You’re 45 days out from the next rounds of the 2019 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC). How do you keep the momentum going? Well, to help tide you over and give you that extra drive, we’ve caught up with Kyogle Motorcycle Club’s President, Gordon McQueen, to chat about what to expect at the next Sprint format weekend. The last time we landed in Kyogle was back in 2017, for an Enduro timecard format event.
Nestled at the base of Fairy Mountain, Kyogle’s landscape is typically driven by cattle and dairy grazing, and like much of New South Wales (NSW) has been impacted by the continuing drought . With no grassy tracks featuring at this year’s Kyogle round, riders will be welcomed instead with highly technical tests in and amongst the thick forest. All classes will be presented with new tests on Saturday and Sunday, providing opportunity for both Seniors and Juniors to understand their current strengths and weaknesses.
The AORC paddock has already experienced one Sprint format weekend, back in Toowoomba. Mixed with high heats and dust, these tracks were highly technical. What can this year’s AORC competitors expect from next month’s Kyogle rounds?
The tracks will be of varying technicality. There will be four tracks set up, with one being a ‘Pro Only’ track. The remaining three tracks will be similar in style to the tracks riders experienced earlier this year in Toowoomba, especially in relation to technicality. After Round 5, we’ll return for Round 6 and alternate tracks for all classes, including Juniors. We’ve decided to give Juniors the excellent opportunity to gain further experience on a new track on Sunday, to assist in gaining a greater understanding of their skill level.
For the Pro’s (EJ, E1, E2 and E3), they’ll complete two tests on each of the two days, so after Test 1 the Pro’s will have a certain amount of time until they have to complete Test 2. We’ve designed this to add a little twist to the usual Sprint format, with the hopes of giving the Pro’s plenty of riding time, without flogging the same test track. Those who can keep it together for the whole day will reap the rewards.
We try and do things a bit different here in Kyogle and keep the competitors on their toes. We’re a little landlocked this year, due to the drought and the farming needs of the landowner. So, we’ve had to restrict the size of land we use and get more creative with the tests.
Riders will of course recognise familiar elements from 2017, but these tests will definitely push new and different boundaries.
We want to test all their skills, not just those who can ride really fast. The Kyogle round will push all riders hard, professional or amateur.
What tips do you have for competitors over the next seven weeks, in preparation for the upcoming Kyogle rounds?
Honestly, you just need to keep fit!
What goes into planning, preparing and executing a Sprint format round? How does the Kyogle landscape impact an event such as this?
It’s a massive combined effort by all our members. It all starts with our Club Secretary, who works with the Sporting and Recreation Department to get our licences in place and having our paperwork covered.
Then, all our Club members come together to develop the land and get the tracks ready. We then delegate each track to one group, so each Club member is comfortable in navigating and managing their track. This also helps safety-wise, where our sweepers know how to get to a rider quickly or get them out to medical help quickly.
Rounds 5 & 6 in Kyogle, NSW, will be held from 20-21 July. To submit your entry, please click here.
For further information on AORC’s next rounds, please click here.
Images courtesy of John Pearson Media