In Queensland fashion, Round 1 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) was a steamy affair with temperatures reaching into the mid-thirties and humidity adding that sweaty cherry on top. Dry, dusty conditions combined with a new highly technical WR 450 Track pushed the world-class line-up from start to finish as they fought for podium real estate, with Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Racing Team) quickest on track.
With the completion of Round 1 and the first day of Sprints, the day was won by Luke Styke (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) for E1, Milner for E2, Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) for E3 and newcomer to the Senior category Kyron Bacon (MX Store, KTM) for EJ.
Reigning E1 Champion, Styke, maintained his place at the top of his class, achieving the fastest test times in E1 today. Styke finished ahead of Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Racing Team) and Michael Driscoll (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) to take out the gold, with a time of 1:00:11.804.
“In today’s opening round of racing, it wasn’t the heat that made competing difficult. Instead, it was the dust which continued to move with each passing rider, making it increasingly difficult to remain fast and mistake free,” explained Styke.
“Thankfully today saw me remain completely injury and crash free, setting me in good stead for tomorrow! All I need to do know is remain as consistent as possible, with goals of getting into the top three fastest times for the day, whilst also remaining on the podium for E1.”
Snodgrass continued to apply the pressure to Styke throughout the day, finishing just under 23 seconds behind the reigning Champion. Taking out the remaining spots in the top five was Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna Enduro Racing Team) and homegrown Australian legend, Matthew Phillips (MX Store, KTM), with a time of 1:01:27.354 and 1:03:22.590 respectively.
Yamaha AORC E1 Round 1 Provisional Results
- Luke Styke 1:00:11.804
- Lyndon Snodgrass 1:00:44.286
- Michael Driscoll 1:01:12.331
- Fraser Higlett 1:01:27.354
- Matthew Phillips 1:03:22.590
- Jonte Reynders 1:04:10.772
- Seton Broomhall 1:07:58.887
- Lachlan Allan 1:09:14.454
- Kye Malone 1:11:00.681
- Alexander Ruloff 1:12:36.447
2018 treated Milner very well, and Round 1 was no exception. Milner finished with the fastest time for the day, whilst also maintaining an steady lead over the five tests. Upon the close of test five, Milner clocked in a time of 58:12.545, ahead of Joshua Green (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) by just under two minutes, and Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) by just shy of three minutes.
Broc Grabham and Brad Hardaker took out the remaining spots in the top five, with just under 12 seconds separating Hardaker from Grabham’s time of 1:05:06.627.
Riding a stellar wave from 2018 into the new season, Milner was thrilled with the day’s results, highlighting that “the day went really well, regardless of the conditions. I found I maintained strong times throughout the day and although I stumbled in the second last test and suffered some battering, I still managed to come out on top!
“Tomorrow the key is to remain consistent and hopefully mistake free, with an end goal of staying at the top of the E2 class as well as taking out the fastest overall time for the second day running,” explained Milner.
Yamaha AORC E2 Round 1 Provisional Results
- Daniel Milner 58:12.545
- Joshua Green 1:00:36.815
- Jeremy Carpentier 1:01:43.370
- Broc Grabham 1:05:06.627
- Brad Hardaker 1:05:19.209
- Kristian Sprenger 1:06:58.993
- Kaleb Treasure 1:07:18.907
- Brent Dean 1:08:08.480
- Jack Judge 1:08:24:042
- Wesley Keeley 1:08:35.773
Round 1 saw Sanders kick off with a difficult start, crashing in the first test. In his typical fashion though, Sanders remain cool and collected, picking himself up and dusting himself off to take out the fastest time for the E3 class. With a time of 58:18.484, Sanders was trailed by Beau Ralston by just over four minutes, followed on by Andrew Wilksch (Motul Pirelli Sherco Racing Team). Finishinig up the top five places in Round 1 was Jesse Lawton and Matt Murry, with respective times of 1:06:09.427 and 1:08:07.233.
“Today didn’t start off as well as I had hoped, but I still managed to lead the pack to take out the best time for the E3 class. Coming out of the off season, it’s been a great opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with the new bike,” explained Sanders.
“Tomorrow the plan is to push hard and see if I can meet Milner for a fastest time overall for the day.”
Yamaha AORC E3 Round 1 Provisional Results
- Daniel Sanders 58:18.484
- Beau Ralston 1:02:19.321
- Andrew Wilksch 1:02:35.440
- Jesse Lawton 1:06:09.427
- Matt Murry 1:08:07.233
- Daniel Welsh 1:10:06.429
- Timothy Lonsdale 1:10:45.304
Coming out on top today in EJ was Bacon, who maintained a consistent form all day regardless of the heat or dust. Bacon retained high speeds and clear focus to remain in the top two of the leader board all day. Bacon finished the day with a time of 1:03:47.489, ahead of Joshua Brierley who finished the day on 1:04:06.772.
Third place was clinched by Harrison Teed, coming in hot on Brierley’s heels with a final time of 1:05:20.839. Rounding out the top five was William Price and Korey McMahon, with respective times of 1:06:57.405 and 1:07:55.681.
Reflecting the day’s events, Bacon explained that ‘the heat was a struggle, but the hardest aspect to manage was the dust. The conditions changed throughout the day as each test passed, making it even harder to remain fast and consistent.
“My plans for tomorrow is to remain as consistent as possible. It’s been great having Matt Phillips here with me, giving me that extra confidence boost,” highlighted Bacon.
Yamaha AORC EJ Round 1 Provisional Results
- Kyron Bacon 1:03:47.489
- Joshua Brierley 1:04:06.772
- Harrison Teed 1:05:20.839
- William Price 1:06:57.405
- Korey McMahon 1:07:55.681
- Cooper Sheidow 1:08:00.325
- Matt Waters 1:09:45.791
- Riley Nancarrow 1:10:22.995
- Nathan Howe 1:11:08.932
- Jordan Ryan 1:11:24.177
Our seniors will be back tomorrow, with a new track and another Sprint format to decide who takes out each class for Round 2!
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the AORC Website at aorc.org.au, or by following the Yamaha AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
Photographs courtesy of John Pearson Media