The Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) saw a multitude of newly instated champions crowned for the final Rounds 11 & 12 at Omeo. All Seniors championship fights went down to the final weekend of the championship and several were too close to call until the final tests on Sunday.
Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team’s Wil Ruprecht has solidified himself as AORC’s rising star after taking the E1 Championship spoils during Round 11. This now marks two titles in a row for Ruprecht, after taking out last year’s EJ class Championship. Ruprecht remained cool, calm and collected throughout the season, despite coming under pressure from Snap Fitness Yamaha’s Scott Keegan at times, throughout the season.
Ruprecht explained; “My goal at the start of the year was to win this championship and to get it done feels awesome. The team and I have worked really hard this year and I can’t thank everyone at the Active8 Yamaha team for their support and belief in me. It wasn’t easy as we had to overcome some hurdles, but that’s part of managing a championship and I learned a lot this year and developed as a rider. Thank you to the clubs and promoters of each round for their part in running this championship, as well as everyone at Yamaha and our team sponsors for the support.”
1. Wil Ruprecht – 232
2. Scott Keegan – 198
3. Jack Simpson – 178
The KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Daniel Milner crowned himself the brand-new E2 and Outright Champion for 2017, in what was a perfect weekend for him and his team at the final stop of the series at Omeo, in Victoria.
Milner returned to the Yamaha AORC from the Kenda Full Gas Enduro series in the United States in 2016. After breaking his leg badly last year and achieving mixed results – Milner was on fire to deliver the E2 Championship. Milner is the only rider in AORC history to achieve the perfect season, by winning every race. Milner’s ability to push when he needs to and control races from the front was unmatchable this year.
Milner shared; “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I was pretty nervous all week – I don’t know why, but as soon as I got the title on Saturday, it was a big monkey off the back, that’s for sure. Then to be able to win again on Sunday and do the perfect season, which no-one’s ever done, that’s put a big smile on my face.”
1. Daniel Milner – 250
2. Riley Graham – 201
3. Josh Green – 194
It what could be considered the closest championship battle in AORC history, Lyndon Snodgrass managed to take the E3 title against his rival Lachy Stanford of the Husqvarna Enduro Team. With the two tied on points, Snodgrass was declared the winner as he won the last race of the season. Snodgrass showed a maturity beyond his age, with strong confidence and will power throughout the season.
Snodgrass shared; “It’s been a good year battling, but to get the win’s just been awesome. I knew Lachy was going to be tough competition, and to come out on top in that battle is amazing. I was confident coming here that the track was going to be a lot of fun and I just kept on practicing and it all came together.”
1. Lyndon Snodgrass – 235 (Equal on count back with decision made on winner of last race)
2. Lachy Stanford – 235
3. Tom Mason – 196
In his first season of racing in the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), Yamaha competitor Michael Driscoll sensationally won the Transmoto EJ class title. As a new face in the Off-Road scene, Driscoll has impressed many with his debut in the championship. Driscoll would just come out on top of Husqvarna rider Fraser Higlett in the last Round of the season.
Driscoll said; “This is my first year of racing off road and I’m amazed at how things have turned out. As a junior, I did a lot of motocross and the odd off-road event, but I have had an awesome time doing off-road full time this year and winning is a result of a lot of hard work myself, my family and my sponsors have put in. Thank you to Yamaha for their support of not just me but also the AORC and Transmoto, our class sponsor. I also want to thank Fraser for some great racing this year and I look forward to many more battles with him in the future.” .
1. Michael Driscoll – 230
2. Fraser Higlett – 227
3. Nic Tomlinson – 201
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2017 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC Website at aorc.org.au, or by following the Yamaha AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Photos courtesy of John Pearson Media
Photo One: Daniel Milner
Photo Two: Wil Ruprecht
Photo Three: Daniel Milner
Photo Four: Lyndon Snodgrass
Photo Five: Michael Driscoll