More podium success flowed for the Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Off Road Racing Team at rounds three and four of the Australian Off Road Championship (AORC), with all three riders taking home silverware.Near perfect conditions greeted the riders for the Dungog round of the championship and it was a sight for sore eyes for competitors after the opening rounds were held in dry, dusty conditions. Free flowing trails and technical tests sections met the approval of the record numbers entered for the event.
Leading the charge for the Yamaha in the E1 (250cc) was Luke Styke who took home the class in his division on both days. He was the dominant rider in the class taking the majority of special test victories over the weekend and has now taken control of the E1 championship lead with four of the eleven rounds completed.
“The weekend went well not just for me, but the entire team and I feel we all made some small gains after the opening rounds,” Styke states. “It was also good to have some good riding conditions and the club did a great job marking out the course and ensuring there was something for all levels of riders out there.
“We have a bit of a break now before the next round but there is still plenty of work to do and for me more speed to be found. Thanks to the team for another great job and we will keep working hard and chasing Outright wins.”
The weekend fared better for Josh Green who flew the team flag on the E2 (450cc) class on the thundering Yamaha WR450F. Green claimed second in class on both days behind Daniel Milner and was third Outright in a much better showing than the first two rounds.
Green credits the improvement to gaining more knowledge on the WR450F in race conditions as well as some leading up testing that proved vital for the conditions faced at Dungog.
“The WR450F is an amazing bike and every time we race it, we learn more about its strengths and how to make them work for me. We didn’t change anything major but just some fine tuning to the power and suspension made the bike more ridable for me and I’m so impressed with how it runs.
“This weekend was better for me and I was able to grab third outright each day so that’s a step in the right direction. Milner and Sanders are world class riders but I’m busting my butt trying to close the gap on them and this weekend I felt we were a little more competitive with them in a lot of the special tests.
“The team did a fantastic job as always and we are already making plans for the up-coming rounds to keep the momentum building,” Green ends.
Michael Driscoll continues to climb the ladder of off road racing and now has established himself as a legitimate top five outright contender. On the WR250F and in the E1 class alongside Styke, Driscoll turned in some of his best results since entering off road, finishing second in class and fifth outright on Saturday, then backed that up with a third in class an sixth outright on Sunday.
He continues to learn the ropes from his team mates and is now snapping at their heels for outright honours. His special tests times are good, and he now regularly finishes ahead of a lot of the established names in off road racing.
After four rounds, Driscoll sits inside the top three in the E1 division but his rivals are on notice that each round he is improving and keen to shake things up with seven rounds remaining.
“I had a great time at Dungog and found the riding really good,” Driscoll said with enthusiasm. “I have been working hard on all aspects of my riding and fitness and its so good to seeing it paying off on race weekends. Each round its my goal to get closer to the guys at the front and aim at the top five outright, so it was good to get that done on the weekend.
“AJ and the team did a great job with the bikes and thanks to my parents for their support in my racing. Next goal for me is to get a class win at a round, so that’s what I will be working towards.”
Rounds six and seven of the AORC will be held in the pristine riding country surrounding Kyogle in northern New South Wales on July 20- 21.
Editorial courtesy of Yamaha Motor Australia