What a way to start off the 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore (AORC). Screaming across the WR450F Test Track for six laps, it was Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team), Lee Stephens (True Painting & Decorating, KTM Newcastle), Kirk Hutton (Yamaha Motor Australia) who claimed back-to-back glory atop pristine conditions with Brad Hardaker taking the honours for the 2 Stroke Cup.
Proving why she continues to lead the charge here in Australia, Gardiner racked up back-to-back class wins here in Toowoomba, with nearly one minute ahead of second place. Penrite Honda’s Emma Milesevic pushed hard to score second place ahead of Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha), with just over seven seconds separating the two.
Special mention goes out to Kaitlyn Hall, who made her presence known after jumping up into the big league from her former Junior class back in 2019! Hall finished in fifth place today with a total time of 1:02:40.468.
“I preferred yesterday just becaused the conditions suited me better, but I sent it today and I’m super happy with the end result,” highlighted Gardiner.
“Having to take time off after ISDE due to my knee, I’m relaxed plus I’ve also been going super hard in the training sessions leading up to these two rounds, and the improvement was noticeable.”
2020 AORC Round 2 Women’s Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MXstore Ballards Offroad Team) 55:34.164
- Emma Milesevic (Penrite Honda) 56:37.987
- Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha) 56:44.034
- Ebony Nielsen 59:25.501
- Kaitlyn Hall (Halls Transport Repairs) 1:02:40.468
- Charlotte Gamble (Pete’s Trackside) 1:02:44.925
- Avril Gill 1:03:12.461
- Julie Denyer 1:04:54.505
- Zoe Boccari 1:05:34.347
- Megan Hotz 1:06:09.032
Clearly, once he gets started he can’t be stopped. Stephens was on form and on fire today for Round 2, taking back-to-back class wins, ahead of Richard Chibnall (WBR Echuca, OnPoint Motorcycles) and Christopher Thomas (Thomas Lee KTM). Stephens clocked in after six tests with a total time of 52:05.658, leading ahead of second and third by over a minute and 20 seconds.
2020 AORC Round 2 Veterans Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Lee Stephens (True Painting & Decorating, KTM Newcastle) 52:05.658
- Richard Chibnall (WBR Echuca, OnPoint Motorcycles) 53:29.118
- Christopher Thomas (Thomas Lee KTM) 54:09.902
- Daniel Sawtell 56:18.399
- Jeffrey Briggs (Lusty Industries, KTM Newcastle) 56:42.898
- Jason Pearce 58:33.638
- Chris Dennis (Blacklabel Concreting) 58:41.085
- Ian O’Brien 58:49.104
- Jim Kennedy 59:10.850
- Mark Cowie (KD Moto) 1:00:20.395
A blur of Yamaha blue, Hutton was in fine form for Round 2 as he stole away consecutive class wins here in Toowoomba. Behind Hutton and finishing today in second place was Timothy Martin with a total time of 55:34.769.
Rounding out the podium was Andrew Gillam (Coolblue) who was hot on Martin’s heels, tapping out at the finish line with a time of 55:46.549.
“Today was fantastic! Today I got my mojo back after a tough day yesterday. I haven’t been racing since South Australia’s AORC last year, so yesterday was a struggle but I found my groove today,” explained Hutton.
“This weekend has been really special though because I got to ride with my boys and be with my family.”
2020 AORC Round 2 Masters Top 10 Provisional Results:
- Kirk Hutton (Yamaha Motor Australia) 52:52.138
- Timothy Martin 55:34.769
- Andrew Gillam (Coolblue) 55:46.549
- Craig Wease (Diamondblast) 55:54.855
- Chris Keegan (Motul Pirelli Polisport) 56:27.780
- John Baker 57:09.911
- Peter Rudd (Kessner Motorcycles, Autowired) 57:24.900
- Craig Rayner 57:26.474
- Ian Jenner 58:24.999
- Stephen Boucher (Team Moto, Maben Racing) 58:51.927
2 Stroke Cup (2T)
A new fulltime class, the 2 Stroke Cup well and truly brought the heat today and Teed and Brad Hardaker tussled all day in their campaign for gold. It was Hardaker though who took home top spot, with a total time of 1:06:11.948.
Harry Teed finished just over 30 seconds behind, with a total time for Round 2 of 1:06:42.277.
The third and final podium today was won by Motul Pirelli Sherco rider Dalton Johnson, who clocked off after six tests with a total time of 1:11:18.037.
2020 AORC Round 2 2T Top 6 Provisional Results:
- Brad Hardaker (Banana Coast Pest Control, Yamaha) 1:06:11.948
- Harry Teed 1:06:42.277
- Dalton Johnson (Motul Pirelli Sherco) 1:11:18.037
- Brady Adams 1:22:57.318
Like Post Malone, we’re no good at goodbyes so while we wait for Rounds 3 & 4 in Dungog, New South Wales on March 14-15, be sure to keep your eyes on aorc.org.au. Further information on AORC’s upcoming rounds 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.