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Flying Swede Karlsson Lands Into First Next To Stephens, Rudd And Perry

Ramping up the intensity as we arrive at the penultimate round of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC), Round 10 was nothing short of spectacular. Featuring an unmissable battle between Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha), Emma Milesevic (Honda RideRed) and Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off Road Team), today’s Cross-Country format spanned six laps and just over two hours of superb action.

Coming out on top today was Karlsson, Lee Stephens (True Painting & Decorating), Peter Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles) and Chris Perry for the Women’s, Veterans, Masters and 2 Stroke Cup.

Anyone who questions whether the talent in the AORC Women’s category is disappearing can be quickly silenced after today’s epic battle between three outstanding competitors. Karlsson, Milesevic and Gardiner tangoed one beautiful dance today, right from the starting line.

After a lack lustre start to her race, Gardiner had her work cut out for her over the six laps, as she did what Gardiner does best and fought tooth and nail to recover her position. But as the race progressed, the race to watch was between Karlsson and Milesevic, with only 0.483 separating each other at the finish line! The ‘Flying Swede’ Karlsson came out victorious with a total time of 2:10:00.873, with Honda’s Milesevic a hairs breathe off first, settling instead for second with a total time of 2:10:01.356.

Gardiner conceded for third place today, clocking in a total time of 2:12:47.661. With a third place finish, Gardiner’s hold on the 2019 Championship will now come down to Sunday’s racing.

“It was pretty cool race. Emma and I came off together. She passed me on the straight before the log on the first lap. Then she fell off during the race, which allowed me to get in front for the most part of the race,” explained Karlsson.

“However, I then came off which put her into the lead of the race. I managed to stick with her and I did that and got by her. I was leading right up until the last lap. Then I crashed deep within the bush. I started stressing as I thought I threw the whole race away as Emma took the lead again. I kept with her and then she came off which allowed me back in front.

“I’m surprised that I got the win as I have not really had the overall speed. I honestly did not think I was going to be able to beat Emma on a track like this as she is so fast when it’s an open track!

“This win definitely has to be one of my best wins without a shadow of a doubt!”

2019 AORC Women’s Round 10 Top 10 Provisional Results:

  1. Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha) 2:10:00.873
  2. Emma Milesevic (Honda RideRed) 2:10:01.356
  3. Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off Road Team) 2:12:47.661
  4. Danielle Foot (Road & River Motorcyles) 2:19:54.996
  5. Ebony Nielsen 2:26:40.853
  6. Chloe Miles 2:28:27.800
  7. Kellie Catanese 2:29:37.897
  8. Lauren Dunstan (On Point Motorcycles) 2:31:07.357
  9. Julie Denyer 2:12:38.105 (+1 lap)
  10. Kasey Major (Rotaret) 2:14:22.907 (+1 lap)

Cooler than a cucumber is how the saying goes right? Well, that adequately describes Stephens and his campaign to become the 2019 AORC Veterans Champion. Hedley’s tough but beautiful conditions did nothing to slow down the demon, who rode comfortably into first place with a total time of 3:04:00.628.

Second place was won by Jason Pearce, with a total time of 3:10:00.052, followed by Luke Ablitt, who crossed the finish line for a total time of 3:16:04.841.

Our Veterans rode in amongst the E1, E2, E3 and EJ classes, racking up a total of eight laps over three hours.

2019 AORC Veterans Round 10 Top 8 Provisional Results:

  1. Lee Stephens (True Painting & Decorating) 3:04:00.628
  2. Jason Pearce  3:10:00:052
  3. Luke Ablitt 3:16:04.841
  4. Darren Lessio 2:51:56.794 (+1 lap)
  5. Christopher Thomas (Thomas Lee KTM) 2:52:35.234 (+1 lap)
  6. Con Privitera 2:54:35.426 (+1 lap)
  7. Travis Selwyn (Simford Motorsport) 3:02:18.956 (+1 lap)
  8. Allan Bennett 3:09:34.044 (+1 lap)

Although the Championship title was wrapped up back in Coonalpyn, the remaining two podiums remain up for grabs for the Masters class. This made for excellent tussling today, ending with Peter Rudd coming out on top in first place with a total time of 2:16:39.777.

Stealing away second place was Peter Schaper 2:22:36.664, followed closely by Stephen Boucher who clocked in a time of 2:23:00.071.

“While Kirk [Hutton] may not be here, it’s still a great feeling to be able to get the win and the first win for the year,” gushed Rudd.

“It’s what you always want to get, which is a race. We are racers, we all want to win. Second place is the first loser. So, it’s fantastic to be able to get the win today.

“Tomorrow the mindset will be all about keeping the bike upright. I’m looking forward to the sprint as I do struggle with my bike fitness in the cross-country’s. With the sprints, at least I’ll be able to recover a little bit in between each sprint. So, I’m quietly confident that I can back this round win up tomorrow.”

2019 AORC Masters Round 10 Top 10 Provisional Results:

  1. Peter Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles) 2:16:39.777
  2. Peter Schaper 2:22:36.664
  3. Stephen Boucher 2:23:00.071
  4. Ian McGillivray (Road & River Motorcycles) 2:24:12.798
  5. Loui Stylianou (VC Traders) 2:24:32.858
  6. Craig Treasure 2:24:32.884
  7. Ken Burt (DL Electrics & Constructions) 2:24:39.436
  8. Raymond Scott 2:28:57.239
  9. Stephen Matheson (SMW Hornsby) 2:32:56.553
  10. Nicholas Edward (Slims Engines) 2:08:04.495 (+1 lap)

2 Stroke Cup
Making its long awaited return to the AORC pits, the 2 Stroke Cup didn’t disappoint as our three competitors fought through the challenging Hedley WR 450F track. Claiming first place today was Perry, with a total time of 2:14:05.202.

Second place was nabbed by Adam Giles, with a total time of 2:16:13.653. Rounding out the podium today was John Isherwood, who crossed the finish line with a total time of 2:29:55.036.

2019 AORC 2 Stroke Cup Round 10 Top 3 Provisional Results:

  1. Chris Perry 2:14:05.202
  2. Adam Giles 2:16:13.653
  3. John Isherwood 2:29:55.036.

AORC’s Women’s, Veterans, Masters and 2 Stroke Cup return tomorrow for a new, invigorating Sprint format, with the Championship titles set to go right down to the wire!

Don’t miss a minute of the action of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC Website at, or by following the Yamaha AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @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 John Pearson Media