In Queensland fashion, Round 1 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) was a steamy affair with temperatures reaching into the mid-thirties with high humidity, while 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.

Upon the close of today’s action, Billy Hargy took out the best time for J2, Campbell O’Donnell for J3 and Blake Hollis for J4. Our juniors will return to tomorrow to brave the same Yamaha bLU cRU Track for another Sprint format to decide who will take out the class for the weekend!

Women’s, Masters, Veterans and 2-Stroke Cup were greeted to a stunning blue sky contrasted by drier than normal conditions, with fitness development over the off season treating riders well, as they tackled high heats and humidity over the five tests and nearly eight kilometre track.

Coming out on top for the first round of the 2019 AORC season was Jessica Gardiner (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) for the Women’s class, Kirk Hutton for the Masters, Lee Stephens for the Veterans and Adam Giles for the 2 Stroke Cup.

Photographs courtesy of John Pearson Media

Luke Styke - AORC Round 1, 2019

Luke Styke – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – E1

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

  1. Luke Styke 1:00:11.804
  2. Lyndon Snodgrass 1:00:44.286
  3. Michael Driscoll 1:01:12.331
  4. Fraser Higlett 1:01:27.354
  5. Matthew Phillips 1:03:22.590
  6. Jonte Reynders 1:04:10.772
  7. Seton Broomhall 1:07:58.887
  8. Lachlan Allan 1:09:14.454
  9. Kye Malone 1:11:00.681
  10. Alexander Ruloff 1:12:36.447

AORC Round 1 – E2

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

  1. Daniel Milner 58:12.545
  2. Joshua Green 1:00:36.815
  3. Jeremy Carpentier 1:01:43.370
  4. Broc Grabham 1:05:06.627
  5. Brad Hardaker 1:05:19.209
  6. Kristian Sprenger 1:06:58.993
  7. Kaleb Treasure 1:07:18.907
  8. Brent Dean 1:08:08.480
  9. Jack Judge 1:08:24:042
  10. Wesley Keeley 1:08:35.773
Daniel Sanders - AORC Round 1, 2019

Daniel Sanders – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – E3

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 E1 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

  1. Daniel Sanders 58:18.484
  2. Beau Ralston 1:02:19.321
  3. Andrew Wilksch 1:02:35.440
  4. Jesse Lawton 1:06:09.427
  5. Matt Murry 1:08:07.233
  6. Daniel Welsh 1:10:06.429
  7. Timothy Lonsdale 1:10:45.304
Kyron Bacon - AORC Round 1, 2019

Kyron Bacon – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – EJ

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

  1. Kyron Bacon 1:03:47.489
  2. Joshua Brierley 1:04:06.772
  3. Harrison Teed 1:05:20.839
  4. William Price 1:06:57.405
  5. Korey McMahon 1:07:55.681
  6. Cooper Sheidow 1:08:00.325
  7. Matt Waters 1:09:45.791
  8. Riley Nancarrow 1:10:22.995
  9. Nathan Howe 1:11:08.932
  10. Jordan Ryan 1:11:24.177
Blake Hollis - AORC Round 1, 2019

Blake Hollis – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – J4

Already a household name in Australian Enduro racing, Blake Hollis finished Round 1 with the best time of 10:32.818. Hollis sat pretty amid the heat and dust ahead of Mackenzie Johnson by just over a minute, with Johnson finishing today with a time of 54:32.036. Rounding out the J4 podium today was Zac Perry with a time of 55.33.284.

“I had a good day at the first round of the AORC. The track was tough and a bit dusty but I was pretty fortunate to be at the front of the group as we headed into each test. The tests have been super technical this round but I’ve had a pretty successful day,” explained Hollis.“Tomorrow my goals are to remain at the top of the group and to remain as consistent as possible with my times.”

AORC J4 Round 1 Provisional Results

  1. Blake Hollis 53:02.256
  2. Mackenzie Johnson 54:32.036
  3. Zac Perry 55:33.284
  4. Oscar Collins 55:58.836
  5. Charlie Milton 56:14.068
  6. Hayden Campbell 59:00.487
  7. Cody Chittick 59:22.145
  8. Kobe Conley 59.25.085
  9. Jay Simister 59:43.729
  10. Lochie Stafford 1:01:05.230
Campbell O’Donnell - AORC Round 1, 2019

Campbell O’Donnell – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – J3

Campbell O’Donnell clinched a top time today for the J3 class of 55:19.273, slipping ahead rival Riley McGillivray by just over six seconds! The final podium position was nabbed by Kodi Stephens with a time of 56:49.768.

Round 1 delivered a showstopping performance as the three podium holders exhibited proof of Australia’s leading junior talent in Enduro raving, with O’Donnell, McGillivray and Stephens each landing a fastest time in one of the five tests.

