Off Road

Season changing day at AORC in South Australia

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The sixth round of the 2011 Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship has wrapped up in South Australia, setting a high benchmark for the second half of the series.

The sprint format round saw more than 190 competitors converge on Callington, SA, to tackle a dry and sandy track in windy conditions.

Tasmanian rider Matt Phillips of Ballard's Yamaha Off-Road swept the field to take outright line honours for the second round in a row, backing up his recent performance at the International Six Day Enduro (ISDE) in Finland.

Yamaha's Chris Hollis finished the day with a Championship leading 122 points, ahead of Ballard's Yamaha Off-Road rider Stefan Merriman on 108 points, Motorex KTM's Jarrod Bewley on 106 points and Matt Phillips on 103 points.

"Overall, in terms of the championship, I had a good weekend," Hollis said.

"My plan for the last four rounds is just to keep racing, doing what I do. I want to win some races, I haven't won any yet, so it's pretty high on the priority list.

"I'm looking forward to the next ones at Mount Seaview and Dungog. They have good, hard packed tests that suit me really well."

Stefan Merriman had a big crash in the second last lap. He hit a tree, lost a lot of time and hurt his leg pretty bad but still took back to back line honours in the E1 Class, coming home ahead of Ben Burrell (Ballard's Yamaha Off-Road) and AJ Roberts (Force Accessories Honda).

The round proved to be a season changing day for the E2 class, with reigning champ Toby Price of Motorex KTM retiring after sustaining an injury during the third sprint of the day. Hollis took line honours followed by Christensen's Motorcycles Daniel Milner and Husqvarna's Glenn Kearney.

In the E3 class Phillips and Bewley repeated their first and second combination from round five, with Force Accessories Honda rider Nicholas Beattie taking the third podium position.

The Women's class stormed home in the same order as in round five, with ISDE stars Jemma Wilson (Yamaha) and Jess Gardiner (Ballard's Yamaha Off-Road rider) taking out first and second ahead of Swedish rider Emelie Karlsson taking out third.

Trent Lean claimed the Masters class, followed over the line by Ian Jenner and Dave Cash, with the Veterans class led home by Damian Smith, Adam Schneller and Owen Lock.

Brendan Walther was victorious in the J1 class, with young star New Zealand rider Scott Sowry putting his name on the J2 class. Nic Tomlinson claimed the J3 class with Mitch Kellner taking home J4 line honours after a day of stellar riding.

Outright round leader Phillips thanked the riders, organisers, landowners and supporters who contributed to an action filled weekend of racing.

"There has been a great atmosphere around," Phillips said.

"The track was good, the sand was good. The track was fun and challenging.

"We are all putting our thoughts together for Toby."

Round seven and eight of the 2011 Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship will be held on 10 and 11 September on private property at Mt Seaview, NSW and will be Enduro Format for both Seniors and Juniors.

Full results from the sixth round of racing can be found on the Series website at www.ma.org.au/aorc.

Yamaha AORC Top-10 Outright (after round six)
1. Chris Hollis Points: 122 YAMAHA
2. Stefan Merriman 108 YAMAHA
3. Jarrod Bewley 106 KTM
4. Matthew Phillips 103 YAMAHA
5. Glenn Kearney 87 HUSQVARNA
6. Bartosz Oblucki 81 HUSQVARNA
7. Toby Price 75 KTM
8. Daniel Milner 68 YAMAHA
9. Ben Grabham 68 KTM
10. Kirk Hutton 55 YAMAHA

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