You’ve been patient and the moment is nearly here! The return of the 2022 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship presented by MXstore (AORC) is this weekend, from 19-20 March.
Rounds 1 & 2, housed in sunny Cherrabah, Queensland are set to be contenders galore across our senior classes, as they battle for top spot in back-to-back Sprints.
Known for a jam packed paddock year on year, the 2022 season is no exception. Let’s gear up for an opening weekend you won’t forget.
There’s been some notable movements within the E1 class this season! First, three-time E1 Champion, Luke Styke who retired after a prolific career back in 2021 will be a missing presence keenly felt. Shop Yamaha Offroad racing Team’s Kyron Bacon returns alongside teammate Black Hollis, who has jumped up from EJ into E1.
Bacon and Hollis will have to contend for podium positions against the likes of Korey McMahon (Gas Gas) and Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-road Team), who both moved from E2 into E1, each bringing a formidable presence and high speeds that are sure to get the adrenaline rising.
The E2 spread for 2022 may feel a little more familiar. Household names like Joshua Green (Shop Yamaha Offroad racing Team), Fraser Higlett (Beta), Todd Waters (Husqvarna) and Michael Driscoll (Shop Yamaha Offroad racing Team) are all revved and ready to go. Callum Norton also returns for the new season, aboard a Sherco.
Higlett’s return to the AORC field also marks an exciting return of Beta, a recognisable brand that is coming home to our national Championship.
Over in E3, an exciting change has occurred where Sherco’s Jonte Reynders is joined by long serving AORC contender Stefan Granquist (KTM). Familiar to many in E2, Granquist has moved classes as well as racing under new colours with KTM. The field will also include Andrew Wilksch (Simford Racing, Husqvarna) and Tom McCormack.
While there is plenty of movement among other senior classes, EW remains consistent for the 2022 season. World-class talent in the form of Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-road Team) and Emelie Karlsson (KTM) are returning, with sole focus on getting that gold. Like her fellow teammate, AORC veteran Karlsson has made an exciting movement to KTM this season, which could make this star an even more formidable demon behind the handlebars.
EJ always offers an exciting eye into the power of the sport and 2022 is no exception. There’s plenty of young talent in the EJ pool, with many moving onwards and upwards this season. Standout features returning to EJ this year includes Kodi Stephens and Riley McGillivray, who each bring with them a knack for high speeds and no fear.
For more details on Rounds 1 & 2, please click here.
Words by Caitlin Hynes
Head image by Troy Pears