What a way to to finish the 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) at Omeo, Victoria, with all ten championships being decided. It was a weekend to remember as the riders battled a gruelling three-hour cross county on Saturday before ending with Sprints on the Sunday.
A big congratulations to all the 2018 AORC Champions, Daniel Milner (E3), Daniel Sanders (E2), Luke Styke (E1), Michael Driscoll (EJ), Jessica Gardiner (Women’s), Richard Chibnall (Veterans), Geoffrey Ballard (Masters), Korey McMahon (J4), Blake Hollis (J3) and Billy Hargy (J2).
The cross-country format had everyone on the edge of their seats, 25 riders in a row blasting into the tight first corner, chaos was a certainty. It didn’t disappoint as a cloud of dust surrounded the lead pack and it would be Lachlan Stanford to grab the holeshot and lead the way.
Typical of season 2018 it didn’t take long for Milner to make his move for the lead and begin to assert his dominance again in the E3 Class. All Milner had to do was take the win and the E3 title was his, which he did in classic Milner fashion. The win also made it 11 wins from 11 races this season.
In the E2 class a crash early saw Daniel Sanders have to fight his way back without his helmet visor, but that couldn’t derail Sanders as he also took the win to complete his undefeated season and with it the E2 Championship.
Only in his first year of AORC action Styke made it the dream start to his off-road career, taking the cross-country win and the E1 title on Saturday.
The Women’s class became a showdown heading into Sunday’s sprint with Gardiner leading the way but Emelie Karlsson was within striking distance. Gardiner and Karlsson couldn’t be split over the course of Sunday’s sprints until the final test, where Karlsson took the win but Gardiner got the last laugh as she took the championship.
In the Junior ranks both the J3 and J4 title were decided after Saturday’s cross country. McMahon took the J4 title with a second-place finish behind Kyron Bacon in Saturday’s cross country. It was a calculated ride from McMahon who had to battle through injury to be out on the track, but it was all worth it in the end.
Hollis wasn’t in Omeo on Saturday as he was competing in the Australian Junior Motocross Championship, in Tasmania. In a strange course of events, Hollis was crowned the J3 champion on Saturday despite not racing. Hollis championship rival Ned Chapman and Charlie Milton had days they would rather forget and missed a golden opportunity to gain points on Hollis.
The battle for the J2 title went to the final day of the season, but Hargy saved his best for last to take out Sunday’s sprints on his way to the title.
In the Masters and Veterans classes, it was all about consistency and that was evident with Chibnall and Ballard. The pair finished their seasons in style taking wins in both the cross country and the sprints to earn their 2018 championships.
2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship Standings
- Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Off-Road Racing Team) 275
- Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Off-Road Racing Team) 233
- Broc Graham 204
- Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Off-Road Racing Team) 275
- Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Off-Road Racing Team) 226
- Joshua Green (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) 210
- Luke Styke (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) 265
- Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna Enduro Off-Road Racing Team) 234
- Jack Simpson 200
- Michael Driscoll (bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team) 275
- Joshua Brierley 232
- Corey Hammond 184
- Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) 211
- Emelie Karlsson 191
- Danielle Foot (Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team) 159
- Richard Chibnall 256
- Jade Gartlan 220
- Peter Rudd 205
- Geoffrey Ballard 241
- Craig Treasure 198
- Michael Widdison 167
- Korey McMahon 238
- Kyron Bacon 233
- Matthew Pye 206
- Blake Hollis 228
- Ned Chapman 192
- Charlie Milton 180
- Billy Hargy 239
- Kobe Conley 217
- Max Phillips 211
For the full list of Championship points click here.
Stay up to date with all the happenings from 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship and keep your eyes peeled for exciting 2019 announcements 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. Don’t forget to download the brand new AORC App via Team App*.
Photos courtesy of John Pearson Media