AORC J3 Round 1 Provisional Results

  1. Campbell O’Donnell 55:19.273
  2. Riley McGillivray 55:25.586
  3. Kodi Stephens 56:49.768
  4. William Dennett 57:20.674
  5. Tom Park 58:08.907
  6. Jack Bithell 58:58.440
  7. Maxwell Liebekner 59:11.116
  8. William Cooper 1:00:41.351
  9. Kelly Woolston 1:00:53.803
  10. Jake Hayes 1:02:32.856
Bill Hargy - AORC Round 1, 2019

Bill Hargy – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – J2

Taking out the best time for Round 1 in the J2 class was Billy Hargy with a time of 57:11.271. Second place was clinched by Campbell Hall, who came in hot after Hargy with a time of 57:27.053. Hargy and Hall maintained a classic Tango throughout the days tests, as each fought for fastest times across the five tests.

Taking out the final podium place for Round 1 was Jett Yarnold with a time of 58:38.884.

AORC J2 Round 1 Provisional Results

  1. Billy Hargy 57:11.271
  2. Campbell Hall 57:27.053
  3. Jett Arnold 58:38.884
  4. Max Phillips 59:46.669
  5. Luke Chellas 1:04:36.666
  6. Kyle Sandstrom 1:05:49.553
  7. Jack Shearer 1:06:02.664
  8. William Vella 1:06:18.928
  9. Jack Hendrickson 1:07:35.950
  10. Eli Tripcony 1:08:33.760
Jessica Gardiner - AORC Round 1, 2019

Jessica Gardiner – AORC Round 1, 2019

AORC Round 1 – Women’s

2018 reigning Women’s Champion, Gardiner, has commenced the 2019 season in perfect form as she pursues her campaign to smash the Women’s title record out of the park. Gardiner finished the day with a time of 1:13:37.414, ahead of Emelie Karlsson by just shy of two minutes. Karlsson finished the day with a time of 1:15:26.672, managing both the high heats, dust and her recovering foot injury to grab second place. Ebony Nielsen trailed Karlsson to take out third place for Round 1 by just under three minutes.

Reflecting on her fantastic efforts today, Gardiner stated “it’s great to be back for the new 2019 AORC season. As soon as we arrived in Queensland this week, the humidity hit me straight away, so today has been targeted at keeping cool and staying hydrated whenever we’re off the bike.

“Tomorrow’s plans are to start out as strong as possible whilst remaining upright. We tackle a new track tomorrow, so as long as I can have some fun and stay cool in what’s expected to be high heats, I should remain pretty consistent,” explained Gardiner.

AORC Women’s Round 1 Provisional Results

  1. Jessica Gardiner 1:13:37.414
  2. Emelie Karlsson 1:15:26.672
  3. Ebony Nielsen 1:18:10.896
  4. Emma Milesevic 1:18:41.568
  5. Danielle Foot 1:21:02.977
  6. Zoe Boccari 1:35:23.828
  7. Charlotte Gamble 1:58:19.594
  8. Isabella Hood 2:11:14.505

AORC Round 1 – Masters

Returning to the AORC pits is household name, Kirk Hutton, who took out the best time for the Masters class today of 1:10:43.091. Moving from the Veteran’s class to Masters, Hutton made a seamless switch to his new class, leading the charge ahead of Timothy Martin by just over four minutes! Rounding out the podium today in third place was John Baker with a time of 1:17:56.029.

AORC Masters Round 1 Provisional Results

  1. Kirk Hutton 1:10:43.091
  2. Timothy Martin 1:15:21.955
  3. John Baker 1:17:56.029
  4. Ian Jenner 1:18:18.986
  5. Craig Treasure 1:18:20.476
  6. Peter Rudd 1:18:20.476
  7. Adam O’Connor 1:20:46.668
  8. Andrew Dennett 1:21:20.530
  9. Ian McGillivray 1:21:54.783
  10. Kenneth Hicks 1:22:29.499

AORC Round 1 – Veterans

Kicking off the opening round of the 2019 season, Lee Stephens came out on top with a time of 1:10:18.984, ahead of Benjamin D’Arcy by just shy of two minutes! Taking out the final place on the podium in third was Matthew Keipert with a time of 1:12:23.882.

Today’s competition across the field in the Veterans class was fierce, with many of the top 10 placed featuring in the top three times across the five tests!

AORC Veterans Round 1 Provisional Results

  1. Lee Stephens 1:10:18.984
  2. Benjamin D’Arcy 1:12:16.018
  3. Matthew Keipert 1:12:23.882
  4. Christopher Thomas 1:12:57.099
  5. Jason Pearce 1:15:20.680
  6. Daniel Sawtell 1:16:22.776
  7. Paul Chadwick 1:17:00.579
  8. Luke Ablitt 1:20:20.680
  9. Phillip Chillemi 1:21:57.526
  10. Phil Newman 1:22:35.185

AORC Round 1 – 2-Stroke Cup

In an exciting first for the 2019 season, AORC welcomed the new 2 Stroke Cup category, catering for 125cc up to 250cc. Taking out the top spot in Round 1 was Adam Giles with a time of 1:10:52.544. Trailing behind Giles to take out second place today was John Isherwood, with a time of 1:15:40.846. Rounding out the podium for the 2 Stroke Cup was Todd Charlick, following on behind Isherwood by just over three minutes.

AORC 2 Stroke Cup Round 2 Provisional Results

  1. Adam Giles 1:10:52.544
  2. John Isherwood 1:15:40.846
  3. Todd Charlick 1:18:53.919
  4. Luke Francis 1:23:35.349
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