After over 12 long months stuck in our respective states, inside and away from the track, today was a welcome return to racing! Round 1 of the 2021 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore (AORC) was originally set for Cross Country, however due to challenging conditions the format was changed to Super Sprints.
Across two high-intensity laps againt Golden Beaches’ picturesque backdrop, our world-class line-up pinned it hard to get on top of thick, sandy conditions. Reigning victorious for Round 1 was Mason Semmens (Gas Gas Australia) in E1, Todd Waters (Husqvarna Australia) in E2, Daniel Milner (KTM Australia) in E3, Blake Hollis (bLU cRU Off Road Team) in EJ and Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-Road Team) in EM.
Milner also took out the highly sought after fastest overall time for the day, clocking in at 48:27.998.
True to form, Semmens was a demon behind the handlebars as he flew into first place with a total time of 50:26.410. Second place was nabbed by Kyron Bacon, who wasted no time in pushing his Yamaha to the limits in search of that top podium spot.
Coming in third was reigning E1 Champion, Luke Styke who tackled through the gluggy, sandy conditions to a total time of 51:29.631.
“The first lap I had a few crashes but I put that down to being the first race back for the year, but I still ended up first in my class which really helps my focus moving into Round 2 tomorrow,” Semmens reflected.
“My confidence is up after today but the tracks are brutal, so I need to stay focused and pick my best line to keep up.”
2021 AORC Round 1 E1 Provisional Top 5 Results:
- Mason Semmens 50:26.410 (Gas Gas Australia)
- Kyron Bacon 51:12.591 (bLU cRU Off Road Team)
- Luke Styke 51:29.631 (Shop Yamaha)
- Corey Hammond 54:20.551
- William Price 54:30.113 (Jabiru Rural Fencing)
Ready to face his first Cross Country, Waters seemed totally unfazed even under the changing formats to Super Sprints. Comfortable with the high intensity that comes with Sprints, as experienced in his Motocross races, Waters clocked in an impressive total time of 50:04.516, making his the second fastest today, overall.
Rounding out the E2 podium today was Joshua Green (Shop Yamaha) and Michael Driscoll (bLU cRU Off Road Team), clocking in at 50:18.079 and 51:09.007 respectively.
“Today was really interesting! We did the Sprints and it was something really different. We do 30-minute races in Motocross so for me, the word “sprint” gets me sprinting, so I had to hold myself back and keep my energy,” explained Waters.
“Hats off to the boys! Daniel smoked us! To get a win in my class is awesome but I want that win so I’m keen to work on fighting Daniel for that fastest overall time.”
2021 AORC Round 1 E2 Provisional Top 5 Results:
- Todd Waters 50:04.516 (Husqvarna Australia)
- Joshua Green 50:18.079 (Shop Yamaha) (bLU cRU Off Road Team)
- Michael Driscoll 51:09.007 (bLU cRU Off Road Team)
- Thomas Mason 52:33.497
- Stefan Granquist 52:39.486 (Yamaha Australia)
The man of the hour, Milner was undeniably on fire as he screamed across today’s Super Sprint track. Nerves clearly didn’t come into the equation for the KTM mounted rider, who left an almost 5-minute lead ahead of his class competition.
The final two podium positions were clinched by Jonte Reynders (Motul Pirelli Sherco Offroad Racing Team) and Thomas McCormack. Reynders carried on from a strong 2019 and 2020 season, utilizing his skills to push ahead of McCormack [who has made a long-awaited comeback to AORC] with over a minute lead.
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2021 AORC Round 1 E3 Provisional Top 5 Results:
- Daniel Milner 48:27.998 (KTM Australia)
- Jonte Reynders 53:08.953 (Motul Pirelli Sherco Offroad Racing Team)
- Thomas McCormack 54:54.931
- Hayden Keeley 56:09.977
- Timothy Lonsdale 56:39.118 (On Point Race Team)
Over in EJ, Hollis held a steady lead ahead of his 16-U18 competition, clocking in a total time of 53:20.535 to win first place. The final two podium positions were clinched by Samuel Pretscherer (Gol Gol Hotel) and Kodi Stephens (True Painting), with total times today of 54:08.078 and 54:47.929 respectively.
2021 AORC Round 1 EJ Provisional Top 5 Results:
- Blake Hollis 53:20.535 (bLU cRU Off Road Team)
- Samuel Pretscherer 54:08.078 (Gol Gol Hotel)
- Kodi Stephens 54:47.929 (True Painting)
- Riley McGillivray 56:25.153 (Tune Tech Suspension, AJ’s Motorcycles)
- Kobi Wolff 56:51.950 (Westlink Petroleum)
True to form as our reigning EW Champion, Gardiner was a sight to see as she flew through her two Super Sprint laps, into first place. With a total time of 1:00:42.311, Gardiner demonstrated her clear skill and comfort in any terrain and racing format.
Second place was won by Honda mounted Emma Milesevic (Honda Australia), with a total time today of 1:01:16.302. The third and final podium position was won by Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha Motor Australia), who finished today with a total time of 1:03:23.968.
“Today was really good! I didn’t know what to expect and I felt pretty nervous, but I think we were all nervous after so long off,” highlighted Gardiner.
“It’s always a good thing to win the first round as it puts you in the right mindset. Tomorrow will be hard but we’ll use this afternoon to recover and prepare!”
2021 AORC Round 1 EW Provisional Top 5 Results:
- Jessica Gardiner 1:00:42.311 (Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-Road Team)
- Emma Milesevic 1:01:16.302 (Honda Australia)
- Emelie Karlson 1:03:23.968 (Yamaha Motor Australia)
- Danielle Foot 1:07:45.739 (Simford Husqvarna)
- Kellie Catanese 1:10:42.041 (Simford Racing)
AORC returns tomorrow, bright and early, for Round 2 of the 2021 season. Our riders will tackle a Sprint format across three tracks in Golden Beaches, Victoria.