To call the conditions here in Toowoomba as pristine would hardly do it justice. Kicking off Round 1 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore, our Senior’s tackled the WR450F test track for Sprints, under a blue sky and atop lush grass.
With bodies rested and minds fresh, Round 1 presents new challenges to our riders, including new faces in the field and first round nerves. Coming out on top today and setting 2020 out on the best foot was Luke Styke (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube), Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team), Daniel “Chucky” Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) and Korey McMahon (Sutto’s Motorex KTM Racing Team).
A vision in Yamaha blue and working tooth and nail to hold onto his 2019 victory was Luke Styke with a time of 55:47.177. Styke lead ahead of Motocross up-and-comer Mason Semmens (KTM Enduro Racing Team), who crossed his seventh and final test for the day with a total time of 55:55.475 with only 8 seconds separating two.
Rounding out the E1 Round 1 podium was MXstore’s Kyron Bacon, who continues to grow in leaps and bounds as he transitions from EJ back in 2019 to E1 this season.
“Today started off a little slower than expected but we progressed throughout the day, made some fixes to the bike and just got better and better,” explained Styke.
“For Round 2 we’re just going to rest up and hopefully start off the racing in a little bit of a better position compared to today.”
2020 AORC E1 Round 1 Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Luke Styke (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube) 55:47.177
- Mason Semmens (KTM Enduro Racing Team) 55:55.475
- Kyron Bacon (MXstore, Yamaha) 57:38.520
- Corey Hammond 58:27.020
- Joshua Kilvington 59:26.944
- Lachlan Allan (Kawasaki Motors Australia Valvoline Team) 1:00:34.741
- Kristian Sprenger (Yamaha, Thor) 1:01:07.606
- Matthew Zygarlicki (Wonthaggi MPE) 1:02:04.892
- Kyle Nielsen 1:06:22.077
As he said at the Press Launch earlier this week, the 2019 racing season was one he wanted to forget. But after the day he just had, regardless of the spill early in the day, Milner has held onto his E2 reign. Clocking in at 54:39.515, Milner lead comfortably ahead of newcomer and MX Nationals Champion, Todd Waters (Berry Sweet, Husqvarna). Waters made a big and welcome splash into the E2 class today, shaking up the competition by clocking in an impressive total time of 55:27.309.Closing out the top three was Yamaha Active8 Yamalube’s Josh Green, who finished ahead of Michael Driscoll (Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team) with a total time of 55:36.369.
“Today started off strong but I ran into some trouble and came off the bike and I’m lucky that I was able to get back up and continue riding, honestly,” confirmed Milner.
“Apart from that incident though, my day was pretty good and finished up well with the class win! I think I came into this round swinging, ready to get back into the game in a big way.”
2020 AORC E2 Round 1 Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) 54:39.515
- Todd Waters (Berry Sweet, Husqvarna) 55:27.309
- Josh Green (Yamaha Active8 Yamalube) 55:36.369
- Michael Driscoll (Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team) 56:19.534
- Beau Ralston (Hunter Valley Motorsport, Kawasaki) 56:34.543
- Cooper Sheidow (Kessner Motorcycles, KTM) 57:01.569
- Stefan Granquist 57:05.336
- Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team) 57:07.044
- William Price (Kessner KTM, Thor) 58:54.058
- Brent Dean 59:40.260
With the number one firmly locked onto his Husqvarna FE501, Chucky remained his insatiably unstoppable self. Regardless of a crash early into today’s tests, Chucky did as he does best and pushed through, grinning and bearing it to clock in a time of 55:21.276.
Shaking up the E3 class on the 300 two stroke is Motul Pirelli Sherco Offroad Racing Team’s Jonte Reynders, who took out second placed today behind the International Six Days Enduro World Champion. Rounding out the podium was Callum Norton (KTM Desert Racing Team), with a total time of 57:09.295.
2020 AORC E3 Round 1 Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 55:21.276
- Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Offroad Racing Team) 56:59.302
- Callum Norton (KTM Desert Racing Team) 57:09.295
- Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna, MXstore) 58:14.856
- Jesse Lawton (Thor) 58:38.441
- Hayden Keeley 59:22.916
- Matt Murry (Kawasaki Motors Australia Valvoline Team) 1:00:48.493
- Luke Bunnik (Sherco, Bunnik Construction & Limestone) 1:02:16.525
- Neil Collard 1:02:27.760
- Chris Reading (BD Richardson Transport) 1:02:48.096
Today was the time for McMahon to shine. After tangoing back and forth with the likes of Kyron Bacon back last season, McMahon took out a well deserved EJ class win for Round 1, clocking in a time of 58:05.112.
Rounding out the podium today was Blake Hollis (Yamaha) with a total time 58:44.064, and Samuel Pretscherer (Gol Gol Hotel, Mototech) with a time of 59:40.496.
2020 AORC EJ Round 1 Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Korey McMahon (Sutto’s Motorex KTM Racing Team) 58:05.112
- Blake Hollis (Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team) 58:44.064
- Samuel Pretscherer (Gol Gol Hotel, Mototech) 59:40.496
- Ben Teed 1:02:37.820
- Zac Perry (Harbour City Motorcycles) 1:02:38.748
- Jayden Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles) 1:02:46.751
- Oscar Collins (Jeff Collins Plumbing) 1:03:27.389
- Tom Teed 1:03:35.388
- Kobe Conley (Fist Handwear, City Bike Centre) 1:03:35.899
- Tomas Kruger 1:04:28.960
All our Seniors return tomorrow for Round 2 and a second round of Sprints. Based on the ferocity experienced today, all bets are off as to who will seek to grasp valuable early points in the 2020 Championship. Further information on Round 2 can be accessed here.
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship 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’!
Images courtesy of Troy Pears.