The Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Off-Road team turned in another rock solid performance at rounds eight and nine of the Australian off Road Championship (AORC) in Coonalpyn, South Australia, with Luke Styke taking class honours as Josh Green and Michael Driscoll both pulled down podium positions.Perfect conditions greeted the riders for the two day event and the layout provided challenges on both days. Saturday saw a sandy based loop that had competitors excited about the terrain while Sunday saw some rock beds and hard pack thrown into the mix to keep everyone on their toes.
Luke Styke increased his lead in the E1 (250cc) class after dominating the weekend in South Australia. Styke, who enjoys racing the softer terrain, won 10 out of the 13 special tests conducted over both days and was able to stretch his lead out to 16 points with two rounds remaining.
Styke and rival Lyndon Snodgrass traded wins on Saturday, but Styke came out all guns blazing on Sunday to win six of the seven tests and cement his place at the top of the E1 table. His raw speed captured him fourth outright on Saturday and one position better on Sunday in third.
“After a couple of ordinary rounds for me, it was good to get back on top of things and ride the way I should,” Styke begins. “I struggled a bit at Kyogle and Broken Hill, but I felt good all weekend and I love riding in these kinds of conditions.
“The bike was strong all weekend and I had a clean run with no major issues, so I leave here healthy, fit and confident to keep the momentum going into the final two rounds.
“Thanks to the team for all the hard work and we will keep it going all the way to the end as anything can happen in this sport,” Styke said.
Josh Green maintains second place in the E2 (450cc) class after another consistent performance on the weekend in South Australia. Green finished second on both days behind class leader, Daniel Milner, and sits comfortably in second place in the series.
Green raced well on Saturday and was third outright but a few crashes on Sunday cost him valuable time on Sunday and while it dropped him a couple of positions in outright honours, it had no effect on the E2 class results.
“Nothing real exciting to report from me on the weekend. I felt I was riding pretty well all weekend, but not quite at the pace that Sanders and Milner were setting. I made a couple of mistakes on Sunday and fell off in two tests but fortunately both myself and the bike were unscathed.
“But I really liked the course layout and it was good to ride in dirt that offered plenty of traction and a good variety of high and low speed challenges. The team was on point again and we can now look forward to the final rounds in a couple of weekends,” Green ends.
It was a case of the good and the almost good for Michael Driscoll. Driscoll charged to an impressive third in class (E1) and sixth outright on Saturday as he kept his 250F on song through the day on the sandy course.
He wasn’t quite able to recapture the same form on Sunday, dropping one spot to fourth in E1 and ninth in outright honours.
“Saturday was good, and it was like riding the conditions I have around home with soft dirt and plenty of traction,” Driscoll explains. “I pushed hard all day and wanted to mix it with Luke and Lyndon as best I could in as many tests as I could.
“Sunday I was a bit off and didn’t flow as well. I made a few errors out there and cost me some time and just didn’t ride as well as what I did yesterday. I still sit fourth in class and just five points away from a series podium, so I will need a big finish at the final two rounds to get onto the championship podium.”
Yamaha also had success in other classes with Kirk Hutton winning the Masters’ class on both days and also the series win as he now holds a 58 point lead going into the final two rounds. With only 50 points available, the former AORC champ can add another title to his belt after a successful year.
Jess Gardiner continues to lead the Women’s division after an up and down weekend in South Australia. Gardiner won on Saturday but was forced to settle for third place on Sunday in a rare off day. Gardiner still holds a comfortable 20 point lead going into the final weekend of the championship.
The last two rounds of the AORC are set down for September 14 and 15 in Penshurst in Victoria. With class honours and podium positions still up for grabs, Yamaha riders will keep the pressure right until the final test has concluded.
1st Luke Styke – 212 (Yamaha)
2nd Lyndon Snodgrass – 196
3rd Fraser Higlett – 181
4th Michael Driscoll – 176 (Yamaha)
1st Daniel Milner – 225
2nd Josh Green – 198 (Yamaha)
3rd Jeremy Carpentier – 167 (Yamaha)
1st Jess Gardiner – 217 (Yamaha)
2nd Emma Milesevic – 197
3rd Emelie Karlsson – 186 (Yamaha)
1st Kirk Hutton – 222 (Yamaha)
2nd Peter Rudd – 164
3rd Craig Treasure - 144
1st Daniel Sanders (E3)
2nd Daniel Milner (E2)
3rd Josh Green – Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing (E2)
4th Luke Styke – Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing (E1)
5th Lyndon Snodgrass (E1)
6th Michael Driscoll – Yamaha Active8 Yamalube Racing (E1)
7th Riley Graham (E2)
8th Fraser Higlett (E1)
9th Andrew Wilksche (E3)
10th Jeremy Carpentier (E2)
1st Daniel Sanders
2nd Daniel Milner
3rd Luke Styke
4th Lyndon Snodgrass
5th Josh Green
6th Fraser Higlett
7th Jeremy Carpentier
8th Matthew Phillips
9th Michael Driscoll
10th Andrew Wilksche