Off Road

Kyron Bacon and Josh Green Lead A Pack Of Duel Winners At 2023 AORC Opener

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Photo of Kyron Bacon at the 2023 Australian Off Road Championships at Mendooran, NSW.
Defending Champion Kyron Bacon took both wins in the E1 class.

The ShopYamaha Off Road Racing Team picked up where they left off in 2022 with Kyron Bacon and Josh Green dominating the opening weekend of the 2023 season at the Australian Off Road Championships, held at Mendooran, NSW.

It was a weekend for duel round winners with Sam Pretscherer, Taylor Thompson, and William Dennett claiming wins at both rounds in E3, EW, and EJ respectively.

With some heavy lead-up rain, the fast and sandy conditions were perfect on day one and cut up to be a rough and challenging course for riders on day two. With over 350 bikes entered for the event, it was a record number of riders to start the new year.

Bacon and Green dominated their respective classes on both days and split outright victories to share bragging rights within the team.

For the current champion, Kyron Bacon, sand isn’t always his preferred surface and the fast nature of the Mendooran venue meant he would need to ride the wheels off his 250 to stand a chance against the bigger capacity machines. After a slow start, by his standards, on day one, Bacon began to find his feet in the sand and managed to claw his way back to the front in the E1 (250cc) class ahead of Korey McMahon and Cooper Sheidow and also second Outright to Green in the overall standings.

Day two dawned and with the tests and loops now carved up from the pounding they copped the day prior, suddenly horsepower wasn’t the necessary ingredient to win, and Bacon found his way back to the top of the heap. Of the six sprints held on Sunday, Bacon dominated and cleared out to win the E1 class by one minute and 40 seconds and outright by nearly a minute in a performance that will make his rivals nervous. Korey McMahon and Cooper Sheidow repeated their results from Saturday finishing second and third respectively again.

“I’m just excited to be back and racing again,” said Tasmanian-based Bacon. “After the last rounds in 2022, I took a bit of time off to refresh but since the new year, I have been hard at it and working particularly hard on my sand riding as it’s never been my strong point.

“I was a bit rough on Saturday but once I got into the swing it and the course was ridden in, I was able to generate a good speed and get back the time I lost in the first few laps.

“The bike was awesome all weekend and it’s good to be back with the boys. We all get along good and it’s a good vibe just riding dirt bikes with your mates,” Bacon ends.

Josh Green came out swinging on day one and knew he had to make hay while the sun shined, the track was smooth and he had the horsepower advantage. Green took control in the early going with a fast and consistent speed that was just a step above his competitors. He convincingly won the E2 (450cc) division head of Jye Dickson and Fraser Higlett, he also pipped Bacon for the Outright victory by 18 seconds.

Photo of Josh Green at the 2023 Australian Off Road Championships at Mendooran, NSW.
Josh Green dominated the E2 class winning both rounds.

Sunday again saw the veteran take control of the E2 class, winning five of the six sprint laps and the round win in the process. Jye Dickson was once again the second fastest with Jonte Reynders rounding out the top three. Greens’ times were also good enough for second place outright behind Bacon and cap off a great start to the championship for the team.

“I got him on day one,” Green laughs. “It’s always good to have a day win up my sleeve when the Tasmanian gets a little mouthy. “But seriously, it was a great weekend for the team and an awesome start to the year for us. It was good to see Kyron improve his sand riding and recognise that was his weak point and then come out and race well on both days.

“For me, I enjoy this kind of riding and the weekend was a lot of fun. The rain on Friday was awesome as it made the sand thicker and more fun, and it also made it cut up quicker, so Sunday was hard work.

“The team had the bike in great shape and we got through with just usual maintenance so we can all move forward to the next round and be confident we are in a good place. Thank you to everyone for the support and excited to go racing again in a few weeks’ time,” Green concluded.

Photo of Sam Pretscherer at the 2023 Australian Off Road Championships at Mendooran, NSW.
Sam Pretscherer was the third duel round winner taking the fastest time at both rounds in E3. Photo: Troy Pears.

Sam Pretscherer was a duel winner in the E3 class with Stefan Granquist and Riley McGillivray finishing second and third respectively on both days.

Following an impressive effort at the opening round of the Australian Motocross Championship where she finished second Taylor Thompson continued the good form by dethroning the Queen of Womens off-road racing Jessica Gardiner on both days. Gardiner wasn’t a fan of the sandy conditions that Mendooran provided but did her best to battle through the weekend. Emelie Karlsson took third on both days to round out the top three.

