Yamaha Racing enter the final weekend of racing in the Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) looking to secure multiple class titles and are primed for a big weekend of action at Hedley, in Victoria.Long-time Yamaha racer and former AORC pro champ, Kirk Hutton, has already locked down the Masters class championship for the over 45 riders after a dominant performance at the penultimate rounds just two weeks ago. Hutton has an insurmountable lead and due to work commitments won’t be attending the final weekend’s racing.
Hutton now adds a Masters’ championship alongside his major class victories from several years ago.
“I wasn’t really planning on doing a lot of racing this year, I was here more to help my son Harley and enjoy riding with him but I guess my competitive nature took over and I was able to win a few rounds this year and claim the championship,” Hutton reflects.
“My goal was not about winning, just enjoying riding my bike with my family and I never intended to even do all the events. Even I was just a few points in front and needed to race this weekend, I wasn’t going to as I had already made other plans with work.
“Thank you again to Yamaha who have been with me for years and now that I have stopped racing at a professional level, they still help me,” Hutton said.
Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing’s Luke Styke carries a 16 point lead in the E1 class into the final weekend of action. Styke has won the majority of rounds so far and enters the final rounds in a good frame of mind but will need to race well as the top four riders in the E1 class are all legitimate event winners.
Styke heads Lyndon Snodgrass, Fraser Higlett and his team mate Michael Driscoll in the points chase and will be looking to make it back to back E1 victories.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend and have stuck with my usual program leading up to the weekend as I need to stay at the level I have been riding at. 16 points isn’t a huge margin, but I would rather come into the final rounds 16 points ahead, than 16 points down.
“My focus will be no different than any other round. I’m there to win and represent my team and sponsors to the best of my ability and that’s what I’m going to do,” Styke ends.
Jess Gardiner leads the way in the Women’s division and like Styke, is looking to back up her championship victory from 2018. Gardiner has been in good form in season 2019 and has also proven extremely durable as she has now amassed over 2000 points in the AORC over the years.
She claimed a victory and a third place finish in her last AORC outing but being the competitive beast she is, no less than a double round victory to seal the championship will be on her mind.
Josh Green holds down a comfortable second place in the E2 (450cc) division. The class is led by Daniel Milner who has a nice margin over Green, then back to fellow Yamaha mounted, Jeremy Carpenter in third.
There is still plenty to race for as Green will take on Australian duties in the coming weeks as he represents us in the International Six Day Enduro (ISDE).
While our season draws to a close, there is still plenty of motivation to keep riding and training,” Green explains. “I want to finish the AORC off on a strong note and try to win a round or two before the year is out and also with the ISDE just around the corner, it presents another opportunity to fine tune everything in race conditions.
“I will give it my all and see how it goes.”
The weekend kicks off on Saturday morning at Hedley in Gippsland Victoria with non-stop action through to Sunday afternoon.