Chris Hollis looking to finish the season strongly and take home another championship
Matt Phillips has been a standout rider in the 2011 off road season
Stefan Merriman in action

Yamaha top three going into final weekend of AORC

30 Sep 2011

Two Yamaha young guns who will be battling for the coveted number one Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) plate at the last two rounds of the series, being held at Salisbury (NSW) on Sunday and Monday.

Former Yamaha AORC Outright victor, Chris Hollis (from Port Macquarie, NSW), will be attempting to hold off the charging Tasmanian 18-year-old, Matt Phillips, who has won the last four rounds Outright.

Hollis, 27, sits atop the Outright leader board on his YZ450F, 13-points ahead of Phillips (who rides a big-bore YZ475).

“I’m stoked to see everyone on the team doing so well,” Phillips said. “It would be awesome if we won the top three... it would be ideal from a manufacturer’s point of view.”

Phillips said that Toby Price would be making a comeback for the last two rounds: “if I can put myself in the top spot, and Toby slots in between [Chris and I], I can win the championship,” he said.

“So the plan is to go and win at the last rounds at Salisbury. That’s all I can do.”

Hollis said he would be treating this weekend “like any other”.

“I’ll try not to think about things too much, I can only do what I can do,” he said. “Just go ride smooth and fast like I always do.”

And it’s another Ballard’s Yamaha Off-Road Team rider who holds the third Outright position: Stefan Merriman, aboard his YZ250F.

Merriman (from Nelson Bay, NSW) is positioned another nine points behind - 22-points off Hollis.

The 38-year-old also leads the Championship E1 Class race by 32-points ahead of Ben Grabham.

The Ballard’s Yamaha trio aren’t the only boys in blue in the Outright top-10.

Victorian Daniel Milner (of the Christensen’s Yamaha Off-Road Team) is eighth Outright and fifth in E2 (after scoring a third in class in round seven).

Unfortunately, Queenslander Kirk Hutton, who is sitting 10th on his YZ250F and third in class, is unable to compete this weekend due to a broken bone in his back and injury associated with the severe concussion he sustained at the ISDE in Finland.

In the Championship Women’s category, Yamaha is also dominating, with the top three podium places being held by ladies on blue machines.

Brisbane’s Jemma Wilson (YZ250F) leads Swedish rider, Emelie Karlsson by 12-points. Reigning champ, Jessica Gardiner (WR250F) is third.

The finale of the 2011 Yamaha AORC will be held at Salisbury (NSW) on October 2nd and 3rd. Sunday’s round will be held in cross-country format, Monday’s in sprint. For more info go to http://www.ma.org.au/index.php?id=1417

Yamaha AORC Outright top-10 (after round eight)

1st  Chris Hollis - 166 YAMAHA
2nd Matt Phillips - 153 YAMAHA
3rd Stefan Merriman – 144 YAMAHA
4th Jarrod Bewley- 140  
5th Glenn Kearney - 125
6th Bartosz Oblucki -108
7th Ben Grabham - 84
8th Daniel Milner- 82 YAMAHA
9th Toby Price - 75
10th Kirk Hutton- 63 YAMAHA

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