Tuesday, February 18, 2020
The 2020 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship, presented by MXstore is only days away from firing up on track, across 8 senior classes locked in for the championship.
The Championship kicks off this Saturday and Sunday in Toowoomba for rounds 1 and 2.
A reinvigorated championship sees big numbers of competitor’s right across the senior classes with a number of contenders in each class in with a chance of holding the Australian Off-Road Championship trophy at the end of the year.
Two Stroke (2T) Cup
Moutl Pirelli Sherco rider Dalton Johnson and Yamaha rider Brad Hardaker return for a shot at the Two Stroke (2T) Cup title which will be hotly contested this year. Queenslander Harry Teed will also look to stir up the class aboard his KTM.
In the E1 class defending champion Luke Styke aboard his Yamaha Active8 Yamalube will be hoping for a repeat performance in 2020, while he will be challenged by EJ Champion Kyron Bacon aboard the MXstore backed Yamaha and Mason Semmens from the KTM Enduro Team who has come across from motorcross as well as Corey Hammond who also has jumped from the EJ class on a KTM.
In the hotly contested E2 class KTM Enduro Team’s Daniel Milner will be hard to beat, but Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Factory rider Josh Green, who is returning from a recent injury and was second to Daniel at each round last year will have his race face on come Saturday morning.
Beau Ralston hopes to be in the mix as well aboard his Kawasaki and will be wanting an injury free year, while the Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team’s Michael Driscoll has moved from E1 class which will no doubt suit him better this year.
Jeremy Carpenter who was on the podium last year in E2 will be onboard the Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-Road Team bike and will also be fighting for the championship win podium position.
AORC will also be announcing a major Australian talent will be joining the class in the coming days and is expected to be right up there fighting for the championship win.
In the E3 class Daniel Sanders will be hoping to continue where he left off 2019 taking his Husqvarna 501 to the top step, however Jonte Reynders on his Motul Pirelli Sherco 300 2 Stroke and Fraser Higlett aboard his Husqvarna will take the fight up to the world champ.
Jesse Lawton on a privateer Husqvarna and Geelong Motocrosser Callam Norton aboard a KTM will definitely be challenging the more fancied riders with Kawasaki Rider Matt Mury looking to go one better in 2020 and be on the podium after placing 4th in 2019.
In the EJ under 18 class Blake Hollis aboard his Yamaha bLU cRU Off-Road Racing Team bike will be hard to beat coming from the J4 class, and Korey McMahon will battle for the podium top spot, while Samuel Pretscherer and Kobe Conley will also be in the mix.
In the Women’s class Yamaha MXstore Ballard’s Off-Road Team’s Jess Gardner is going for her third straight title win (sixth altogether), while Emma Miliesevic, who finished second last year aboard her Honda hopes to upset the champions run in 2020 in only her second full-season after switching from motocross.
Emilie Karlsson also aboard a Yamaha will be in the mix as well as young Queenslander Ebony Nielson who scored a number of podiums last year and will be hoping to take that next step and go one better in 2020 on her KTM.
In the Veterans class KTM rider Lee Stephens returns as 2019 Champion but will feel the heat from KTM riders Jason Pearce, Christopher Thomas and 2018 champion Richard Chibnall who will return from a year off.
In the Masters class, 2019 Champion Kirk Hutton will not be racing this year as he looks to help support his kids coming through the junior ranks which opens up the championship to a potential multi-rider battle for the top step. KTM mounted Peter Rudd who was second in 2019 and Tim Martin on a Honda are expected to fight it out all year long, with Queenslander Craig Treasure expected to be in the mix.
Photos courtesy of Russell Colvin