AORC

AORC Team Talk – Team Riders And Managers Give Their Throughts on Rounds 5/6

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KTM Off-Road Racing

KTM Enduro Racing Team riders Toby Price, Tye Simmonds and Daniel Sanders have given the team its most dramatic results so far this year, with demonstrative trifectas on not one, but both days of the weekend‰Ûªs South Australian chapter of the Australian Off Road Championships.

Defending AORC champion Toby Price was unstoppable as he charged to victories on both days, but his win in Saturday's 2 å_ hour cross-country probably underlined his reputation as much as any round win this year, as Price powered the number one KTM 500 EXC from near last place, past Australia‰Ûªs best off-road racers to a well-deserved victory, ahead of Simmonds and Sanders.

Price‰Ûªs victory in Sunday's sprint racing round extended his lead in the E3 category, and his championship lead out to 28 points.

‰ÛÏIt was a good venue, out in the middle of nowhere, but the track conditions were awesome. I like riding in the sand and it definitely chopped up in the 2 1/2 hour cross-country. We‰Ûªre at the halfway mark now in the AORC championship and everything is going good. I'm working hard on things, the boys are working good and the bikes are unreal, so it's been a good weekend.

"I came away with the 1-1 but I made it pretty hard to myself on Saturday. I didn't get off to the best of starts as per usual with the cross-country - really lagging with my starts at the moment - then one of the guys went down on the first turn and I kind of got hung up with him as well, so I came from almost last. My first two laps were pretty fast and solid, and over the 2 å_ hours I picked everyone off and got through the pack, maintained the gap, and got a win there. The Golden Tyres were hooking up really well this weekend, we had a good combination with them.‰Û
Tye Simmond‰Ûªs runner-up position Sunday was the former motocross pro‰Ûªs second of the weekend - Credit: AM Media
Tye Simmond‰Ûªs runner-up position Sunday was the former motocross pro‰Ûªs second of the weekend, and the best result of his very young off-road racing career. His efforts in South Australia have elevated the KTM 450 EXC rider from seventh to fifth in the AORC standings.

‰ÛÏTwo seconds is a good result for the weekend so I'm pretty stoked. I can sort of live with coming second to Toby." Simmonds Commented For me it was a personal best so far this year and for the team it was unreal. It wasn't all smooth running though; I broke the end of my nose yesterday.

"With about two laps to go I was coming down a really fast straight in fourth or fifth gear pinned when I got stuck behind a lapper and my vision wasn‰Ûªt really good coming into the ruts. I got cross-rutted before this single at the end of the straight and tried to straighten it out but before I knew it, I was on my head.

"I didn't even get time to put my hands out or anything, I sort of smashed myself and my 40-second lead over Chucky came down about 15 seconds. So I wrecked another helmet, but that's the way it goes!‰Û
Daniel Sanders (KTM 300 EXC) continues to shine and the weekend‰Ûªs two, third places behind his older teammates represented another milestone - Credit: AM Media
KTM Off-Road Racing Squad member Ivan Long has been augmenting his desert racing duties with a string of AORC appearances in 2015 and made a good fist of his home round, finishing with 10-9 scores for the weekend. He will now turn his attention towards his major event of the year - Finke.

‰ÛÏ10th yesterday and a big ninth today. I kind of just ploughed through the back a little bit today, and tried to just keep it up right. The last couple of tests I struggled a little bit, just making little mistakes and a couple of guys were getting closer, but, I just kept driving into it and slowly picked it up a little bit.

"I'm pretty stoked about it; it's definitely a goal that I have wanted to achieve, finishing two days straight inside the top 10. The bike was good all weekend, and the KTM500EXC was perfect and conditions that‰Ûªs for sure. The track got really brutal, and the body were starting to feel it a little bit today, but it wasn‰Ûªt too bad in the end - I'm glad there's a two-week break before Finke. That‰Ûªs for sure.‰Û
Green continues to dominate the E1 category on his WR250F - Credit: Mad Dog Images
Active8 Yamalube Yamaha

It was another workmanlike performance from the Active8 Yamalube Yamaha duo of Josh Green and Beau Ralston at rounds five and six of the Australian Off-road Championship, held at Wanbi, South Australia.

The South Australian rounds made for a huge shift in riding terrain with the hard pack surfaces of the east coast rounds swapped for the deep sands of SA. Round five on Saturday saw the riders compete in the Cross Country format completing 10 laps in just over two and a half hours racing, non-stop, while Sunday switched a Sprint Racing format.

Green continues to dominate the E1 category on his WR250F, while Ralston leads the E2 division on his YZ450F.

Josh Green is proving unstoppable on the new WR250F in season 2015 and again posted a double round victory. Green laid to waste his competition in the E1 class and posted two top five finishes Outright over the weekend.

The deep, horsepower robbing sand made it hard work for the smaller capacity machines, but Green showed both he and his WR250F were more than up to the task.

‰ÛÏThe sand was a lot thicker and deeper than what we were expecting and it certainly made us work hard to get the results. The bike handled the weekend perfectly as it took a pounding getting it through the sand,‰Û
Beau Ralston continues to lead the E2 class and sit inside the top five Outright despite a tough weekend in South Australia - Credit: Aaryn Minerds
Beau Ralston continues to lead the E2 class and sit inside the top five Outright despite a tough weekend in South Australia. Ralston struggled to find his best form in the sand and crashed a few times throughout the weekend on his way to a top three finish in the E2 division. Ralston took third both days on his YZ450F in class and was sixth Outright both Saturday and Sunday.