Photo of Taylor Thompson at the 2023 Australian Off Road Championships at Mendooran, NSW.
Taylor Thompson announced herself as one to watch taking both round wins in the EW class. Photo: Troy Pears.

William Dennett was another dominant rider taking the win on both days in EJ. Luke Chellas and Campbell Hall followed him home on day one while on day two Seth Burchell and Billy Harga finished second and third.

Rounds three and four of the Australian Off Road Championship take place at Queensland Moto Park on April 22/23 where the sands of Mendooran will be replaced by the hard clay and rocks of Boonah.

Photo of William Dennett at the 2023 Australian Off Road Championships at Mendooran, NSW.
William Dennett dominated the EJ class in both rounds. Photo: Troy Pears.

E1
2023 AORC Round 1 E1 Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Kyron Bacon (Shop Yamaha Offroad Racing Team) 1:05:11.553
2 Korey McMahon (GasGas Australia, Suttos Powersports) 1:05:25.554
3 Cooper Sheidow (Yamaha) 1:06:40.242
4 Will Price (Empire Kawasaki Off Road Team) 1:12:39.224
5 Brock Nichols (Husqvarna) 1:15:01.536

2023 AORC Round 2 E1 Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Kyron Bacon (Shop Yamaha Offroad Racing Team) 50:41.269
2 Korey McMahon (GasGas Australia, Suttos Powersports) 52:20.508
3 Cooper Sheidow (Yamaha) 53:33.691
4 Will Price (Empire Kawasaki Off Road Team) 56:18.266
5 Brock Nichols (Husqvarna) 58:30.713

E2
2023 AORC Round 1 E2 Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Joshua Green (Shop Yamaha Offroad Racing Team) 1:04:53.288
2 Jye Dickson (Gas Gas) 1:06:04.145
3 Fraser Higlett (Beta) 1:07:16.684
4 Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Racing Team) 1:07:55.692
5 Travis Silk (KTM) 1:10:28.238

2023 AORC Round 2 E2 Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Joshua Green (Shop Yamaha Offroad Racing Team) 51:34.596
2 Jye Dickson (Gas Gas) 51:47.169
3 Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Racing Team) 53:44.426
4 Fraser Higlett (Beta) 53:54.238
5 Kodi Stephens (True Painting, KTM Newcastle) 54:54.996

E3
2023 AORC Round 1 E3 Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Sam Pretscherer (Simford Motorsport Group) 1:05:36.788
2 Stefan Granquist (Husqvarna) 1:09:10.793
3 Riley McGillivray (Shepparton Motorcycles, KTM) 1:09:49.049
4 Patrick McGillivray (Gas Gas) 1:14:01.606
5 Luke Bunnik (Beta, Limestone Coast Motorcycles) 1:17:15.880

2023 AORC Round 2 E3 Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Sam Pretscherer (Simford Motorsport Group) 53:26.947
2 Stefan Granquist (Husqvarna) 55:01.773
3 Riley McGillivray (Shepparton Motorcycles, KTM) 55:48.929
4 Patrick McGillivray (KTM) 58:32.200
5 Luke Bunnik (Beta, Limestone Coast Motorcycles) 1:01:34.829

EW
2023 AORC Round 1 EW Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Taylor Thompson (Excite Motorsports, Yamaha) 1:01:51.835
2 Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team) 1:03:30.696
3 Emelie Karlsson (Husqvarna) 1:07:37.771
4 Courtney Rubie (KTM Newcastle) 1:08:20.020
5 Ariana Collins (Husqvarna) 1:10:10.091

2023 AORC Round 2 EW Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 Taylor Thompson (Excite Motorsports, Yamaha) 1:13:03.235
2 Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha JGR Ballard’s Off Road Team) 1:16:02.384
3 Emelie Karlsson (Husqvarna) 1:21:59.974
4 Courtney Rubie (KTM Newcastle) 1:27:03.043
5 Ariana Collins (Husqvarna) 1:28:55.170

EJ
2023 AORC Round 1 EJ Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 William Dennett (Yamaha Australia) 1:06:22.895
2 Luke Chellas (KTM) 1:09:57.996
3 Campbell Hall (Yamaha) 1:10:58.171
4 Billy Hargy (Husqvarna Offroad Racing Team) 1:11:17.675
5 Benjamin Lynch (Bunbury KTM, Blue Hire Pump) 1:15:37.200

2023 AORC Round 2 EJ Top 5 Provisional Results:
1 William Dennett (Yamaha Australia) 52:56.796
2 Seth Burchell 56:17.924
3 Billy Hargy (Husqvarna Offroad Racing Team) 56:37.033
4 Campbell Hall (Yamaha) 57:04.967
5 Luke Chellas (KTM) 57:10.525

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