Round Four of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) put the riders to the test in trying conditions, that pushed every competitor to the limit. Daniel Milner put the conditions a side and powered on aboard his KTM to take out E3 and clock the fastest time on the track, a 49:43.133 over the five sprints. Daniel Sanders was once again a stand out on his Husqvarna in the E2 class taking class honours with a time of 49:44.625. Luke Styke just keeps getting better and better on his Yamaha, claiming E1 comfortably after finishing with a 51:17.313. Michael Driscoll continues to be the man to beat in the EJ class, once again taking out the class on his Yamaha.
Hedley produced a belter of a day after an overcast morning the sun was shining, but the sun dried out the track and the dust and ruts became a real challenge for the riders. The Yamaha WR450F test was an 8km loop filled with tight turns, logs and deep sand with only a few riders going under the 10-minute mark per lap.
Milner has made it four wins from four starts in the E3 class, and once again today he looked like he was on another track, putting in lap time well clear of the rest of his competition. A gap of two minutes separated KTM Enduro Racing Team’s Milner from Lachlan Stanford who battled the tough conditions but just couldn’t stay with Milner aboard his Husqvarna. Andrew Wilksch showed great speed as he backed up his great ride from round three with another third place aboard his new Sherco.
Milner was happy with todays display, “Today was definitely better than yesterday, I didn’t make as many mistakes and got around pretty clean which was really important for me today. The track was a battle in itself, it was almost the hardest sprint I have done in my career, but I’m happy how the day panned out,” finished Milner.
Sanders has once again taken out the E2 Class, making it four from four as he takes a commanding lead in the pursuit of the Championship. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Sanders as he did have a few offs on his Husqvarna, but he managed to get back on the bike and keep his competition at bay. Lyndon Snodgrass has continued his good AORC form, claiming second place here at Hedley, but the KTM Enduro Racing Team rider just couldn’t find the speed of Sanders. Rounding out the podium was Active8 Yamalube Yamaha’s Josh Green who battled away after a fall early on Saturday, continued to put himself in contention and finished the day in third.
Sanders was happy with today’s win and thanked his team, “It was good fun, the team worked really well and we got the bike to near perfect for these conditions. Today was a bit tough as there was a part of the track I just wasn’t as quick in but I knew I had to make some ground up on the other side and we managed to do that and take the class win,” said Sanders.
The ability of Styke to adapt to different conditions has been evident in his short enduro career to this point, as he once again took out E1 on his Yamaha and put in some quick sprints. Styke got out of the blocks quick in the first sprint and didn’t look back with Fraser Higlett his closest competition who was 21 seconds back. Higlett finished round 4 is second position and showed great speed and will be looking to chase down Styke when the championship heads to Dungog. Rounding out the podium was Frenchman Jeremy Carpentier who put his Yamaha on the podium with five solid sprints and just narrowly missing out on second place by two seconds.
Styke is continuing to impress at AORC, “Today was awesome, I felt really comfortable on the track and it definitely was a hard one and I can’t thank the team enough for everything they did over the weekend for me. We know look forward to the next round in Dungog,” finished Styke.
Driscoll has once again put the EJ field on notice, picking up the class honours and taking his fourth win of the season in just four starts. Driscoll got the most out of his Yamaha in the tough dusty conditions, Mason Semmens was closest to Driscoll, but he just couldn’t bridge the gap. Semmens who usually races motocross came across for the weekend and showed great speed aboard his KTM. Taking the last spot on the podium was Dalton Johnson, who put his KTM on the podium with five solid sprints here at Hedley.
Reigning EJ Champion Driscoll took the win despite the tough conditions, “It was definitely a tough one, yesterday was tough but this was on another level. We made a few changes to the front end and the results came through for us straight away, we just hope to keep this form going over to Dungog,” said Driscoll.
AORC E3 Round 4 Provisional Results
1. Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) 49:43.133
2. Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 52:16.491
3. Andrew Wilksch (Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team) 53:42.239
4. Broc Grabham 53:59.299
5. Tom Mason 55:26.729
6. Jesse Lawton 56:34.736
7. Stuart HOLT 56:55.536
8. Jamie Robins 57:25.153
9. Anthony Venn 58:52.164
10. Jack Matthews 1:03:52.949
AORC E2 Round 4 Provisional Results
1. Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 49:44.625
2. Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Racing Team) 51:19.386
3. Joshua Green (Activate8 Yamalube Yamaha) 51:54.314
4. Riley Graham 53:45.467
5. Stefan Granquist 54:06.484
6. Matt van Slooten 57:19.274
7. Jens Emil Viktor Hillgren 57:27.100
8. Matt Murry 58:16.481
9. Liam Mason 58:26.062
10. Trent Tucci 58:56.472
AORC E1 Round 4 Provisional Results
1. Luke Styke (Active8 Yamalube Yamaha) 51:17.313
2. Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) 53:11.850
3. Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) 54:02.168
4. Jack Simpson 54:06.612
5. Nicolas Tomlinson 54:26.953
6. Tomas Ravenhorst 54:35.690
7. Baylee Davies 56:01.270
8. Brad Hardaker 56:39.370
9. Peter-Daniel Allan 58:17.006
10. Bayley Burt 59:01.528
AORC EJ Round 4 Provisional Results
1. Michael Driscoll (bLu cRu Yamaha Off Road Team) 52:50.009
2. Mason Semmens 54:49.641
3. Dalton Johnson 55:37.486
4. Joshua Brierley 55:50.404
5. Corey Hammond 56:43.608
6. Mitchell Brierley 57:35.356
7. Lachlan Allan 58:18.080
8. Harrison Teed 59:04.322
9. Ashden Gramlick 59:47.527
10. Nick Graham 1:00:43.815
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the brand new AORC website at www.aorc.org.au! or by following the AORC on Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Photos courtesy of John Pearson Media