.

He was unable to find the same level of Mojo during Sunday's sprints however, and was forced to accept ninth outright and third in the high-profile E2 class, however Stanford was still able to walk away from Hedley in fifth place in the AORC overall standings and second in E2.

‰ÛÏIt was an up and down weekend for me." Stanford reflected. "In Saturday's cross-country I got held up trying to go around the first corner crash, and then suffered with arm pump for the first two laps and found myself down in around 15th.

"I got going though, and went all the way through up to 5th outright which, given the dusty conditions I was well happy with, and it would have been interesting to see what I could have done with a better start.

"Today though I just couldn't find my groove and I had a couple of crashes and finished ninth outright and third in class, so, not as good. I'd like to thank the mechanics though, Christian Horwood and Kevin Doyle who were really organised and got us through our fuel stops quick.‰Û
Tayla Jones has stepped up her game again in 2015 and was untouchable in Hedley - Credit: On The Pipe Images
YAMAHA SUPPORT

Yamaha supported riders enjoyed a successful weekend at rounds three and four of the Australian Off Road Championship with Tayla Jones leading the Women‰Ûªs class, Kirk Hutton in control of the Vets as well as podium results for Stefan Granquist and Mike McCormack over the weekend.

This on top of the strong positions held by the Active8 Yamaha team of Josh Green and Beau Ralston, both outright and in their respective classes, sees Yamaha riders and teams in great shape as we head towards rounds five and six next month.

Tayla Jones has been a revelation in the Women‰Ûªs class since swapping to Yamaha at the start of 2015 and she put up another outstanding performance on the weekend, on her YZ250FX. Jones won both the Saturday Cross Country event as well as Sunday‰Ûªs Sprint format and now enjoys a healthy lead in the championship after four rounds.

Kirk Hutton is in a similar position in the Vets class and has dominated proceedings winning all four rounds contested so far. Hutton continues to show pro like speed and is enjoying his time on the YZ250FX

The Active8 Yamalube Yamaha duo of Josh Green and Beau Ralston also lead the E1 and E2 classes.

The only sour note for Yamaha was an elbow injury sustained to former AORC champ, Chris Hollis. The CDR Yamaha rider was involved in a multi rider fall on Saturday and hurt his elbow. He was taken to hospital and unable to compete at the rest of the event.

‰ÛÏWe have a strong rider line-up in the AORC and it was good to see them all achieving some success on the weekend,‰Û
Ben Grabham is leading the way for the all new Motul Pirelli Sherco Racing team - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
MOTUL PIRELLI SHERCO

Round three of the Australian Off-Road Championship is etched into the history books for the Motul Pirelli Sherco Enduro Team.

Lead rider, Broc Grabham handed the newly-formed team its first-ever pro-class podium result with a fine third place in the highly competitive E2 class.

The event was staged at Hedley in southern Victoria on a sand-based track that consisted of fast grass track and snaking trails through the bush. Conditions became dusty and the track developed into a punishing, body jarring affair.

Grabham was a man on a mission aboard his 450SEF-R, coming from 13th position in the early stages of the brutal, nine-lap cross country event to charge all the way to seventh outright and third in class.

‰ÛÏIt was a tough track and a long race. It was well over three hours of non-stop racing. I felt better as the race went on. I only had to pit once for fuel and the Team had me in and back out in seconds. It was pretty slick and I just charged to the end.‰Û
Jessica Gardiner had more than her share of crashes on the weekend on her way to second position on both days. She now jets off for the opening round of the Womens World Championship - Credit:
Defending Australian Off-Road Champion Jess Gardiner overcame a number of small crashes and clawed her way to a well-deserved second place at round three of the Australian Off-Road Championship held at Hedley in southern Victoria on Saturday.

The two-hour cross country event was staged in near perfect conditions and Gardiner was on the pace. The Sherco rider battled the 171-rider field to claim third outright just behind multi-time Australian enduro Champion and Masters Class winner David Fleming.

"I think I set a new personal record for the number of crashes I had in a race,‰Û
Ivan Long is one of many privateers who impressed on the weekend, more known for his Desert racing skills, Long is working his way up to a solid top ten performer in the Bush - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
IVAN LONG RACING - PRIVATEER

Rounds three and four of the Australian off Road Championships held at Hedley, Victoria on the 18th ‰ÛÒ 19th of April was a black sand/grass track event.

A three hour Cross Country was in store for day one, and sprints on day 2.

Round 3 saw me finish 9th outright and 4th in class, this was my best ever result at the Australian off Road Championships in a very competitive line up.

Round 4 I was a little off the pace in the sprint race with a total of five laps completed I finished 14th outright and 5th in class. I was very happy with my results over this weekend as my main goal was to stay inside the top 15 in Australia, and I achieved this on a tough track.

A huge thanks to all my sponsors for your support, without it my racing or results wouldn‰Ûªt be possible. It‰Ûªs great to have good quality products and people behind me.

IF any teams or riders would like their race reports posted in our post race Team Talk feature, email race reports and media releases through to PR@fullnoise.com.au

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