Matt Phillips leads the E2 class after round two and sits fifth overall
Daniel Milner won both rounds in the E1 class and currently lies fourth overall
Stefan Merriman sits both second in E3 and also in the the outright standings

Ballards Off Road Yamaha Well Placed after AORC Opener

12 Mar 2012

Yamaha’s factory supported Ballards / Park and Fly Off Road team kicked off the 2012 AORC season in impressive fashion with all three riders taking class wins or podium positions after the opening two rounds were held at Dungog, NSW, over the weekend.

The weekend saw two individual rounds held on each day across a range of special tests and trail time in the enduro format. New recruit Daniel Milner leads the E1 class after two rounds, Matt Phillips holds down second in E2, while Stefan Merriman is in second place in the E3 category.  

Saturday – Round 1 
The Yamaha team came out all guns blazing on Saturday with Victorian Daniel Milner sneering the class win in the E1 (250cc) division. Mounted on the Yamaha YZ250F, Milner handled the trying conditions superbly to take control of the class on the opening day.

Not to be outdone, Matt Phillips also pulled down the class win in the E2 (450cc) in a sensational national debut for the new 2012 WR450F. Phillips entered the event fresh back from the US, but also a wrist injury yet raced well to take the round win and establish himself as a contender for the 2012 season.

Stefan Merriman also jumped on the podium, taking second place in the E3 (over 450cc) class. Merriman and former champ Toby Price look set for a season long battle in the big bore division with a lot of racing miles and close duals to come.

Round One Results

1st Daniel Milner (Yamaha)
2nd Josh Green (Yamaha)
3rd Luke Bussa (Husqvarna)

1st Matt Phillips (Yamaha)
2nd Glen Kearney (Husqvarna)
3rd Mitcham Harper (Yamaha)

1st Toby Price (KTM)
2nd Stefan Merriman (Yamaha)
3rd Scott Keegan (Husaberg)

Sunday- Round two
Feeling confident after the strong opening round showing, the Ballards Yamaha boys were back on the bikes early Sunday morning and hoping for another strong day out on the trails.

Daniel Milner picked up where he left off with another strong performance and another class win in the E1 division. Milner is thriving on the YZ250F and making the most of his early season opportunity with the factory Yamaha team.

Phillips landed on the podium on day two. He finished up third in the E2 class after a tight tussle with Chris Hollis and Glen Kearney. The 1-3 round result puts Phillips in a strong position after the opening rounds and with a long way to go in the championship.   

Stefan Merriman and Toby Price picked up on their battle again, with Merriman again coming home second in class. Very little separated the pair over the weekend and it will be a fascinating battle to watch as the championship moves on.

Round Two Results

1st Daniel Milner (Yamaha)
2nd Ben Burrell (KTM)
3rd Luka Bussa (Husqvarna)

1st Chris Hollis (KTM)
2nd Glen Kearney (Husqvarna)
3rd Matt Phillips (Yamaha)

1st Toby Price (KTM)
2nd Stefan Merriman (Yamaha)
3rd Scott Keegan (Husaberg)

After two rounds, Ballards Yamaha leads the E1 class with Daniel Milner at the helm. Matt Phillips holds a slender one point lead in the E2 category giving the 2012 WR450F a sensational AORC debut while Stefan Merriman holds down second in the E3 class just a few seconds from the class lead.

Team Manager, Geoff Ballard, who is also racing in the Masters class, was happy with his teams’ weekend and believes they have built a good platform for the championship.

“At the opening round of any championship it’s important to get off to a good, consistent start and not make any silly mistakes. All three riders raced the conditions well, used their heads and find themselves well placed in the championship after the first two rounds.”

“It was also a huge rap for the new bikes. The WR450F worked flawlessly while the YZ250F also proved to be a great choice in the E1 class with Daniel going so well.”

“As a team we can take confidence from this event and now set our sights for rounds three and four at Wonthaggi, Victoria later this month,” Ballard explains.

Outright Results – After Round two
1st Toby Price- E3 (KTM)
2nd Stefan Merriman – E3 (Yamaha)
3rd Glenn Kearney  - E2 (Husqvarna)
4th Daniel Milner – E1 (Yamaha)
5th Matt Phillips – E2 (Yamaha)
6th Chris Hollis – E2 (KTM)
7th Ben Burrell – E1 (KTM)
8th Josh Green – E1(Yamaha)
9th Mitchham Harper – E2 (Yamaha)
10th Luka Bussa – E1 (Husqvarna)

Adam Riemann
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