Toowoomba, Queensland greeted our Women’s, Masters, Veterans and 2-Stroke Cup to a stunning blue sky contrasted by drier than normal conditions for Round 1 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC). Fitness development over the off season treated riders well, as they tackled high heats and humidity over the five tests and nearly eight kilometre track.
Coming out on top for the first round of the 2019 AORC season was Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) for the Women’s class, Kirk Hutton for the Masters, Lee Stephens for the Veterans and Adam Giles for the 2 Stroke Cup.
2018 reigning Women’s Champion, Gardiner, has commenced the 2019 season in perfect form as she pursues her campaign to smash the Women’s title record out of the park. Gardiner finished the day with a time of 1:13:37.414, ahead of Emelie Karlsson by just shy of two minutes. Karlsson finished the day with a time of 1:15:26.672, managing both the high heats, dust and her recovering foot injury to grab second place. Ebony Nielsen trailed Karlsson to take out third place for Round 1 by just under three minutes.
Reflecting on her fantastic efforts today, Gardiner stated “it’s great to be back for the new 2019 AORC season. As soon as we arrived in Queensland this week, the humidity hit me straight away, so today has been targeted at keeping cool and staying hydrated whenever we’re off the bike.
“Tomorrow’s plans are to start out as strong as possible whilst remaining upright. We tackle a new track tomorrow, so as long as I can have some fun and stay cool in what’s expected to be high heats, I should remain pretty consistent,” explained Gardiner.
AORC Women’s Round 1 Provisional Results
- Jessica Gardiner 1:13:37.414
- Emelie Karlsson 1:15:26.672
- Ebony Nielsen 1:18:10.896
- Emma Milesevic 1:18:41.568
- Danielle Foot 1:21:02.977
- Zoe Boccari 1:35:23.828
- Charlotte Gamble 1:58:19.594
- Isabella Hood 2:11:14.505
Returning to the AORC pits is household name, Kirk Hutton, who took out the best time for the Masters class today of 1:10:43.091. Moving from the Veteran’s class to Masters, Hutton made a seamless switch to his new class, leading the charge ahead of Timothy Martin by just over four minutes! Rounding out the podium today in third place was John Baker with a time of 1:17:56.029.
AORC Masters Round 1 Provisional Results
- Kirk Hutton 1:10:43.091
- Timothy Martin 1:15:21.955
- John Baker 1:17:56.029
- Ian Jenner 1:18:18.986
- Craig Treasure 1:18:20.476
- Peter Rudd 1:18:20.476
- Adam O’Connor 1:20:46.668
- Andrew Dennett 1:21:20.530
- Ian McGillivray 1:21:54.783
- Kenneth Hicks 1:22:29.499
Kicking off the opening round of the 2019 season, Lee Stephens came out on top with a time of 1:10:18.984, ahead of Benjamin D’Arcy by just shy of two minutes! Taking out the final place on the podium in third was Matthew Keipert with a time of 1:12:23.882.
Today’s competition across the field in the Veterans class was fierce, with many of the top 10 placed featuring in the top three times across the five tests!
AORC Veterans Round 1 Provisional Results
- Lee Stephens 1:10:18.984
- Benjamin D’Arcy 1:12:16.018
- Matthew Keipert 1:12:23.882
- Christopher Thomas 1:12:57.099
- Jason Pearce 1:15:20.680
- Daniel Sawtell 1:16:22.776
- Paul Chadwick 1:17:00.579
- Luke Ablitt 1:20:20.680
- Phillip Chillemi 1:21:57.526
- Phil Newman 1:22:35.185
In an exciting first for the 2019 season, AORC welcomed the new 2 Stroke Cup category, catering for 125cc up to 250cc. Taking out the top spot in Round 1 was Adam Giles with a time of 1:10:52.544. Trailing behind Giles to take out second place today was John Isherwood, with a time of 1:15:40.846. Rounding out the podium for the 2 Stroke Cup was Todd Charlick, following on behind Isherwood by just over three minutes.
AORC 2 Stroke Cup Round 2 Provisional Results
- Adam Giles 1:10:52.544
- John Isherwood 1:15:40.846
- Todd Charlick 1:18:53.919
- Luke Francis 1:23:35.349
Our Women’s, Masters, Veterans and 2 Stroke Cup competitors will return tomorrow for Round 2, braving what it expected to be high heats, plenty of dust and a new track to navigate.
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC Website at aorc.org.au, or by following the Yamaha AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Images courtesy of John Pearson Media