In part 2 of our of 2020 Class Of Champions feature story, we speak to our Junior Champions of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore – the future of our sport.
In the first year of the new 65cc Junior cup Max Stevenson took the inaugural championship in the JJ class.
A mere 10 points separated first to third, with Harley Hutton son of Masters champion Kirk, took out second on his Yamaha and Dylan McDonald would take the final podium place in third.
Only 27 points covered the top 10 in a field of very competitive riders.
“I was very excited to win the 65cc Australian Off-Road Championship,” Stevenson said.
“To do it on my ‘15 KTM 65 affectionately known as ‘The Rattler’ with 585hrs on it shows the time and dedication I have put into training over the last 5 years.
“Having spent 5-years racing motocross where I have previously podiumed at the Australian National Junior level, off-road riding has always interested me.
“This year I wanted to test myself to see if I had what it takes to pursue off road racing.
“I really enjoy off-road racing, where I can push myself through the bush to get faster each lap. It’s also great that I can compete at a National event with some of the best senior and junior racers in Australia.”
The closest finish of all the Championship classes was in the J1 class, proving to be a success in the first year the new 85cc class was run in the AORC.
Two riders – Mason Boucher and Cooper Boyd – tied on 56 points each, with Boucher taking out the championship on a count back for places. Lachlan Roche was able to secure third in the class on 53 points.
In fact, the top five riders were covered by a mere 16 points, such was the strong competition in the debut year for this class in 2020.
“It’s amazing, I love it. It feels good, it was my first time racing the Aussies and I really loved it, it was such a great experience and fun,” said Boucher.
“I want to thank Team Moto/Maben Racing, KTM Australia TeamMoto Motorcycles, Maben Group, Tracrite Suspension, The Collective Family, Two Stroke Pipe Repairs, Topline Seat Covers, Gas Imports Australia, and Cisco Race Tuning.”
Jett Yarnold cleaned swept the class winning each round and was able to claim the Championship out in front on 75 Points.
The battle for second was close though which came down to Levi Stephens and Jack Shearer with only six points separating the two youngsters.
“All the hard work finally paid off and to get the championship it’s pretty good.
“It was good to ride all the rounds and with my friends and getting down to the hard work of racing.
“Getting that first win at the first round was really good, I didn’t think I’d be undefeated.
“Next year I will race in the J3 class on a YZ125.
“I’d like to thank Pacific Blue Metal, Easy Creek Concrete Pumping, Atlantic Oils Australia, Supermoto Armidale, All Peoples Services Taree, and Yamaha Australia and Mum and Dad.”
In the J3 Class the battle went down to the wire with only one point separating Billy Hargy and William Dennett.
Hargy came out on top finishing on 70 points with Dennett on 69. Third place was taken out by Max Phillips, but only by three points as he was followed closely by Campbell Hall with Luke Chellas only one point back in fifth.
Hargy continued to impress in this year’s Championship win, making it his third successive championship after winning the J2 Class the previous two years.
“I’m over the moon just winning by one point was really lucky,” said Hargy.
“My start to the season was slow only getting bikes a week before rounds 1 and 2 in Toowoomba so I didn’t have a lot of bike time.”
Hargy is currently recovering from injury and can’t wait to get back on the bike in preparation for 2021.
“The plans for the 2021 season is to be consistent all year round and the main goal is to back up my championship on top of the podium.
“I’d like to thank my dad, who does everything for me and is basically my best friend, Jesse Jenkins, also Husqvarna Australia, Rock Motorcycles, Pro-moto Suspension, POD active knee braces, PGA Rendering, Wynn homes, Gas Imports, Spy goggles, Thor gear, Motorex oils, Incite Graphics, Hastings Valley Water Carriers, and Michelin tyres.”
Riley McGillivray has finished off 2020 as he did in 2019 winning yet another championship and going undefeated yet again.
He finished on perfect points with 75, followed by Kodi Stephens who was second in each of three rounds being very consistent. Kobi Wolff finished in third only six points back as he also podiumed each of the three weekends.
The future is bright for these riders as they look to head into the senior ranks in 2021.
“It’s always great news to be crowned an Aussie champ, and I’m actually glad MA/AORC made the final decision to finish up a very disrupted season,” said McGillivray.
“It gives us riders time to finally wrap up the year, plan and get sorted for bigger things in 2021.
“I’m glad I could put to show the hard work of everyone involved with me in the opening rounds, winning all 3 rounds.
“Big thanks to Mel and Steve Jones for their continued support and work throughout the year, as well as the rest of my sponsors. Onto 2021.
“I’d like to thank Aj’s Superstore, Tunetech, Fox, Alps, Maxima oils, Oakley, Pod, SBS brakes, and Dunlop.”
2020 would be the first year the Junior Girls had raced at the AORC and they didn’t disappoint providing sensational close racing. Each of three girls finished in the same position each of the three rounds showing consistency is key.
In an impressive display Danielle McDonald would go undefeated at the top and much like mentor Jess Gardiner, she set the speed for the new Junior Girls class.
Ariana Collins who has previously mixed in with the boys in AORC made her presence felt taking second, followed by young Victorian Monique Simioni who would take the final place on the podium in third.
“It’s a pretty big achievement I’m really happy with it in my second year doing the AORC and I’m really proud of that,” said McDonald.
“In 2021 I will be stepping up to my 125 and hopefully that goes well.
“Big thanks to Yamaha, MXstore, Ballard’s, Jess and Jeremy for their support and a big thank you Mum and Dad for driving me to all the events.”
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the AORC, by visiting the AORC website at www.aorc.org.au , Facebook or @aorc on Instagram. Don’t forget to download the Official AORC app via Team App. It’s as easy as download Team App and search ‘AORC’!