The 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) is just around the corner and Motorcycling Australia (MA) caught up with Motocross convert turned 2017 EJ Champion, Michael Driscoll, to discuss his off-season and what AORC fans can expect from the defending EJ champion.
Q. Michael what a smooth transition it was for you into AORC from your motocross background, how did you find your first season?
Yeah look my first season was a big learning curve, I learnt a lot in my first year of AORC. The learning started at the state titles then onto the Australian titles and also the International Six Day Enduro (ISDE) and these experiences helped me grow as a person and as a rider. I believe my first year of AORC has made me a stronger person, and better mentally as a rider and I can’t wait for the 2018 season.
Q. How has the off-season been for you? What have you been up too? What has the training workload been like?
In the off-season I’ve been constantly working my butt off, working my day-to-day job and then heading to the gym after work and using my weekends to get on the bike. I have been busting my gut to make sure I am ready to apply myself and get the most out of the bike for the coming season. I am quite lucky that my boss is in the off-road game, so he allows me to work three days a week and this is giving me the best chance to prepare this off-season a be ready for Gympie on March 10-11.
Q. Now the big question is. You are staying in the EJ class. How do you go about defending the #1 plate?
Of course I want to defend it, my aim for this season is to retain the title and improve on my outright result from last season. I want to be closer and closer to that top step where the likes of Milner are, I know it will take time but I’m going to consistently work towards hopefully getting up there.
Q. Coming across from motocross, what is it that you love about AORC?
Well the main thing for me, I find that everyone is so much more laid back and friendly, and it’s just a better environment to be around which suits me. You make a lot more friends; there is a better career in the sport and some great opportunities. This year alone I go to go overseas to France and compete in the ISDE in my first year.
Q. Anything new we can expect from you this season Michael?
I have made some changes for the coming season; I have made some changes with my sponsors but I’ll be riding a Yamaha again. I have my own team under the bLU cRU Yamaha Truck, which is great as it takes a lot of pressure off my family and myself in terms of getting to the tracks and my bike set-up. I’m looking forward to the new set up and fingers crossed it pays off out on the track.
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 Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram