E1, E2, E3 and EJ class competitors wowed the crowds at Round 11 of the 2017 Yamaha Australian Off- Road Championship (AORC). Set atop the picturesque alpine township of Omeo in Victoria, scores of spectators were treated to a spectacular cross-country battle between Australia’s best Enduro competitors who provided ample excitement and palpable competition. Winners for the seniors classes included; Wil Ruprecht, Daniel Milner, Lyndon Snodgrass and Michael Driscoll.
Round 11 saw two champions crowned for the AORC, with Wil Ruprecht taking the E1 crown and Daniel Milner singing off on the Outright and E2 championship in style!
There were thrills and spills aplenty for the senior classes of AORC, starting early on, with Daniel ‘Chucky’ Sanders the first casualty in the first few minutes of the opening lap of the eight lap circulation. Sanders was unable to re-join the pack after suffering a shoulder injury.
On top of his game in E1, was Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team’s unstoppable Wil Ruprecht. Ruprecht completed the three-hour, seven lap, 16 kilometre, cross country race with a total time of 2:48:08.117. KTM mounted rider Jack ‘Simmering’ Simpson with his total time of 2:48:19.991 earning him a deserved second place. The difference between Ruprecht and Simpson was only 11 seconds. Rounding out the E1 podium for Round 11 was Snap Fitness Yamaha Team’s Scott Keegan. Second place in the championship Keegan, finished with an aggregate time of 2:51:35.095, a further 196 seconds behind Simpson.
Ruprecht shared; “I’m ecstatic to take the E1 class title, with another round to go in the championship. Its been a great battle all year with (Scott) Keegan and he’s been a great rival. I’d personally like to thank Yamaha and the Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Team for all their support; it wouldn’t be possible without them.”
KTM Enduro Team’s Daniel Milner managed to finish top of the E2 tree onboard his 450EXC at Omeo. The win for the day coupled with Milner’s 2017 championship points bank, meant that he could afford to celebrate early with the champagne ahead of tomorrow’s final AORC Round 12. Milner finished the race with a total time of 2:45:01.972. Finishing four mintues behind was Yamaha rider Riley Graham with his total lap time of 2:49:02.906 and third for the day was DSR Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team’s Andrew Wilksch with his time of 2:49:18.430, rounding out the top three, 16 seconds behind. Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team’s Josh Green revealed that his bike ran out of fuel at the bottom of an impossibly steep hill, unable to return to pit, forcing his retirement.
Milner shared after taking the title; “It’s great, after difficult times competing in America to come back to Australia and win the E2 Championship. We worked so hard over the off-season to deliver this title and its great to achieve it! The feeling after crossing the finish line was incredible.”
It was KTM Enduro Team Rider Lyndon Snodgrass who convincingly led the entire E3 pack around the track for most of the three-hour duration. Snodgrass was on point and impressive with a total time of 2:45:40.198. Lachlan Stanford of the Husqvarna Enduro Team, managed a consistent ride throughout the journey, finishing in second with his total time of 2:46:10.234. As it stands, only three points seperate the two heading into the final round! The results could truly go either way in this contest. The difference between Snodgrass and Stanford was 30 seconds. Third place getter was KTM rider Tom Mason, who concluded the day with a 2:51:05.582 time, close to five minutes behind Stanford.
The Transmoto 19 and Under class saw strong representation, talent and competition. The depth of rising talent within the class is certainly impressive. Pace man Michael Driscoll managed the to bring home the win with a time of 2:50:02.126, while young Fraser Higlett on his Husqvarna managed to finish second position with his total time of 2:50:26:216. 40 seconds separated Driscoll and Higlett. Ben Kearns was the final podium place getter with his final time of 2:51:22.173, 56 seconds behind Higlett. Nic Tomlinson was was relegated to fourth, after receiving a five minute penalty for deviating off the course, giving him a time of 2:55:11.229
E1 Provisional Results
1. Wil Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team) – 2:48:08.117
2. Jack Simpson – 2:48:19.991
3. Scott Keegan (Snap Fitness Yamaha Team) – 2:51:35.095
4. Brad Hardaker – 2:55:46.938
5. Bayley Burt – 3:04:08.746
6. Shane Watts – 3:05:19.580
7. Simon Boyd – 2:43:26.459 (1 Lap Down)
8. Matthew Zygarlicki – 2:45:31.073 (1 Lap Down)
9. Brad Snell – 2:64:51.400 (1 Lap Down)
10. Baylee Davies – DNF
E2 Provisional Results
1. Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Team) – 2:45:01.972
2. Riley Graham – 2:49:02.906
3. Andrew Wilksch (DSR Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team) – 2:49:18.430
4. Justin Carafa – 2:50:48.514
5. Mitch Harper – 2:51:06.533
6. Jamie Robins – 2:57:01.216
7. Stuart Holt – 3:00:55.667
8. Jacob Deagan – 3:02:31.096
9. Trent Tucci – 3:03:34.526
10. Ben Mckenzie – 2:42:02.484 (1 Lap Down)
E3 Provisional Results
1. Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Team) – 2:45:40.198
2. Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Team) – 2:46:10.234
3. Tom Mason – 2:51:05.582
4. Jesse Lawton – 2:55:02.751
5. Anthony Venn – 2:58:31.467
6. Josh Major – 3:02:24.639
7. Jack Matthews – DNF
Transmoto EJ Provisional Results
1. Michael Driscoll – 2:50:02.126
2. Fraser Higlett – 2:50:26:216
3. Ben Kearns – 2:51:22.173
4. Nic Tomlinson – 2:55:11.229
5. Dalton Johnson – 2:59:52.633
6. Lachlan Allan – 3:02:30.921
7. William Price – 3:03:19.701
8. Jacob Peacock – 3:05:08.571
9. Harrison Tetley – 3:05:36.091
10. Seton Broomhall – 2:44:04.802 (1 Lap Down)
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Don’t forget to check out the AORC’s website at aorc.org.au
Remaining Rounds of 2017 Yamaha AORC
Round 11 & 12: Omeo, VIC 5 – 6 August 2017
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2017 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC website at www.aorc.org.au or by following the AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Photos courtesy of John Pearson Media: Daniel Milner and Wil Ruprecht at Omeo