‰ÛÏIt was a tough weekend for me on a surface that isn‰Ûªt my favourite. I felt a bit better on Sunday and was making up some time, but I fell a couple of times and lost all my momentum.

‰ÛÏStill, I‰Ûªm healthy and running well in the points chase, so I look forward to the next round and hopefully can make up a few points I missed here in South Australia.‰Û
It proved a tough day for CDR Yamaha's Chris Hollis who fell during the opening stages of Saturday‰Ûªs Cross Country event and left to pick up the pieces. - Credit: Mad Dog Images
CDR Yamaha

It proved a tough day for CDR Yamaha's Chris Hollis who fell during the opening stages of Saturday‰Ûªs Cross Country event and left to pick up the pieces. Hollis got to work and in the next two and a half hours climbed his way all the back to fourth place outright.

Sunday also saw Hollis take fourth place, this time in the Sprint format.

Despite missing a round due to injury, Hollis holds down eighth place Outright and will be out to improve that result in the coming rounds.

‰ÛÏIt was one of those weekends where I rode well but not quite at the leaders pace. It was good without being great and I struggled a bit in the sandy conditions,‰Û
Lachy Stanford couldn't quite find the groove and battled to eighth and 11th finishes for the round - Credit: AM Media
Husqvarna Off-Road Racing

Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team riders Lachy Stanford and Glenn Kearney endured a tough round five and six of the Australian Off-Road Championships in difficult conditions over the weekend, as the series continued at Wanbi in South Australia.

Despite a long and considered preparation for the unique demands of energy-sapping sand and deep whoops, Lachy Stanford couldn't quite find the groove and battled to eighth and 11th finishes for the round. The Husqvarna FE 350 rider maintains his second position in the E2 class however, behind Beau Ralston and ahead of Tye Simmonds.

‰ÛÏDefinitely disappointed, but we‰Ûªll figure it out." Standford said. "I got a half decent start in the cross-country, I was like sixth after the first lap and felt really good in the first few laps, but then I started pumping up a little bit, and lost a few positions.

"I tried to relax and felt a bit better, and then I saw Glenn was coming. I don't want him beating me so I pushed pretty hard until the end. Today in the sprints I just wasn't taking the risks - not aggressive enough for the track, but at least I didn't have any crashes, which was good. I've lost a spot in the championship which is disappointing, but I‰Ûªll get it back next time. There are three rounds left, and I'll turn it around from here. We go back to hard pack tracks now, which suits me.‰Û
Husqvarna team boss Glenn Kearney rebounded from a first turn crash in Saturday's 2 1/2 hour cross-country to record a creditable ninth place aboard his Husqvarna FE 501 - Credit: AM Media
Husqvarna team boss Glenn Kearney rebounded from a first turn crash in Saturday's 2 1/2 hour cross-country to record a creditable ninth place aboard his Husqvarna FE 501, then came seventh outright in yesterday‰Ûªs sprint-format round.

‰ÛÏA pretty ordinary weekend for us really." Kearney admitted. "It was an awesome track, the club did a great job. The deep sand got really rough. For me yesterday didn't start off well, it was a fairly full grid of 30 or 40 guys, and I went down in the first turn pileup with Hollis, Granquist etc. I bent up the brake levers and stuff, so I went straight into the pits and got Christian to straighten my stuff and then went back out and pretty much just ate sand for the next 2 å_ hours trying to come back through.

"I feel like I rode quite well, but I just lost so much in that opening lap that I had a long way to come back. Lachy rode a bit tight with arm pump and just couldn't get a flow, we sort of rode out the last lap pretty close to each other.

"Today I was seventh and Lachy was 11th. I think this race the bike to be on was a 500, or a 300 two-stroke because the sand was so deep and power sapping. He is really disappointed, I am too, but until I can figure out another setup with this brake system, I just can't seem to go fast enough.

"Hopefully in the next break we can get a different setup worked out for the next time around. I don't want to get used to finishing around this spot, I much preferred it last year when I was battling for podiums.‰Û
Justin Carafa joined the Motul Pirelli Sherco Racing team for the South Aussie round - Credit: Supplied Sherco Australia
Sherco Australia

It was a tough weekend for the Motul Pirelli Sherco Enduro Team at rounds five and six of the Australian Off-Road Championship and despite some setbacks, the team is excited for the next few rounds.

The weekend of Championship racing held at Wanbi, South Australia began with the excitement of new team rider Justin Carafa joining the squad. The 26 year old Victorian was chomping at the bit to race his Sherco 300SE-R.

"The bike is great," said Carafa. "There's nothing better than riding a strong two-stroke in sand and I'm just excited to be racing with Sherco. I like off-road racing and although I haven't done a lot of it at the top level, I reckon I can be on the podium by the end of the year."

Carafa joins Motul Pirelli Sherco Enduro Team rock, Broc Grabham who is racing the new 450SEF-R.

Saturday's cross-country didn't bear the results the team was after however, Grabham's noticeable increase in speed and Carafa's hole shot were definitely two positives from what was otherwise a forgettable day for the team.

Sunday's enduro-sprint proved to be another challenging day for Grabham however, Carafa posted some fast times in the ultra competitive E3 class.

"I had so much fun," said Carafa. "Even though Saturday didn't go to plan, Sunday was great. I'm spewing my times weren't better but I'll get there. You wait and see.‰Û

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